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College Football 2018: Players to Watch

College Football 2018

The college football 2018 season is set to be a sizzler; keep your eye on College News’ top 10 favorites to watch on the pitch this year

Damien Harris: RB, Alabama Crimson Tide

21-year-old Alabama Crimson Tide running back, Damien Harris, is more than worth his salt. Incredibly, Harris was eligible for the 2018 NFL draft but chose to remain a member of the prestigious college football team instead. After rushing for 1,000 yards last year and with a touchdown count reaching 11 (up from two the previous year), the Kentucky-born player is no doubt an asset to the team. 247Sports said of the running back, “Harris is so talented, his hold on Alabama’s RB1 status nearly led to five-star Najee Harris’ transfer after his freshman season last fall.”

N’Keal Harry: WR, Arizona State Sun Devils

The Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver N’Keal Harry shows deep promise in the game despite his modest record of rushing for 659 yards and five touchdowns last season. Sports outlets everywhere applaud the player’s ability to catch the ball with exceptional precision. This, combined with his tactful use of running speed variations, makes Harry a strong candidate for the 2018 college football season. NFL.com said that Harry is “one of the most talented receivers in college football.”

Cam Akers: RB, Florida State Seminoles

Cam Akers already boasts an impressive portfolio in his so far short career, having achieved a whopping 13,243 yards and 149 touchdowns to date. The Florida State Seminoles running back was named MS Gatorade Player of the Year in 2016 and won the US Army Player of the Year Award in the same year. Holding the grand record for rushing 1,024 yards last season (beating Dalvin Cook’s 2014 record of 1,008 yards), Akers is cementing his reputation as a leading player in the game and one to put your bets on.

Drew Lock: QB, Missouri Tigers

Missouri quarterback, Drew Lock, has been making waves in the college football scene since 2015; that same year he was ranked by Rivals as a four-star recruit and the number six best pro-style quarterback in the 2015 class. According to seccountry.com, Lock is “considered one of college football’s premier NFL prospects heading into the 2018 season.” In an interview with FOX Sports, draft analyst Mike Detillier said, “I’ve never seen a quarterback more accurate throwing the football than Drew Lock from Missouri. He’s the best. The best quarterback here on this campus.”

 Justin Herbert: QB, Oregon Ducks

Quarterback Justin Herbert’s star is rising in the college football landscape and his place in the Oregon Ducks college football team is well-deserving. Herbert has long been applauded for his deft precision when it comes to throwing and catching the ball, with the NFL stating that, “Herbert’s arm and mobility will entice scouts, as well as help Oregon overcome the loss of head coach Willie Taggard after only one season at the helm.”

David Sills: WR, West Virginia Mountaineers

David Sills returned to West Virginia University in 2017 to take the post as the team’s wide receiver. The 22-year-old has lauded much critical acclaim in sports circles, with Sports Illustrated anointing him one of the greatest prospects ever. 247Sports said, “Sills led college football last fall with 18 touchdown receptions and averaged 16.3 yards per grab”—no mean feat at all.

Devin Bush Jr: LB, Michigan Wolverines

Linebacker Devin Bush Jr helps lead a fantastic defense unit for the Michigan Wolverine’s college football team. The 20-year-old has made it onto several players-to-watch-out-for lists so far this year, and it’s easy to see why. Chad Reiter at NFL.com said, “Bush is the new prototype for Linebacker in college and the NFL—not necessarily big, but fast and aggressive. He can blow through the A-gap to wrap up quarterbacks, attack gaps on stretch plays to bring down running backs in the backfield, and get out to the hash to cover receivers.”

Shaq Quarterman: LB, Miami Hurricanes

Shaq Quarterman was rated a four-star prospect by 247Sports, had scholarships offered to him for his exceptional sportsmanship prior to committing to Miami and was named Freshman All American by ESPN—it’s easy to see why this linebacker is one to watch out for this season. NFL.com said of Quarterman, “He’s fast, instinctive, and a terrific tackler. An NFL team will give him the keys to defense not long after he arrives.”

Ed Oliver: DT, Houston Cougars

Defensive tackle for the Houston Cougars, Ed Oliver, has been the focus of many sports journalists across the nation this year. In March, Oliver announced (before his final college season even begins) that he intends to enter the draft for the NFL in 2019. The six-foot-two athlete was rated a consensus five-star recruit, ranking as one of the top players in his class. 247Sports said, “No one in college football, at this size, moves like Oliver…The closest player to a ‘sure-thing’ in next year’s draft, Oliver has a chance to make serious noise on the Heisman race as a junior even if his team isn’t elite.”

Clelin Ferrell: DL, Clemson Tigers

“The headliner up front on the Tigers’ freakish defensive line, [Clelin] Ferrell is a monster pass rusher,” says NFL.com. This Defensive End player was a four-star recruit straight out of high school and rated the number five prospect in Virginia. Just last year, this player was even named the team co-defensive player-of-the-game, too, making Ferrell College News’ last, but by no means least, favorite to watch on the pitch this year.

Further reading: Playing College Sports: All You Need to Know

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