The Best College Football Player in Each BCS Conference
Broken down by every BCS conference, every player on this list will likely fill the majority of those outstanding plays. Based on last year's performace, along with the potential of a breakout 2012, here are the best athletes prepared for a Heisman Trophy run.
Big East: Ray Graham, RB, Pittsburgh
Plagued by injury, Graham was limited to just eight games during his junior season. However, he still took 164 carries for 958 yards (5.8 ypc) and nine touchdowns, while catching 30 balls for 200 yards.
Fully recovered, he's as dangerous as it can get. Graham possesses the required tools to be an elite 'back in the Big East, and his experience shows that a 1,500-yard season is not out of the question. In fact, it's expected.
ACC: David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State
At 6'3", 190 pounds, Amerson is a potential top-10 pick in the 2013 NFL draft and arguably the most talented corner in the NCAA. He finished last season with 13 interceptions and a touchdown, and although it'll be difficult to repeat these statistics, he has all the right assets to do so.
Clearly Amerson is the best prospect in the ACC, and after last year, I don't expect opposing quarterbacks to throw his way as much.
SEC: Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas
Davis averaged 6.5 yards per carry in 2010, ripping apart SEC defenses for a conference-leading 1,322 yards while compiling 14 total touchdowns.
He suffered a season-ending injury just before the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign, but should be at full health by summer workouts. His senior year should be one for the record books.
Pac-12: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
My projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, Barkley decided to stay for his senior season and take part in what should be a BCS bowl (my pick for the national championship) run.
Also the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, Barkley held an incredible 5.5-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio last season, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes and leading the NCAA sanctioned Trojans to 10 wins.
Big 12: Alex Okafur, DE, Texas
A 5-star prospect coming out of high school, Okafur is the anchor on a stellar Texas defensive line. He's got good size (6'4", 260 pounds) and speed (4.6 40-yard dash) to be an elite pass rusher, which is also why he'll likely be a first-round selection next April.
Big Ten: Johnathan Hankins, NT, Ohio State
Hankins is very special defensive tackle and has blossomed into an elite NFL prospect. He does an excellent job of controlling his gap and getting upfield to make plays in the backfield, possessing deceiving speed for a man who weighs more than 330 pounds.
A Shaun Rogers look-a-like, Hankins is an athletic big-man who can collapse the pocket or stuff the run with two poor saps of guards trying to slow him down, and is outstanding at putting pressure on the quarterback. He's by far the best player in the Big Ten and could potentially be a top-10 selection in next year's draft.
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