The Nation's Best

So, just who are the top players in the country heading into the 2005 college football season? Here's our listing of the top names to keep an eye on throughout the fall, as well as who could walk away with the sport's top individual hardware at the end of the autumn.

Quarterbacks

  1. Matt Leinart (USC, Sr.)
  2. Chris Leak (Florida, Jr.)
  3. Reggie McNeal (Texas A&M, Sr.)
  4. Drew Tate (Iowa, Jr.)
  5. Tyler Palko (Pittsburgh, Jr.)
  6. Chad Henne (Michigan, So.)
  7. Vince Young (Texas, Jr.)
  8. Omar Jacobs (Bowling Green, Jr.)
  9. Brad Smith (Missouri, Sr.)
  10. Bruce Gradkowksi (Toledo, Sr.)

Running backs

  1. Adrian Peterson (Oklahoma, So.)
  2. Reggie Bush (USC, Jr.)
  3. Laurence Maroney (Minnesota, Jr.)
  4. Gerald Riggs, Jr. (Tennessee, Sr.)
  5. Mike Hart (Michigan, So.)
  6. Marshawn Lynch (California, So.)
  7. Leon Washington (Florida State, Sr.)
  8. DeAngelo Williams (Memphis, Sr.)
  9. DonTrell Moore (New Mexico, Sr.)
  10. P. J. Daniels (Georgia Tech, Sr.)
  11. Wali Lundy (Virginia, Sr.)
  12. Michael Bush (Louisville, Jr.)
  13. Stevie Hicks (Iowa State, Jr.)
  14. Taurean Henderson (Texas Tech, Sr.)
  15. Cory Ross (Nebraska, Sr.)
  16. Brian Calhoun (Wisconsin, Jr.)
  17. Alley Broussard (LSU, Jr.)
  18. Lynell Hamilton (San Diego State, Jr.)
  19. Maurice Drew (UCLA, Jr.)
  20. Jerious Norwood (Mississippi State, Sr.)

Wide Receivers

  1. Calvin Johnson (Georgia Tech, So.)
  2. Derek Hagan (Arizona State, Sr.)
  3. Jarrett Hicks (Texas Tech, Jr.)
  4. Ted Ginn, Jr. (Ohio State, So.)
  5. Steve Breaston (Michigan, Jr.)
  6. Martin Nance (Miami University, Sr.)
  7. Todd Watkins (BYU, Sr.)
  8. Andre Caldwell (Florida, Jr.)
  9. Clinton Solomon (Iowa, Sr.)
  10. Greg Lee (Pittsburgh, Jr.)
  11. Santonio Holmes (Ohio State, Sr.)
  12. Travis Wilson (Oklahoma, Sr.)
  13. Todd Blythe (Iowa State, So.)
  14. Dwayne Jarrett (USC, So.)
  15. Sean Coffey (Missouri, Sr.)
  16. Mike Haas (Oregon State, Sr.)
  17. Steve Smith (USC, Jr.)
  18. D'Juan Woods (Oklahoma State, So.)
  19. Chad Jackson (Florida, Jr.)
  20. Jason Avant (Michigan, Sr.)

Tight Ends

  1. Mercedes Lewis (UCLA, Sr.)
  2. Leonard Pope (Georgia, Sr.)
  3. Zach Miller (Arizona State, So.)
  4. Greg Olsen (Miami, Fla., So.)
  5. Tim Massaquoi (Michigan, Sr.)

Tackles

  1. D'Brickshaw Ferguson (Virginia, Sr.)
  2. Marcus McNeil (Auburn, Sr.)
  3. Andrew Whitworth (LSU, Sr.)
  4. Eric Winston (Miami, Fla., Sr.)
  5. Jonathan Scott (Texas, Sr.)
  6. Jake Long (Michigan, So.)
  7. Jabari Levey (South Carolina, Sr.)
  8. Davin Joseph (Oklahoma, Sr.)
  9. Tre' Stallings (Mississippi, Sr.)
  10. Jeremy Trueblood (Boston College, Jr.)
  11. Travis Leffew (Louisville, Sr.)
  12. Zach Strief (Northwestern, Sr.)
  13. Ryan Harris (Notre Dame, Jr.)
  14. Daryn Colledge (Boise State, Sr.)
  15. Ryan O'Callaghan (California, Sr.)

Guards

  1. Matt Lentz (Michigan, Sr.)
  2. Max Jean-Giles (Georgia, Sr.)
  3. Mark Setterstrom (Minnesota, Sr.)
  4. Corey Hilliard (Oklahoma State, Jr.)
  5. Nate Livings (LSU, Sr.)
  6. Manuel Ramirez (Texas Tech, Jr.)
  7. Fred Matua (USC, Jr.)
  8. Will Allen (Texas, Sr.)
  9. Tony Palmer (Missouri, Sr.)
  10. Dan Mozes (West Virginia, Jr.)
  11. Cody Douglas (Tennessee, Sr.)
  12. Will Montgomery (Virginia Tech, Sr.)
  13. J.B. Closner (Alabama, Sr.)
  14. Tyler Reed (Penn State, Sr.)
  15. John Glass (Rutgers, Sr.)

Centers

  1. Greg Eslinger (Minnesota, Sr.)
  2. Kyle Young (Fresno State, Jr.)
  3. Mike Degory (Florida, Sr.)
  4. Donovan Raiola (Wisconsin, Sr.)
  5. Pat Ross (Boston College, Sr.)
  6. Kurt Mann (Nebraska, Jr.)

Kickers

  1. Mason Crosby (Colorado, Jr.)
  2. Andrew Wellock (Eastern Michigan, Jr.)
  3. Justin Medlock (UCLA, Jr.)
  4. Kyle Schlicher (Iowa, Jr.)
  5. Connor Hughes (Virginia, Sr.)

Defensive Ends

  1. Mathias Kiwanuka (Boston College, Sr.)
  2. Mario Williams (N.C. State, Jr.)
  3. Darryl Tapp (Virginia Tech, Sr.)
  4. Larry Birdine (Oklahoma, Jr.)
  5. Manny Lawson (N.C. State, Sr.)
  6. LaMarr Woodley (Michigan, Jr.)
  7. Parys Haralson (Tennessee, Sr.)
  8. Ray Edwards (Purdue, Jr.)
  9. Tamba Hall (Penn State, Sr.)
  10. Stanley McClover (Auburn, So.)
  11. Elvis Dumervil (Louisville, Sr.)
  12. James Wyche (Syracuse, Sr.)
  13. Manaia Brown (BYU, Sr.)
  14. Loren Howard (Northwestern, Sr.)
  15. Kyle Caldwell (Arizona State, Jr.)

Defensive Tackles

  1. Rodrique Wright (Texas, Sr.)
  2. Haloti Ngata (Oregon, Jr.)
  3. Orien Harris (Miami, Fla., Sr.)
  4. Garrett McIntyre (Fresno State, Sr.)
  5. Dusty Dvoracek (Oklahoma, Sr.)
  6. Kyle Williams (LSU, Sr.)
  7. Gabe Watson (Michigan, Sr.)
  8. Nick Leaders (Iowa State, Sr.)
  9. Le Kevin Smith (Nebraska, Sr.)
  10. Baraka Atkins (Miami, Fla., Jr.)
  11. Quinn Pitcock (Ohio State, Jr.)
  12. Kedric Golston (Georgia, Sr.)
  13. Larry Dibbles (Texas, Sr.)
  14. Jesse Mahelona (Tennessee, Sr.)
  15. Babatunde Oshinowo (Stanford, Sr.)

Linebackers

  1. Ahmad Brooks (Virginia, Jr.)
  2. Chad Greenway (Iowa, Sr.)
  3. A.J. Hawk (Ohio State, Sr.)
  4. Travis Williams (Auburn, Sr.)
  5. D'Qwell Jackson (Maryland, Sr.)
  6. Spencer Havner (UCLA, Sr.)
  7. Ernie Sims (Florida State, Jr.)
  8. Aaron Harris (Texas, Sr.)
  9. Will Derting (Washington State, Sr.)
  10. Abdul Hodge (Iowa, Sr.)
  11. H.B. Blades (Pittsburgh, Jr.)
  12. Thaddeus Washington (Colorado, Jr.)
  13. Brandon Siler (Florida, So.)
  14. Terna Nande (Miami University, Sr.)
  15. Spencer Toone (Utah, Sr.)
  16. Dan Connor (Penn State, So.)
  17. Omar Gaither (Tennessee, Sr.)
  18. Cameron Vaughn (LSU, Sr.)
  19. A.J. Nicholson (Florida State, Sr.)
  20. Freddie Roach (Alabama, Sr.)

Cornerbacks

  1. Jimmy Williams (Virginia Tech, Sr.)
  2. Charles Gordon (Kansas, Sr.)
  3. Jason Allen (Tennessee, Sr.)
  4. Cedric Griffin (Texas, Sr.)
  5. Alan Zemaitis (Penn State, Sr.)
  6. Will Blackmon (Boston College, Sr.)
  7. Ashton Youboty (Ohio State, Jr.)
  8. John Eubanks (Southern Mississippi, Sr.)
  9. Kelly Jennings (Miami, Fla., Sr.)
  10. Darrell Hunter (Miami University, Sr.)
  11. Leon Hall (Michigan, Jr.)
  12. Demetrice Webb (Florida, Jr.)
  13. Devin Hester (Miami, Fla., Jr.)
  14. Jovon Johnson (Iowa, Sr.)
  15. Bernard "Josh" Lay (Pittsburgh, Sr.)

Safeties

  1. Darnell Bing (USC, Jr.)
  2. Jaxson Appel (Texas A&M, Sr.)
  3. Greg Threat (Miami, Fla., Sr.)
  4. LaRon Landry (LSU, Jr.)
  5. Michael Huff (Texas, Sr.)
  6. Ko Simpson (South Carolina, So.)
  7. Nate Salley (Ohio State, Sr.)
  8. Jason Simpson (Missouri, Sr.)
  9. Greg Blue (Georgia, Sr.)
  10. Pat Watkins (Florida State, Sr.)
  11. Bernard Pollard (Purdue, Jr.)
  12. Charlie Peprah (Alabama, Sr.)
  13. Daniel Bullocks (Nebraska, Sr.)
  14. Jamaal Fudge (Clemson, Sr.)
  15. Muhammad Abdullah (Kentucky, Sr.)

Punters

  1. Daniel Sepulveda (Baylor, Jr.)
  2. Brandon Fields (Michigan State, Jr.)
  3. Tom Malone (USC, Sr.)
  4. Steve Weatherford (Illinois, Sr.)
  5. Kyle Basler (Washington State, Sr.)


HONOR ROLL

Heisman—Matt Leinart, USC

Bronco Nagurski—Mathias Kiwanuka, Boston College

Outland—Rodrique Wright, Texas

Lombardi—Ahmad Brooks, Virginia

Davey O'Brien—Matt Leinart, USC

Doak Walker—Reggie Bush, USC

Biletnikoff—Jarrett Hicks, Texas Tech

Butkus—Ahmad Brooks, Virginia

Thorpe—Jimmy Williams, Virginia Tech


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