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jj009 Offline

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13.08.2019 11:30
ulware is the heart and soul of a Clemson defense that has continued its winning ways under coordinator Brent V Antworten

For the first two months of the season, Louisvilles Lamar Jackson dominated every debate about the nations best player.And rightfully so: Its hard to argue with Jacksons 51 touchdowns, 3,390 passing yards and 1,538 rushing yards.But please welcome a new No. 1 player, Oklahomas breakout star receiver Dede Westbrook, to the top of ESPNs CFB Rank through the end of November.We asked 10 writers to grade players from across the country on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best performance possible. Here are our experts top 50 players after eight weeks.Dede Westbrook Oklahoma Sooners Senior | Wide receiver Score: 9.9 Previous rank: 9 His emergence helped transform the OU offense after a slow start. The 6-foot senior leads the Power 5 in receiving yards per game, and his 11 touchdowns of 40 yards or longer rate as the most by a single player since 1998. Only eight teams nationally have more receptions of 60-plus yards than Westbrooks five. -- Mitch ShermanLamar Jackson Louisville Cardinals Sophomore | Quarterback Score: 9.8 Previous rank: 1Louisville ended the regular season with two losses, but Jackson had an incredible year by any standard. The sophomore racked up 4,928 total yards and an ACC-record 51 touchdowns. He also ranked in the top 11 nationally in rushing, passing, total offense and points scored. He still remains the Heisman Trophy favorite. -- Andrea AdelsonJonathan Allen Alabama Crimson Tide Senior | Defensive lineman? Score: 9.75 Previous rank: 3 The seniors nearly 300-pound frame comes in handy when stopping the run, but dont let that fool you into thinking he isnt athletic. Hes first on the team in quarterback hurries (13), third on sacks (seven) and even has a pair of touchdowns. -- Alex ScarboroughDOnta Foreman Texas Longhorns Junior | Running back Score: 9.7 Previous rank: unranked Foreman is the national leader in rushing yards and rushing attempts; the 250-pound junior served as a battering ram for the Longhorns. Despite upheaval around him, Foreman did not dip below 124 yards in 11 games, finishing with 2,028 -- the second-highest season total at Texas. -- Mitch ShermanJabrill Peppers Michigan Wolverines Junior | Linebacker Score: 9.65 Previous rank: 2The different ways he contributes make it hard to quantify Peppers impact on a game. His 6.2 yards per carry, 14.5 yards per punt return and team-leading 16 tackles for loss, though, speak to the always-present threat for him to make a big play. -- Dan MurphyAdoree Jackson USC Trojans Junior | Defensive back Score: 9.6 Previous rank: 41Jackson is garnering late Heisman Trophy buzz, especially after his three-touchdown effort against Notre Dame. He scored on a kick return, a punt return and a reception, celebrating with a Heisman pose in the end zone that he later said was an homage to former USC running back Reggie Bush. Jackson is a superhuman athlete who leads USC with four interceptions and is fourth on the team with 51 tackles, so hes excelling in all phases. Maybe hell throw a touchdown pass in USCs bowl game. -- David LombardiJourdan Lewis Michigan Wolverines Senior | Cornerback Score: 9.55 Previous rank: 17 The Thorpe Award finalist has been thwarting receivers consistently for two years. With 11 pass breakups and two interceptions this season, Lewis has put his hands on a pass thrown in his direction more often than the intended target. -- Dan MurphyDalvin Cook Florida State Seminoles Junior | Running back Score: 9.5 Previous rank: 15Remember way back in September when everyone was asking whats wrong with Cook? Since the Louisville loss, Cook has rushed for 100 yards in eight of nine games, and with his introduction to the passing game, he is second among Power 5 players in scrimmage yards with 2,046. -- Jared ShankerBaker Mayfield Oklahoma Sooners Junior | Quarterback Score: 9.45 Previous rank: 30The 6-foot-1 junior leads the nation in QBR, passer-efficiency rating and yards per attempt, while ranking second in completion percentage and fifth in touchdown passes. Mayfield has led the Sooners to eight consecutive wins while throwing 28 touchdowns and four interceptions. -- Mitch ShermanDonnel Pumphrey San Diego State Aztecs Senior | Running back Score: 9.4 Previous rank: 5Pumphrey needs to average 109 yards per game in his final two contests -- the Mountain West Championship and a bowl game -- to pass Ron Dayne atop the NCAA all-time rushing list. As it stands, Pumphrey broke his own SDSU single-season rushing record (1,908 yards) and has 15 rushing touchdowns this season, giving him 65 total TDs for his career, which is tied for ninth all-time in FBS. -- David LombardiDeshaun Watson Clemson Tigers Junior | Quarterback Score: 9.35 Previous rank: 8The Clemson QB has been under the microscope all season thanks to sky-high expectations, but while his interception totals are up and his rushing numbers are down, he still has the Tigers poised for a playoff bid. Moreover, no QB in the country was better over the final month of the season, when Watson completed 75 percent of his passes with 15 total touchdowns and 1,411 total yards. -- David M. HaleReuben Foster Alabama Crimson Tide Senior | Linebacker Score: 9.3 Previous rank: 11 If Fosters No. 1 job is to quarterback the defense, hes doing quite well at it. Alabama hasnt given up a touchdown all month. Whats more, hes a playmaker with 83 tackles, which is 20 more than the nearest teammate. -- Alex ScarboroughMinkah Fitzpatrick Alabama Crimson Tide Sophomore | Defensive back Score: 9.25 Previous rank: 14 Good luck finding a more versatile defensive back in the SEC. He started the season at corner, shifted to safety to fill in for Eddie Jackson and has a team-high four interceptions. -- Alex ScarboroughRaekwon McMillan Ohio State Buckeyes Junior | Linebacker Score: 9.2 Previous rank: 12The juniors individual numbers are slightly down from his sophomore season, but there has never been any question from Ohio States coaching staff that the captain and defensive quarterback is playing at the highest level of his career with so much youth around him. -- Austin WardAmba Etta-Tawo Syracuse Orange Senior | Wide receiver Score: 9.15 Previous rank: 33The Maryland graduate transfer made the most of his fifth and final college year, catching 94 passes for 1,482 yards and 14 touchdowns, including a program single-game record of five touchdowns in the finale at Pitt. That game also marked his seventh 100-yard receiving game, which is a school single-season record. -- Matt FortunaMalik Hooker Ohio State Buckeyes Sophomore | Defensive back Score: 9.1 Previous rank: 20With no prior starting experience for the Buckeyes, the redshirt sophomore blossomed into arguably the nations most opportunistic defender with six interceptions, including three returned for TDs. If he returns for another season, look out. -- Austin WardJake Browning Washington Huskies Sophomore | Quarterback Score: 9.05 Previous rank: 4He has thrown a touchdown pass on 12.2 percent of his attempts this season, which is on pace to break a 47-year-old FBS record. Browning seems to be the perfect QB at the controls of Chris Petersens hyper-efficient attack. The quarterback has manipulated defenses masterfully, and his 40 touchdown passes is best in the Pac-12. Mistakes have been few and far between, and the sophomores progress this season is the biggest reason why Washington is playing for a Pac-12 championship and a playoff berth. -- David LombardiDerek Barnett Tennessee Volunteers Junior | Defensive end Score: 9.0 Previous rank: 6 With 12 sacks on the season, Barnett now has 32 for his career, tying Tennessee sack leader Reggie White (1980-83). Barnett has recorded at least 10 sacks in each of his three seasons at Tennessee, and he also has an SEC-high 18 tackles for loss this season. -- Edward AschoffChristian McCaffrey Stanford Cardinal Junior | Running back Score: 8.95 Previous rank: unranked McCaffrey has been even better this season than during his record-breaking 2015 run, but his supporting cast has been worse. Consider this: McCaffrey is averaging 146 rushing yards per game on 6.3 yards per attempt this season, compared to 144 rushing yards per game on 6.0 yards per attempt last season. That comes despite playing through injury, alongside new quarterbacks, and behind a worse offensive line. Will McCaffrey declare for the NFL draft after this season? -- David LombardiDemarcus Walker Florida State Seminoles Senior | Defensive end Score: 8.90 Previous rank: 27 When Walker returned to Florida State for his senior season, he did so with the goal of reaching 15 sacks and forcing himself into any discussion regarding the schools best pass-rushers. He reached 15 sacks, tied for most in the country, and he is third on the Seminoles career sacks list. Hell be remembered most for coming up with big plays, like the Block at Hard Rock, which sealed a seventh straight win over Miami. -- Jared ShankerMyles Garrett Texas A&M Aggies Junior | Defensive line Score: 8.85 Previous rank: 7 Despite playing 10 games and being bothered by a leg injury for half the season, Garrett still finished fourth in the SEC in tackles for loss (15) and sixth in sacks (8.5). When healthy, he was one of the countrys best defensive players. -- Sam KhanEd Oliver Houston Cougars Freshman | Defensive tackle Score: 8.80 Previous rank: unranked Oliver was simply dominant, particularly in Houstons biggest games. He is ninth nationally in tackles for loss (19.5) and first among defensive linemen in pass breakups (nine). He was one of the biggest reasons Houston upset both Oklahoma and Louisville, with two sacks apiece. -- Sam KhanSaquon Barkley Penn State Nittany Lions Sophomore | Running back Score: 8.75 Previous rank: 46 A truly gifted backfield weapon, Barkley put the program on his back to lead the Nittany Lions resurgence. Nobody in the Big Ten found the end zone more often than Barkley, who finished the regular season with 17 touchdowns. -- Austin WardChristian Wilkins Clemson Tigers Sophomore | Defensive line Score: 8.70 Previous rank: 16 Its true that Wilkins isnt the ACCs best edge rusher. His 3.5 sacks ranked 36th in the league. But looking at Wilkins as a standard defensive end misses the point. He has worked both inside and out on the line, racked up 12 tackles for loss, broken up seven passes, played on offense and special teams, scoring a TD and blocking a crucial field goal in a Tigers overtime win against NC State. He does a little bit of everything, and he does it all really well. -- David M. HaleBudda Baker Washington Huskies Junior | Defensive back Score: 8.65 Previous rank: 28 The Huskies have the top-ranked run defense and the second-ranked pass defense in the Pac-12, and Baker is a big part of both efforts. Hes the field general of Washingtons imposing secondary. Baker has been especially impressive in run support this season, covering big ground and beating blocks whenever opponents try to take it to the perimeter. Hes second on the Huskies with 61 tackles and leads the team with nine tackles for loss and has two interceptions. -- David LombardiTeez Tabor Florida Gators Junior | Defensive back Score: 8.60 Previous rank: 13 Tabor hasnt had the eye-popping stats this season, but hes still considered a first-round draft pick with his excellent shutdown corner skills. He has four interceptions and has defended nine passes on the season. -- Edward AschoffJohn Ross III Washington Huskies Junior | Wide receiver Score: 8.55 Previous rank: unranked Ross is likely the fastest player in the Pac-12 -- he ran a 4.25 hand-timed 40-yard dash this past offseason -- and his speed has opened up big windows for the rest of Washingtons receiving corps. No secondary has been able to completely shut down Ross, and he leads all Power 5 receivers with 16 touchdown catches. Hes also a threat on special teams, averaging 26.8 yards on kickoff returns. -- David LombardiT.J. Watt Wisconsin Badgers Junior | Linebacker Score: 8.50 Previous rank: 36 Only two linebackers in college football have more sacks than Watts 9.5 this season. More importantly, hes the leader and catalyst of a Wisconsin defense that is ranked third in the nation in points allowed and rushing yards allowed. -- Dan MurphyDesmond King Iowa Hawkeyes Senior | Defensive back Score: 8.45 Previous rank: 24 Quarterbacks have largely steered clear of King, making it a sometimes frustrating season for the defending Thorpe Award winner. He did take one of his two interceptions this season back to the house and has been able to regularly contribute in the return game. -- Dan MurphyMike Williams Clemson Tigers Junior | Wide receiver Score: 8.40 Previous rank: unranked Its almost hard to figure how Clemson survived last season without Williams, who missed nearly the entire year with a neck injury. Now that hes back, he has proven to be one of the countrys most dynamic receiving threats, racking up 79 catches, 1,114 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 27 targets in the red zone this season are tops in the nation, and he has caught nine of them for TDs. -- David M. HaleJalen Hurts Alabama Crimson Tide Freshman | Quarterback Score: 8.35 Previous rank: 26 The true freshman has executed the zone-read to near perfection in Tuscaloosa and now has seven games in which he has thrown and run for a touchdown. This season, Hurts, who could sneak into the Heisman talk, has 2,454 passing yards, 840 rushing yards and 32 total touchdowns. -- Edward AschoffJuJu Smith-Schuster USC Trojans Junior | Wide receiver Score: 8.30 Previous rank: unranked Smith-Schuster entered the season as the Pac-12s top NFL draft prospect at receiver, and although his numbers have dropped following a very productive 2015, hes still having a good season: 63 catches, 781 yards and nine receiving touchdowns. Quarterback Sam Darnold has done an excellent job spreading the ball around, so its not a one-man show at USC. -- David LombardiEjuan Price Pittsburgh Panthers Senior | Defensive line Score: 8.25 Previous rank: 23 Price proved once again he is among the best pass-rushers in the country, racking up 12 sacks (tied for fifth nationally), 21 tackles for loss (second nationally) and 13 quarterback hurries. Exactly half of his 42 total tackles this season were behind the line of scrimmage. -- Andrea AdelsonTim Williams Alabama Crimson Tide Senior | Linebacker Score: 8.20 Previous rank: 10 One word comes up among opposing coaches when discussing Williams: elite. Using speed and power, the outside linebacker is a menace off the edge, leading Alabama with eight sacks. -- Alex ScarboroughJake Butt Michigan Wolverines Senior | Tight end Score: 8.15 Previous rank: unranked The steady, sure-handed tight end made 43 catches for 518 yards in an offense that likes to spread the ball to all of its many options. He took strides as a blocker this season that should help his NFL draft stock. -- Dan MurphyJames Conner Pittsburgh Panthers Junior | Running back Score: 8.10 Previous rank: unranked What more can be said about this cancer conqueror? Conner notched his second career 1,000-yard season, this after missing nearly all of 2015 with an MCL tear (before beating Hodgkin lymphoma in the offseason). He also has 56 career total touchdowns, which is an ACC record (along with an ACC-record 52 career rushing touchdowns). -- Matt FortunaEthan Pocic LSU Tigers Senior | Center Score: 8.05 Previous rank: 37 The LSU senior showed his versatility by chipping in at left tackle this season, but he returned to his natural position, center, where he helped the Tigers boast one of the nations top rushing attacks at 238.1 yards per game. -- David ChingCarl Lawson Auburn Tigers Junior | Defensive line Score: 8.00 Previous rank: 29 Lawson excelled in the SEC this season, recording 28 tackles with 13 for loss. The defensive ends 9.5 sacks tied for third in the conference. -- David ChingTarvarus McFadden Florida State Seminoles Sophomore | Defensive back Score: 7.95 Previous rank: unranked It was a tough first five games for McFadden, who gave up a handful of big plays and was called for a crucial pass interference in the loss to North Carolina. He has emerged as one of the countrys best cornerbacks over the seasons second half, however, and his eight interceptions are tied for the national lead. Moving forward, quarterbacks will be reluctant to throw the ball at him. -- Jared ShankerPat Elflein Ohio State Buckeyes Senior | Offensive line Score: 7.90 Previous rank: 32 The decision to return for another season clearly paid off for the senior, who moved over to center, enhanced his draft stock and set up the Buckeyes for another run at a national title. Ohio State will miss him dearly when hes gone. -- Austin WardSam Darnold USC Trojans Freshman | Quarterback Score: 7.85 Previous rank: unranked He makes a strong case to be considered the Pac-12s best quarterback, and its hard to find another player who so singularly transformed a teams fortunes. Darnolds QBR is second nationally to only Oklahomas Baker Mayfield. His athleticism and excellent pocket awareness is on display every week. USCs win over Notre Dame featured more impressive escapes and accurate throws downfield. Expect Darnold to continue his rapid climb up this list. -- David LombardiJ.T. Barrett Ohio State Buckeyes Junior | Quarterback Score: 7.80 Previous rank: 25 Barrett slipped a bit in the national pecking order by his own sky-high standards, thanks to some rough patches as a passer. But where would the Buckeyes be without him? Certainly not 11-1 and in position for a spot in the College Football Playoff. -- Austin WardZay Jones East Carolina Pirates Senior | Wide receiver Score: 7.75 Previous rank: unranked How good was Jones this season? He hauled in 158 catches, which not only led the nation but was 45 more than anyone else in the country. The difference between Jones and the No. 2 pass catcher was the same as the difference between No. 2 and No. 33. In the process, he set the NCAA mark for receptions and totaled 1,746 yards -- 44 percent of ECUs team total. -- David M. HaleJames Washington Oklahoma State Cowboys Junior | Wide receiver Score: 7.70 Previous rank: 43 His 296 receiving yards against Pitt remain the most by any player against a Power 5 opponent this season. The 6-foot junior leads all active players with 25 career TD catches, and hes one of three players this season with 60 or more catches to average 19 yards per reception. -- Mitch ShermanDorian Johnson Pittsburgh Panthers Senior | Offensive line Score: 7.65 Previous rank: unranked Johnson was the stalwart on the best offensive line in the ACC, and he helped pave the way for the Panthers to average 229.8 yards per game on the ground. He also helped keep quarterback Nathan Peterman upright; Johnson did not surrender a sack this season. -- Andrea AdelsonBen Boulware Clemson Tigers Senior | Linebacker Score: 7.60 Previous rank: 35 Boulware is the heart and soul of a Clemson defense that has continued its winning ways under coordinator Brent Venables. The senior leads the team with 103 tackles, including nine for loss and four sacks. Everyone noticed, as Boulware led defensive players in All-ACC voting. -- Matt FortunaCam Robinson Alabama Crimson Tide Junior | Offensive line Score: 7.55 Previous rank: 42 His junior season started off a bit rocky, but Robinson has found some balance of late, keeping premier pass-rushers such as Texas A&Ms Myles Garrett and Auburns Carl Lawson off quarterback Jalen Hurts. -- Alex ScarboroughEvan Engram Ole Miss Rebels Senior | Tight end Score: 7.50 Previous rank: 34 Despite not playing the final game due to injury, Engram still led all SEC tight ends in receptions, yards and touchdowns. His 926 receiving yards was second among all players in the conference and first among all tight ends nationally. -- Greg OstendorfArden Key LSU Tigers Sophomore | Defensive end Score: 7.45 Previous rank: 19 Key established himself as one of the nations top pass-rushers, ranking second in the SEC with 10 sacks. As one of 15 FBS players with double-digit sacks, Key is the only member of the group who appeared in just 10 games. -- David ChingCarlos Watkins Clemson Tigers Sophomore | Defensive end Score: 7.40 Previous rank: 44 Watkins has been a steady force for the interior of Clemsons defensive line since last season, but he is in the middle of a career year in 2016. The 305-pound tackle leads the Tigers with a career-high 7.5 sacks to go with 60 tackles and 12 quarterback hurries. --Andrea AdelsonNike Air Presto Off White Italia . -- For the first time in two months, an opponent was standing up to Alabama. Nike Cortez Uomo .875,000, avoiding arbitration. Clippards deal Monday means all eight Nationals players who filed for arbitration wound up settling before a hearing. . -- James Young couldnt wait to apply those tweaks to his jump shot, and the first one he made against UT Arlington told him it could be a good night. Nike Blazer Off White . - Levi Browns tenure at left tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers is over before it even began. Nike Air Force 1 Donna . -- Most satisfying to Russ Smith about No.These rankings are for Week 14. Rankings for Week 15 will be available at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 14. ' ' '

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