College football season is in full swing, and so far, it hasn’t disappointed. From powerful defensive linemen to nimble wide receivers to quarterbacks with pinpoint accuracy, this season has seen college football players make brilliant moves both on and off the field.
Undoubtedly, many of these elite athletes have big aspirations and dream of the NFL. The work they put in this season will impact whether or not those dreams become reality.
Here are 10 college football players to keep an eye on in the 2021 season!
Kyu Blu Kelly, CB, Stanford
Stanford’s opening game against Kansas State won’t be a fond memory for the Cardinal, but junior cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly stood out anyway. With six minutes to go in the first quarter, K-State QB Skylar Thompson sent a pass into the end zone. Kelly rose above the receiver to make the touchdown-stopping interception.
It may have only been the second interception of this college football player’s career at Stanford, but it’s definitely a contender for interception of the season!
Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
A defensive end out of the University of Oregon, Kayvon Thibodeaux remains the prospective number one pick among college football players in the 2022 NFL Draft — despite suffering a minor injury in the season opener.
As one of the best pass rushers in the country, Thibodeaux has an exciting 2021 season ahead of him.
Haskell Garrett, DT, Ohio State
Once again, Ohio State brings a commanding defensive line to the Big 10, and Haskell Garrett plays a pivotal role in the Buckeyes’ defensive strategy.
Last year, he racked up 20 tackles, two sacks, and a touchdown. With 17 tackles so far this season, 2021 is shaping up to be a year for Garrett to shine.
Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma
As a top contender for the coveted Heisman Trophy, Spencer Rattler has proven to be one of the best college football players around. In 2021, Rattler has thrown 160 attempts with a 79% completion rating for 1,260 total yards.
With Rattler in the driver’s seat, Oklahoma certainly has playoff expectations.
Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
In his two seasons at LSU, junior cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. has earned an All-SEC and All-American selection not once but twice!
Alongside his robust defensive credentials — 65 tackles, 21 defended passes, and six interceptions in 22 games — Stingley Jr. has proven to be one of the most dynamic college football players in the game. When needed, he can also be a dangerous receiver.
Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Ahead of Bryce Young’s first season as a starting QB for the Crimson Tide, he’d secured several Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) deals like many college football players.
However, Young’s deals were worth nearly seven figures, according to his coach, Nick Saban. Such high value for such a young player makes this QB one of the most compelling players in the game.
Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
Junior running back Breece Hall is sure to be a key player this season for the Cyclones. Leading the nation in rushing yards last season and a stunning 23 touchdowns, Hall is a nightmare to defend.
Big 12 schools will certainly have their hands full as he’s racked up more than 100 rushing yards against each school in the conference. Iowa State is a force to be reckoned with this season, largely in part due to this running back.
Michael Penix Jr., QB, Indiana
Although he’s finished the last two seasons with ACL tears, Indiana’s quarterback, Michael Penix Jr., is a powerful playmaker for the Hoosiers. Unfortunately, another injury — this time in his shoulder — leaves his fitness for the season in question.
DeMarvin Leal, DE, Texas A&M
Putting pressure on quarterbacks, blockers, runners, and tight ends, DeMarvin Leal is a dynamic and relentless force in the defensive line of Texas A&M. In his sophomore season, he had 37 tackles and led the Aggies with eight hurries.
Another NFL Draft prospect, Leal has started this season strong with 22 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
Edefuan Ulofoshio, LB, Washington
Linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio is one of the most consistent college football players in the NCAA. Since 2019, Ulofoshio has attempted 93 tackles, and he’s only missed five. Those numbers earned him a missed tackle rate of just 5.4%, which places him third among all Power Five linebackers.
This junior is well on his way to securing his place in the annals of Huskies history.
Keep an Eye on These College Football Players This Season
With so much talent and skill in the game, there will be many NFL hopefuls coming from the NCAA in the next several years. These 10 college football players are some of who we consider to be the best candidates. One thing they all have in common is that they train hard and fuel their bodies effectively.
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