NCAA Football

5 College Football Studs Coming Off Outstanding Seasons

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5 Players Coming Off of Great Seasons

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

With the college football season due to start up this Thursday, football fever has officially reached peak levels around the country. After being deprived of truly competitive football since the Super Bowl, football fans will be greeted with 17 games just on Thursday. There will be countless more games through Labor Day, and conversations over who the best football players in the country are this season will officially be in full effect by the end of the Florida State and Pittsburgh game on Monday.

After the first few weeks there will surely be some fans who are convinced that their favorite team's breakout performer will undoubtedly win the Heisman Trophy, only to see them tail off as the season goes on. Every year we see multiple examples where a player comes out of nowhere to spark up conversation and captivate the nation with pure athleticism that can often not be stopped prior to seeing a scouting report that will display a player's strengths and weaknesses. Once they become the focal point of an offense and are targeted by the other team's defense many of the briefly great college football players turn out to be nothing more than average players.

The truly great players are the ones that come into our conscious through a number of impressive performances and stay there for multiple seasons. Staying power shows an ability to overcome adversity, battle through being the main target of other teams and durability.

With durability and staying power in mind, we have came up with a list of the five college football players that were great last season and will continue to be studs this year.

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Anthony Barr

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When Anthony Barr moved from the offensive side of the football to linebacker prior to the 2013 season, few at UCLA knew what to expect. The move turned out to be just what Barr needed, as he led all of college football in sacks with 13.5 and became a first round candidate for the NFL Draft. Barr decided to come back in his senior year, though, and in the process he scared all Pac-12 offensive coordinators whose teams will have to go up against UCLA.

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Marqise Lee

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Marqise Lee has been one of the best wide receivers in all of college football since debuting for USC in 2011. He has combined to catch 191 passes for a total of 2864 yards and 25 touchdowns during the 2011 and 2012 seasons and was recognized as the best receiver in college football during the 2012 seasons when he received the Biletnikoff Award. Expect Lee to approach 2000 receiving yards during the 2013 season and to become one of the Heisman Trophy finalists in the process.

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Ka'Deem Carey

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After leading all of college football in rushing yards during the 2013 season Ka'Deem Carey is back to terrorize opponents again. The University of Arizona running back will be looking to pass the 2000 yard mark that eluded him last season when he rushed for 1929 yards, and he will again be the main threat for the Wildcats.

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Johnny Manziel

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Say what you want about how Johnny Manziel acts off the football field, but there is no doubting that he is great on it. During his redshirt freshman season at Texas A&M he accumulated 5116 total yards and 47 total touchdowns while becoming the first redshirt freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. Expect Manziel to begin another great season when the Aggies host the Rice Owls on August 31.

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Jadeveon Clowney

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Jadeveon Clowney is the real deal. In case you haven't heard about the junior defensive end from South Carolina he is a 6-foot-6 274-pound defensive end that crushes his opponents at will. Last season he had 13 sacks, two forced fumbles, 50 total tackles and the hit of the season when he sent Michigan running back Vincent Smith into another stratosphere during the Outback Bowl. With rumors swirling that Clowney will be the number one pick during the 2013 NFL draft, College Football fans better enjoy this freak of nature while they can.