theScore's top 50 players in college football list was voted on by Mike Alessandrini, Dane Belbeck, Alex Chippin, Mike Dickson, and Michael McClymont.
We're not far from the top now. Next up on our countdown of the nation's 50 brightest stars entering the 2018 college football season are players 20-11.
As a sophomore in 2017, White was all over the field for the Tigers. He was excellent defending the pass and the run, accumulating 133 tackles (including 13.5 for a loss), 4.5 sacks, one interception, and three passes defensed. The LSU linebacker possesses NFL size at 6-foot-1 and 240 lbs, and he's ready to take his game even further as a junior.
Returning for his senior season in Morgantown, Sills is the definition of a red-zone weapon. The Mountaineers wideout recorded 18 touchdown catches as a junior, finishing tied for the FBS lead with Memphis' Anthony Miller, largely due to his dominance on jump balls and deep patterns. Sills and quarterback Will Grier will form one of the NCAA's most formidable duos once again in 2018.
Possibly the most proficient offensive tackle in the nation, Hyatt has started 42 games for the Tigers since 2015, and he's appeared in 43. While excellent as a run-blocker, pass protection is his true strength. Clemson faces a number of dangerous edge rushers in the ACC, and Hyatt is able to shut down every one of them. He allowed just one sack in 2017, according to PFF College.
In a conference ripe with talented pass-catchers, Brown stands out above the rest. In his first full season with the Rebels, the versatile wideout led the SEC with 1,252 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. The 2018 season may be Brown's final one at Ole Miss before declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft, and he's set to dominate opposing cornerbacks once again.
Stidham was excellent in his first season with the Tigers after transferring from Baylor. Another 2019 draft hopeful, Auburn's signal-caller combines athleticism, accuracy, and technical prowess to dissect opposing defenses. The SEC is full of talented pivots, and Stidham may be the best. Look for him to be among the Heisman contenders this season.
At the heart of UCF's undefeated 2017 season was their impressive young quarterback. Milton was among the most efficient passers in the nation, completing 67.1 percent of his throws, and accounting for 45 total touchdowns with just nine interceptions. Former Knights head coach Scott Frost brought out the best in Milton, but the quarterback will still be surrounded with offensive talent under new sideline boss Josh Heupel.
With Da'Ron Payne, Da'Shawn Hand, and Rashaan Evans leaving the Crimson Tide, Davis is now the centerpiece of Nick Saban's defense. The towering lineman dominated against the run and pass in 2017, accumulating 10 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks, and he snatched an interception during the national championship game. Leave Davis one-on-one against a guard at your own risk.
Production is the name of the game for Smith. After beginning his career at Northern Illinois as a running back, he shifted to defensive end during his redshirt-freshman season and never looked back. Smith consistently terrorized opposing quarterbacks in 2017, tying for the top total in the nation with 14 sacks.
Is there a better name in college football? Few cornerbacks have dominated their first NCAA campaign the way Williams did as a redshirt freshman, and doing it in the SEC was even more impressive. His 6-foot-2 frame, production (six interceptions, 11 passes defensed), and ball-hawking mentality will have NFL evaluators salivating soon enough.
Lawrence may be the most important piece for the Tigers' defensive line, even if his fellow linemen are grabbing most of the headlines and statistics. The mammoth defender (6-foot-4 and 340 lbs) holds the point of attack like no other interior lineman in college football, and he leads a dominant Clemson run defense. Lawrence has flashed as a pass-rusher, too, recording 8.5 sacks over two seasons.
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