The 2010 season was one defined by superior athletes and highlight reel plays. Oh, and it was also the year that the record for most career points by a kicker was set. But no one cares about that. Literally, no one. Not even the guy who set it. Anyway… here are the top five players of the 2010 college football season…
5 Denard Robinson – QB, Michigan
A Michigan program in flux struck gold when they elected to start #16 in 2010. Denard Robinson, a two-sport speedster, led the Big 10 in total offense and rushing yards as a quarterback. Sure, some of his passes looked like they were thrown from a moving car, but what Robinson lacked in throwing fundamentals he made up for with sheer effort and blazing speed. At season’s end he had set the all-time conference mark for total offense with 4,272 yards and accounted for 32 Wolverine touchdowns. He was named the Big 10 Offensive Player of the Year and voted most likely to smile all the way to the end zone.
4 Von Miller – LB, Texas A&M
Von Miller missed half of 2010 with a high ankle sprain, and he still made this list. That’s a hell of a season. Coming off an NCAA-leading 17-sack year in 2009, Miller kept his ridiculous pace going, posting 10.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for a loss in just six games in 2010. He added 68 tackles, was named a consensus All-American, and won the Butkus Award for the nation’s top linebacker. Basically, this dude did more in half a senior season than most accomplish in their whole career, and it was plenty to convince the Broncos to take him 2nd overall in spite of legitimate concerns about his health and fashion sense.
3 LaMichael James – RB, Oregon
Little known fact, when loosely translated, “LaMichael” is actually Native American for “Touchdown machine” (or Spanish for “The Michael”). After missing the opener due to suspension, James more than lived up to his name over the course of the 2010 season, leading the nation in rushing yards and touchdowns, and leading the 12-0 Ducks to the BCS title game where they lost to Auburn on a last minute field goal. He finished third in the Heisman voting, was a consensus All-American, and took home the Doak Walker Award for the nation’s best running back.
2 Andrew Luck – QB, Stanford
Luck led Stanford to a 12-1 record while leading the nation in completion percentage, passing yards, touchdowns and passer efficiency, and setting new all-time marks for Stanford in touchdowns and total offense. He took home the Pac-10 Player of the Year Award, and finished second in the Heisman voting in a monster season that had many NFL scouts salivating, but Luck would eventually pass on the draft and make them wait one more year. We assume because he wanted another chance to gracefully lose the Heisman to a mobile quarterback. But if there’s one thing we can say about the guy, he’s one hell of a runner up.
1 Cam Newton – QB, Auburn
After a two-year stint at Florida that ended with him throwing a stolen laptop out a window and then transferring (seriously, that happened), and a year playing Juco ball, Cam Newton was the number one ranked quarterback as he re-entered Division 1 in 2010. Luckily for Auburn fans, Newton was done with stealing Macbooks, but was just getting started with scoring touchdowns. On top of passing for nearly 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns, the fleet-footed QB added 21 more trips to the endzone and 1,500 yards as a rusher/receiver. He led the Tigers to their first National Championship and rightfully ran away with the Heisman on his way to declaring for the NFL Draft.