2017 Midseason Top Ten Players
Who have been the ten best players over the first half of the 2017 college football season?
Midseason Top Ten Players Are …
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Who were the signature players so far in the 2017 college football season?
Sam Darnold will probably be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and certainly the entire Clemson defensive line, parts of the Notre Dame offensive line, and other great players across the country could submit their applications to be in the top ten.
It’s not about talent or greatness – it’s about who were the biggest stars over the first half of 2017. The top ten players at the midseason are …
10. QB Lamar Jackson, Jr. Louisville
UCF QB McKenzie Milton probably deserves to be here, but he hasn’t made enough of a national splash quite yet. NC State QB Ryan Finley, and Notre Dame QB Brandon Wimbush have also been special as they just miss on the No. 10 spot, but Jackson has continued to be Jackson.
No. 1 in the nation in total offense by a mile – at least in total yards – only Jackson and UCLA QB Josh Rosen are averaging over 400 yards per game.
Louisville is okay as a team, but it loses to Purdue without the reigning Heisman winner. He threw for 317 yards and three scores against Clemson, and he did everything possible to keep the Cardinals alive against NC State, with 354 yards and a touchdown.
On the year, he’s hit 62% of his passes for 1,990 yards and 14 touchdowns with four picks, and rushed for 510 yards and seven touchdowns.
9. DE Bradley Chubb, Sr. NC State
A whole lot of great defensive players should be on the list, but this is about who has made the most national noise and done the most on the big stages.
Chubb made 35 tackles with 6.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss, and while he’s third in the nation in sacks, no one has quite been able to constantly take over the big games like he has.
He had two sacks against Florida State, one against Louisville, and he was always a presence as the nation’s top defensive player so far.
8. QB Kenny Hill, Sr. TCU
This is the Kenny Hill everyone was hoping for a Texas A&M.
In a league full of terrific quarterbacks, Hill has stood out with big performances against Arkansas, Oklahoma State and West Virginia, leading the Horned Frogs to an unbeaten first half.
He connected on 69% of his throws for 1,153 yards and ten scores with three picks, and ran for 89 yards and a touchdown. Against the Mountaineers, he threw a scoring pass, ran for a score, and took a throw for a touchdown. He’s done it all.
7. QB Luke Falk, Sr. Washington State
Of course he’s a system quarterback, and of course the numbers are inflated in the Mike Leach offense, but he outplayed Sam Darnold with the whole world watching and he’s been the perfect veteran conductor for the high-octane symphony.
While he missed part of the Boise State game, he’s been amazing from the start completing 72% of his throws for 2,000 yards and 19 scores and just two interceptions. He hurt USC with 340 yards, threw for six touchdowns against Oregon State, and has been almost flawless leading Wazzu to an unbeaten start.
6. QB Josh Rosen, Jr. UCLA
It’s not fair that he’s this low, but that’s what happens when the team loses a few games it’s probably not supposed to. For a team with no running game and less of a defense, he’s had to carry the franchise.
The nation’s leader in total yardage per game – with 431.6 per game, ahead of Lamar Jackson and his 416.7 yards an outing – he has a rushing score, but he’s been bombing away from the start.
The win over Texas A&M is an all-timer – throwing for 491 yards and four scores – hitting the 400-yard mark in three of the first five games and cranking up 372 in the win over Colorado. Yes, there have been some bad picks, but he had to press – he had to do whatever he could to keep the O going to make up for the D.
5. QB Jalen Hurts, Soph. Alabama
Underappreciated – although not necessarily underrated – all Hurts does it keep on producing. He doesn’t screw up, he makes the dynamic play when needed, and he’s doing exactly what’s needed for the No. 1 team in the country.
Completing 63% of his passes for 870 yards and seven touchdowns with no picks, he’s not giving up the bad pick, and he’s taking off whenever he wants to with 517 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 7.5 yards per carry.
Eventually, he’ll need to come through with a big performance in the clutch, but that’s sort of the point. He and the Tide aren’t putting themselves in a position to need to stretch.
4. RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Here’s the problem.
Of course he’s great, but his one really, really good game was against Iowa. That’s not bad, but he’s currently 18th in the nation in rushing yards per game, being bottled up way too often.
Everyone saw the 211 yards and 12 catches for 94 yards against the Hawkeyes, but he followed that up by averaging 2.8 yards per carry against Indiana, and was stuffed for negative yards for almost the entire game against Northwestern before finally busting out. He has just two 100-yard games on the season – but, of course, he’s more than just yards on the ground.
Second in the nation in all-purpose yards, and third in yards from scrimmage, he’s a top kick returner and fantastic receiver. But others have done a bit more overall.
3. RB Bryce Love, Stanford
The nation’s leading rusher, Love hit the 1,000-yard mark after just five games, and rushed for 1,250 yards and nine scores through the first six. Not necessarily just a workhorse, he’s averaging 10.5 yards per carry with 301 yards and three scores against Arizona State, and 263 in the win over UCLA.
At his current pace, Love will run for 2,480 yards in just the regular season. If he keeps this up and Stanford plays in the Pac-12 Championship and a bowl game, he’s on pace to run for 2,893 yards.
Great against San Diego State, he ran for 184 yards and two scores on just 13 carries, but his team lost to …
2. RB Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
The nation’s leader in all-purpose yards, he’s had to do even more than Saquon Barkley and Bryce Love to carry his team.
He came within seven yards of hitting the 1,000-yard rushing mark at the midway point, running for 993 yards and nine scores with 197 receiving yards and two scores, and 205 yards on kickoff returns with a touchdown.
Yeah, Love might have more rushing yards, but Penny ran for 175 against the Cardinal – and the Aztecs won. Against Arizona State? 216 rushing yards and a score with a kickoff return for a score.
1. QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Of the 100 most efficient passers in college football, only two have yet to throw an interception. Hurts hasn’t thrown one, and neither has NC State’s Ryan Finley. Hurts is averaging 7.8 yards per throw with seven touchdown throws. Finley is averaging 7.9 yards per try with ten scores.
Baker Mayfield leads the nation in passing efficiency, completing 75% of his passes for, 1635 yards and 15 touchdowns with no picks, averaging a whopping 12.2 yards per attempt.
Only three quarterbacks – UCF’s McKenzie Milton and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph and UConn’s Bryant Shirreffs – are averaging more than ten, and no one else is doing more than 11.5.
Yeah, OU lost to Iowa State, but Mayfield completed 73% of his throws for 306 yards and two touchdowns.
But he’s the CFN Player of the Midseason because of what he did in Ohio State, completing 27-of-35 throws for 386 yards and three touchdowns in a flag-planting performance for the most impressive win by anyone this year – at least until Iowa State rolled into Norman.