QB Deshaun Watson, So., Clemson
RB James Conner, Jr., Pittsburgh
RB Dalvin Cook, So., FSU
Could one of these three emerge as a serious Heisman candidate in 2015? We think so and it starts with Watson, who is one of the game's most dynamic playmakers when he's healthy. Conner could make a push for 2,000 yards and Cook looked unstoppable at times as his workload increased last season.
Roderick Johnson, So., Florida State
Dorian Johnson, Jr., Pittsburgh
Matt Skura, Sr., Duke
Landon Turner, Sr., North Carolina
Bryan Chamberlain, Sr., Georgia Tech
In 2013, Johnson became the first freshman to start on the Pitt offensive line since 2006. Starting at left guard last season, he was a big reason James Conner had an All-American season and broke some of Pitt legend Tony Dorsett's rushing records.
WR Tyler Boyd, Jr., Pittsburgh
WR Artavis Scott, So., Clemson
TE Bucky Hodges, So., Virginia Tech
Boyd quietly has put together two 1,000-yard seasons at Pitt and has risen up the charts as one of the top WR prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft. Meanwhile, with a healthy Deshaun Watson all season, Artavis Scott could be in store for a monster season.
MORE: Top WRs for 2015
Dadi Nicolas, Sr., Virginia Tech
Adam Gotsis, Sr., Georgia Tech
Corey Marshall, Sr., Virginia Tech
Sheldon Rankins, Sr., Louisville
Not a bad problem to have in Blacksburg for coach Frank Beamer. Nicolas led the Hokies with 18.5 tackles for loss last season and 9.0 sacks from defensive end. Marshall, playing tackle, recorded 9.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and intercepted a pass.
MORE: Preseason Top 25
Terrance Smith, Sr., Florida State
Kelby Brown, Sr., Duke
Keith Kelsey, Jr., Louisville
Brown was granted a sixth year of eligibility after missing all of 2014 after a knee injury in a preseason scrimmage. Last month, he endured a fourth injury that ended his career. That he was returning from three significant injuries and didn't play in 2014 should tell you the talent he is — and the quality player Duke is losing. Smith was third on the Seminoles in tackles last season with 87, recorded 4.5 tackles for loss and intercepted two passes.
Jalen Ramsey, Jr., Florida State
Kendall Fuller, Jr., Virginia Tech
Jeremy Cash, Sr., Duke
Quin Blanding, So., Virginia
Ramsey has everything you want in the ideal corner:size, speed and strength. An All-American last season, he tallied 79 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions and 12 pass breakups. He's a first-round pick in 2016.
K Roberto Aguayo, Jr., Florida State
P Alexander Kinal, Sr., Wake Forest
Aguayo is the best kicker in college football. How good? He could have left school early for the NFL — not something kickers do. He's missed just four of his 52 career field goal attempts and connected on all of his 144 PATs. Kinal has led the nation in punts two of the past three seasons. He averaged 43.6 yards on his 81 punts last season. With Wake's struggling offense, Kinal needs to be on his game every Saturday.
QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson
The sophomore underwent ACL surgery in December, so it's possible he isn't fully healthy in time for preseason camp. But when he's cleared, he will provide a jolt to a Clemson offense that often sputtered when he wasn't on the field last year. The Tigers need him if they harbor playoff aspirations.
Ken Bradley contributed