Having successfully launched a new playoff system after escaping the confines of the BCS last season, college football appears to be in great shape moving forward. It offers a kaleidoscope of styles and aesthetics–the triple-option offense, bombastic college bands, competitors from the deep South to the Pacific Northwest–that set it apart from its professional counterpart.
The heart of the game, of course, is the players who populate the programs, whether they’re starring for SEC powerhouses or running amok through the WAC. The stylistic differences shine through in the players as well; there are miniscule receivers darting through secondaries, quarterbacks who can hardly throw, and running backs who are simply too large for their competition–and too slow for the pros.
While NCAA football is a proving ground for the dreams of would-be professionals, for many players it is the peak of their athletic careers. And that’s just fine–very few people are gifted enough to suit up on Sundays, and it doesn’t take away from their awe-inspiring feats on the college gridiron. In fact, it often adds to their college legacy by immortalizing their feats as a triumphant final act.
You should know what teams to tune in for by now–hint: those Buckeye boys are a real threat to repeat–but keeping track of the most exciting players is tough when they’re spread across hundreds of programs around the country. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. These are the College Football Players You Don’t Want to Miss This Season.
Follow Kyle on Twitter at @kyleneubeck
image via Ronald Martinez/Getty Images