QB - Cameron Newton (Auburn)
As an Alabama graduate and lifelong fan, it pains me to my core to admit this. But this what this guy has managed to accomplish ON THE FIELD is undeniable. Without him, his team is at best 8-4. He has willed his team to win at least half of their games this season.
Honorable mention: Denard Robinson (Michigan)
RB - LaMichael James (Oregon)
As the main cog in the most explosive offense in football this season, James led the nation in rushing with 155 yards/game.
RB - John Clay/James White (Wisconsin)
Both of these rushers averaged 94 yards per game giving Wisconsin a two headed monster to pound their opponents into submission, racking up more than 70 points against conference competition.
Honorable Mention: Jordan Todman (UConn), Ronnie Hillman (San Diego St.), Doug Martin (Boise St.)
WR - Julio Jones (Alabama)
When this guy finally got healthy, he showed the world what he's capable of doing. Ironically, his most productive games came after he suffered a broken hand. Breaking single game records vs. Tennessee and career records against Auburn.
WR - Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma St.)
Dez Bryant out. Justin Blackmon in. Mike Gundy knows how to find world beaters at the WR position, and Blackmon does just that with 18 TD receptions on the season.
WR - Ryan Broyles (Oklahoma)
Broyles came into the season looking to do big things and he has delivered, leading the country in receptions with 115.
Honorable mention: Alshon Jeffery (S. Carolina), AJ Green (Georgia), Titus Young (Boise St.), Greg Salas (Hawaii), Joe Adams (Arkansas), Randall Cobb (Kentucky),
TE - Michael Egnew (Missouri)
Mizzou was a force on the national scene for over half the season and Egnew was a major reason why, leading all Tight Ends with 83 receptions on the year.
Honorable mention: DJ Williams (Arkansas)
NOTE: Offensive line to come later. Haven't seen enough to honestly mention any individual offensive linemen.
DE - Da'Quan Bowers (Clemson)
I remember watching this kid in his first game against Alabama in 2008. I thought he was light, but knew he'd be special. He finally lived up to that this season, leading the country in sacks with 15.5 and 24.5 tackles for loss.
DE - Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue)
An absolute MONSTER! Registering 12.5 sacks, 26 tackles for loss, and 5 forced fumbles. This kid has a motor that won't stop.
Honorable mention: Sam Acho (Texas), J.J. Watt (Wisconsin)
DT - Nick Fairley (Auburn)
Dirty and overaggressive at times? Maybe. Blockable? Absolutely not. Probably the most disruptive force in the middle of the defensive line since a young Warren Sapp. His highlights this season read like the high school highlight reels of some of the best defensive linemen in the country. In other words, he was a man among boys all season.
DT - Drake Nevis (LSU)
This guy is a bit undersized, but he has a motor that won't quit. And he's surpassed most of Glen Dorsey's accomplishments at LSU and that's saying a lot. He had 6 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and 3 forced fumbles.
Honorable mention: Roosevelt Nix (Kent St.) for my Bama fans reading this, this kid is a freshman. We have to see him first game of the season next year. Had 20 tackles for loss. The same amount as Nick Fairley.
LB - Luke Kuechly (Boston College)
This sophomore was a tackling machine, leading the country with 171 total tackles. 34 more than the person closest to that number.
LB - Justin Houston (Georgia)
Houston registered 10 sacks and brought stability to a UGA defense that wasn't interested in tackling anyone. In addition to his 10 sacks he had 14 QB hurries.
LB - Nate Irving (NC State)
Irving led all linebackers in tackles for loss with 20.5 and registered 88 tackles.
DB - Patrick Peterson (LSU)
Still head & shoulders the best DB in the country. He was used as a punt returner this season to try and help his team and it may have taken away from him in some of the biggest games. He was out with cramps against UNC and LSU miraculously won. Julio Jones bested him in the battle against Alabama, but his team won. He was caught slipping a lot against Arkansas. But as the first sentence said, he's STILL the best DB in college football.
DB - Cliff Harris (Oregon)
A threat in the defensive backfield (22 passes defended) as well as in the punt return game (4 punt returns for TD).
DB - Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech)
Even though he missed the game against East Carolina due to suspension, he still led the country in INTs with 8.
DB - Robert Lester (Alabama)
It is my humble opinion that Robert was the beneficiary of some subpar QB play. Of his 7 INTs (which is tops for all safeties in the country), all 7 of them were thrown directly to him. To his credit, though, he didn't drop any of them.
Honorable Mention: Casey Hayward (Vanderbilt), Davonte Shannon (Buffalo), Victor Aiyewa (Washington), Lamar Chapman (Utah)
NOTE: Special Teams will come later