With the 2011 College Football season over halfway completed, it’s about time I name my Fave Five. That is, my favorite five players to watch in college football today.
When you finish this list, one thing you will notice is that I don’t go off of typical Heisman candidacy lists. My list is based off players I’ve seen that consistently keep me excited during the course of a game. When these guys are in possession of the football, you have to hold your breath because you never know what’s going to happen.
A former offensive player myself, I seem to lean towards offense so don’t shoot me either. Without further ado, here is my Fave Five:
#5. Christine Michael, Junior RB, Texas A&M :
Has any fan from outside of a Big 12 school seen this kid run a football? The fourth-leading rusher in the Big 12 is a LOAD to bring down. Michael is 5’11 and 213 pounds of pure man-mass. I’ve seriously never seen him taken down by one man. Go back and look at the film, it may be physically impossible for one man under 230 pounds to tackle him. The guy just runs over defenders. Not known for his speed, Michael still owns the A&M school record for the longest touchdown run in a 2009 game versus Baylor. Word to opposing safeties this season: If Christine Michael gets loose in the secondary and as the last line of defense, you decide to hit the deck and trip him up instead of going for a real tackle, the world considers that a smart football play.
#4. Fozzy Whittaker, Senior RB, Texas:
Foswhitt Whittaker himself comes in on the list at #4. I know what you’re thinking right now. “Is he ever healthy?” “He doesn’t even have 1,000 career yards because of his injuries.” I understand this. But I’m talking today and this season. The Longhorns’ most versatile option in their offense is one of the explosive players in the nation when given the touches. He operates the Wildcat, he catches passes and he’s also established himself as one of the top return men in the nation with 2 Kickoff return touchdowns, including one for 100 yards. Plus…his name is Fozzy. How cool is that?
#3. Justin Hunter, Sophomore WR, Tennessee:
Earlier in the season, I said he was a top 5 wide receiver in college football. Although when I sit and think about it, I wont say that but what I will say is that it’s an argument. I’ll also say that before his injury, he was a top five game-breaker in college football. Not as highly regarded out of high school as his “Z” counterpart, Da’Rick Rogers, Hunter has proven himself to be the better receiver at this point in their careers. Blink while watching a Vols game and you may miss another TD of 40+ yard from the dynamic duo of Hunter and stud quarterback Tyler Bray. Although his season was shortened by a left knee ACL tear(ACL tears can go to hell), Hunter still somehow leads the SEC in receiving yards per game (104.7) and proved his worth after his injury left the Vol receiving corps decimated.
#2. Sammy Watkins, Freshman WR, Clemson:
Quite possibly the biggest home-run threat in college football today was attending his high school prom as recent as last year and may not even be in possession of a Class D Driver’s License. True Freshman Sammy Watkins is taking college football by storm and as Watkins rises, so does national interest in one-loss Clemson. From breaking out of the shadows against Auburn to striking lightning in the 4th quarter versus Maryland, Watkins has been one of the polarizing figures from this 2011 edition of the Clemson Tigers. His business-like atmosphere off the field has translated to monster numbers on the field. “The only thing I know to cover him is to have him arrested before the ballgame,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said of the dynamic freshman. Tied for 5th in the nation(Ryan Broyles) in receiving touchdowns ahead of other play-making receivers such as Reuben Randle (LSU) and Kendall Wright (Baylor), Watkins is the only freshman even ranked in the Top 25. At 18 years old, Watkins already takes my vote for most explosive player in the nation and will step in my top spot once my number one player leaves for the NFL or finishes his eligibility.
#1. Robert Griffin III, Junior RS Quarterback, Baylor:
If you know me, you know this was an easy choice. And if you really watch college football, you won’t be surprised that I’m naming RG3 as my favorite player to watch in college football. After a stunning victory over a once-ranked TCU team and at one point during the season having more touchdown passes than incompletions, Griffin is actually a model person off the field and an ambassador for a school that desperately needs one. We already know about the Olympic-caliber speed but don’t confuse Griffin for “just another mobile quarterback.” Griffin possesses a rifle on his right shoulder and has one of the quickest releases in college football. Every elite quarterback needs a go-to receiver and Griffin has that in Kendall Wright. But as explosive as Wright is, Griffin is the true maestro of the Baylor offense, forcing teams to go over defensive game plan after game plan in order to have a chance at slowing him down.
I’ll leave you with a video to judge: Is Robert Griffin the most exciting player in the nation? Check the 1:45 if you want to end any arguments about the arm strength of RG3.