theScore counts down the top 20 players entering the 2019/20 college football season.
Similar to what Derwin James displayed at Florida State, Delpit is a versatile defensive chess piece who impacts the game in a variety of ways. The star safety accumulated 74 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, and five interceptions (leading the SEC) in 2018 while adding nine pass breakups, one forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. A menace in the box, Delpit led his conference in tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage, according to Pro Football Focus. He displayed even more playmaking ability in coverage as a sophomore, forcing an incompletion on 19.1 percent of his targets, per PFF, which also paced the SEC.
2019 will likely be Delpit's final collegiate campaign. His elite athleticism and versatility have already piqued the interest of numerous NFL scouts. For now, the defensive back will continue to dominate his opponents and contend for a second straight unanimous All-American selection.
The 2018 Biletnikoff Award winner is truly a threat to score every time he touches the ball. Illustrating incredible chemistry with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Jeudy utterly dominated college defensive backs as a sophomore. He caught 14 touchdowns in 15 games and averaged an absurd 19.3 yards per reception. Tagovailoa, meanwhile, earned a 125.1 passer rating when throwing to his top target.
College football is ripe with talented receivers, but Jeudy is far and away the best of the bunch. While his long touchdowns stand out, the Alabama star is more than just a deep threat - his advanced route-running skills and strong hands make him one of the most polished offensive players in the nation. If the Crimson Tide are to make another run at the national championship, Jeudy must be their catalyst.
Arguably college football's most productive skill position player over the last two seasons, Taylor is gunning for his third straight All-American selection in 2019. The speedy tailback ran for 2,194 yards on 307 carries (7.1 yards per touch) and scored 16 touchdowns a season ago en route to winning the Doak Walker Award, which honors the NCAA's top running back.
Taylor isn't your average bruising Wisconsin running back who receives plenty of help from the offensive line - his elite burst and elusiveness are his most notable traits. Taylor led the Big Ten with 61 runs of 10 or more yards in 2018, per PFF, and forced 67 missed tackles. There's little reason to believe he can't improve his game even further as a junior.
Perhaps the face of college football in 2019, Tagovailoa has known nothing but success since taking over as the Crimson Tide's starting quarterback. Tua has captured a national championship, SEC title, Walter Camp Award, Maxwell Award, and first-team All-American selection in two years at Alabama (just 15 starts). The lefty has ignited Nick Saban's offense to become one of the most potent in the nation, averaging 45.6 points and 522 yards per game.
There are many facets to Tagovailoa's game that makes him special. Tua is surgically accurate with the football, consistently throwing to the correct spot on crossing and in-breaking routes to help his speedy receivers rack up yards after the catch. The junior led the SEC with a 141.6 passer rating from a clean pocket, per PFF, and earned an impressive 111.0 rating with a defender in his face. With another year of starting experience and weapons aplenty, Tua is a safe bet to dominate college football once again.
The brightest star of the 2018 campaign comes in at No. 1 entering 2019. Lawrence was remarkable as a true freshman after taking over as Clemson's starter, leading the team to a dominant victory over Alabama in the national championship game. The young quarterback had a debut season unlike anything we've seen before, displaying poise, leadership, and fearlessness. Throwing for 674 yards, six touchdowns, and no interceptions against stingy Notre Dame and Alabama defenses in the College Football Playoff is a remarkable feat.
Dabo Swinney certainly didn't scale back the Tigers' offense for Lawrence once he replaced Kelly Bryant. The star pivot averaged a depth per target of 9.4 yards while tossing 30 touchdowns against four interceptions. His ability to deliver an accurate pass with elite touch at every level of the field is unique for a player his age. With such natural ability and only half a season of starting experience, it's scary to think just how good Lawrence will be as a sophomore and beyond. A complete player at just 19 years old, a Heisman and second national title are likely to enter his trophy case in the near future.