The college football season is just around the corner and with that All-American lists are coming out. These signify players to watch out for in the upcoming season, even if they haven’t technically earned the title of All-American yet. Here are the first and second team All=Americans.
Quarterback: Khalil Tate (Arizona)
Tate didn’t even begin last season as the starting quarterback, but was close to being a Heisman Finalist.
Running backs: Bryce Love (Stanford) and Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin)
With Christian McCaffrey gone, Love proved he could fill in his shoes and became a Heisman Finalist. Wisconsin always has a good running back,but Taylor had a great seasons for a freshman and will build on his great start in 2018.
Wide receivers: David Sills V (West Virginia) and A.J. Brown (Ole Miss)
He tied the lead in the country with 18 touchdowns receptions last year and Sills V is ready for another go around with Will Grier as his quarterback. Brown put up 1,252 receiving yards in his first year as a Rebel and is now a top-tier draft prospect.
Tight end: Noah Fant (Iowa)
Fant had 11 touchdowns receptions last year and is a threat every time the Hawkeyes get to the red zone.
Offensive Line: Sam Mustipher (Notre Dame), Beau Benzschawel (Wisconsin), Michael Jordan (Ohio State), Dalton Risner (Kansas State) and Mitch Hyatt (Clemson)
Mustipher returns as the best Notre Dame offensive lineman. Benzschawel and Jordan were both great guards in the Big Ten who helped clear holes for freshmen running backs (Taylor and J.K. Dobbins respectively). Risner and Hyatt have a lot of experience and are also top NFL Draft prospects.
Defensive Line: Ed Oliver (Houston), Christian Wilkins (Clemson), Nick Bosa (Ohio State) and Clelin Ferrell (Clemson)
Wilkins and Ferrell will team up to be on one of the best defensive lines in college football history. Both have already had successful careers. Oliver has 38.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks in his first two seasons in Houston. Bosa has had to split time with some talented defensive linemen and has still shined. Now he will play full-time.
Linebackers: Cameron Smith (USC), Devin Bush (Michigan), Josh Allen (Kentucky)
Smith had 112 tackles last season and could have gone pro, but decided to go back to USC for another year. At Michigan, Bush played like his hair was on fire with 95 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and an interception. Allen is versatile for Kentucky and may have been a first-round pick had he left the Wildcats after last season.
Defensive backs: Greedy Williams (LSU), DeAndre Baker (Georgia), Taylor Rapp (Washington) and Jaquan Johnson (Miami)
With six interceptions last season, Williams is helping LSU live up to the title of “DB U”. Baker was a part of a great Georgia defense last year and is now the leader. At Washington, Rapp has a chance to lead the best defense in the country. Johnson has helped restore the “U” to its former glory with 96 tackles and four interceptions last season.
Specialists: Matt Gay (Utah) and Mitch Wishnowsky (Utah)
Utah has continued its tradition of having great specialists. Both were All-Americans after last season and look to be strong candidates to stay on that list after the season.
Quarterback: Will Grier (West Virginia)
Grier made the most of his one season so far at West Virginia with 3,490 passing yards, 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Running backs: A.J. Dillon (Boston College) and Devin Singletary (FAU)
He turned down Michigan, but it turned out to be a good choice, as Dillon 1,589 yards as a freshman. At FAU, Lane Kiffin will hand Devin Singletary the ball a lot. He led the country with 32 rushing touchdowns in 2017.
Wide receivers: Marquise Brown (Oklahoma) and Stanley Morgan Jr. (Nebraska)
Brown burst onto the scene last year aiding Baker Mayfield in winning the Heisman and will hope for similar production under Kyler Murray. Nebraska had an inaccurate Tanner Lee at quarterback last season and Morgan still had 986 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
Tight end: C.J. Conrad (Kentucky)
He only played in seven games due to injury in 2017, but still had 286 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Offensive line: Ross Pierschbacher (Alabama), Nate Herbig (Stanford), Michael Deiter (Wisconsin), Jonah Williams (Alabama) and Trey Adams (Washington)
Alabama figures to have a great offensive line with both Pierschbacher and WIlliams on the team. Herbig helped clear the way for Bryce Love to have such a big season, while Deiter did the same for Taylor at Wisconsin. Adams is a potential early draft pick that does a great job protecting Jake Browning and run blocking for Myles Gaskin.
Defensive line: Rashan Gary (Michigan), Dexter Lawrence (Clemson), Raekwon Davis (Alabama) and Sutton Smith (Northern Illinois)
Gary was a highly-touted recruit, who should take another big step forward in his junior season in Ann Arbor. Lawrence is yet another talented defensive lineman on Clemson and will benefit from having great players around him. Alabama has their next great defensive lineman in Davis, who had 8.5 sacks last season. While he isn’t the most known on this list Smith led the FBS in sacks last season with 14.
Linebackers: Devin White (LSU), T.J. Edwards (Wisconsin) and Te’Von Coney (Notre Dame)
White had an astonishing 133 tackles last season and will be all over the field this season. Edwards could have gone pro, but decided to come back to Wisconsin to be the leader on defense. Coney was largely responsible for Notre Dame’s defensive turnaround last year and will now look to take the defense to the next level.
Defensive backs: Julian Love (Notre Dame), Michael Jackson (Miami), D’Cota Dixon (Wisconsin) and Andrew Wingard (Wyoming)
Love had 23 passes defended last season and needs to be a shutdown corner for the Fighting Irish this season. Along with Johnson, Jackson had a great season for the “U” and finished the season with four interceptions. Dixon has five career interceptions and will be asked to be the leader of the backend of the defense. Wingard is a tackling machine with 114 last season.
Specialists: Rafael Gaglianone (Wisconsin) and Drue Chrisman (Ohio State)
Gaglianone has never missed an extra point hitting 109 in his career and made 88.9% of his field goals last season. Chrisman had an average of 44.2 yards per punt last season and will look to build on it in 2018.