This is a new section here at RZR. Each week (hopefully, at least) we’re going to take a look at the top five players at each position in college football for the 2010 season. Feel free to let us know what you think.
- Ryan Mallett, ArkansasThe former Michigan Wolverine transferred Arkansas and is thriving in Bobby Petrino’s system. Mallett completed over 55 percent of his passes in 2009 with 30 touchdowns. He threw just seven interceptions. At 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds, Mallet is as big as most tight ends. While he’s not going to remind anyone of Pat White athletically, he’s deceptively quick. Look for Mallet to put up huge numbers this season and be a first round NFL draft pick.
- Andrew Luck, StanfordAndrew Luck is an early Heisman Trophy candidate. Last season on The Farm, Luck threw for over 2,500 yards with just four interceptions. This season, without Toby Gerhart, Luck is poised for a breakout season. Jim Harbaugh has The Cardinal on the cusp of taking over the Pac-10, especially with the recent troubles experienced by USC.
- Nick Foles, ArizonaFoles is blessed with excellent size (6-foot-5, 235 pounds) and a rocket arm. He has also shown the ability to distribute the football amongst his teammates (six different Wildcats had over 20 receptions in 2009; three of which had over 40 catches). The Michigan State transfer appears to have made the right move in transferring to the desert. If he can stay healthy and remain poised, Foles could have a Heisman-worthy season.
- Landry Jones, OklahomaLandry Jones was never supposed to play last season. Jones looked rough in the Red River Rivalry, but quickly showed poise and an excellent arm. Jones ended up passing for nearly 3,200 yards in 200i with 26 touchdowns. He also completed an eye-opening 58.1 percent of his more than 400 attempts. Six different Sooners caught more than 20 balls, with Ryan Broyles leading the way with 76 receptions. If Jones stays healthy, he will be the next Sooner superstar under center.
- Andy Dalton, TCUA dark horse candidate for any top five list, Dalton is a quality quarterback for the Horned Frogs. Dalton completed 61 percent of his passes with 23 touchdowns in 2009. The fifth-year senior doesn’t have the strongest arm in college football, but he’s extremely accurate and a good athlete. Dalton and his teammates have positioned themselves as the best team in the state of Texas for 2010. Look for Dalton to complete more than 65 percent of his passes in 2010 and throw for well over 300 yards. He also could be an under the radar Heisman Trophy candidate.
Best of the Rest: Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State- Pryor is an amazing athlete with a rocket arm. But, his mechanics are poor and he’s prone to bad decisions. His team always has the ability to win any game he’s in, but, also could lose just as easily because of his decisions.Greg McElroy, Alabama- McElroy was expected to be the Tide’s version of Trent Dilfer: Turn around, give the ball to your running backs and don’t screw up. But, McElroy is better than that. With weapons like Julio Jones and Darius Hanks at receiver, McElroy could end up being one of the top five signal callers in the nation.
Dark Horse: Robert Griffin, Baylor- Baylor is an extremely gifted athlete coming off an ACL tear suffered early in 2009. As a true freshman in 2008, Baylor threw just three interceptions against 15 touchdowns. He completed nearly 60 percent of his passes and threw for over 2,000 yards. As if that wasn’t enough, he was also one of his team’s leading rushers with 843 yards on the ground. If Griffin can return to form, he could make the team competitive and make the rest of the country forget about that other dual-threat quarterback from Columbus.