Southern Hospitality: the Top 5 College Football Players of 2008

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“Yes we can!” “It’s time for change!” “Boats and hoes!” All of these quotes were signs of major and equally important happenings in 2008. It was a year to remember, not only due to presidential elections and sophomoric comedy, but also because of unbelievable performances from an overflowing college football talent pool. It was crowded at the top in ’08, resulting in one of the closest Heisman votes in the history of the award. And here are the guys who made the decision so tough, the top five college football players of 2008…

5 Michael Crabtree – WR, Texas Tech

After a ridiculous freshman season in ‘07, Michael Crabtree became the clear focal point of defenses that played Texas Tech in 2008, and it pretty much didn’t matter at all. As a sophomore, Crabtree picked up right where he left off, leading the Big 12 in touchdown receptions and amassing 1,165 yards and 97 receptions despite a nagging ankle injury and all of the extra attention. He was a consensus All-American for second straight year, won the Biletnikoff Award, and placed 5th in the Heisman voting just behind his teammate and quarterback Graham Harrell. To sum up, even Michael Crabtree couldn’t believe how good he was in ‘08.

4 Graham Harrell – QB, Texas Tech

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In his senior season at Texas Tech, Graham Harrell led a proficient Red Raiders offense that has few peers in NCAA history. Harrell led the NCAA in completions, attempts, and yards, and led the Big 12 in touchdowns, throwing 45 while only getting picked 9 times. He became the first ever player in NCAA history to throw for more than 5,000 yards in multiple seasons, and would leave Tech as the all-time record holder for passing touchdowns. Harrell won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award, was 4th in the Heisman voting, and will forever be remembered as the quarterback who embodied coach Mike Leach’s pre-crazy offensive genius.

3 Tim Tebow – QB, Florida

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The Gators were a dominant force again in 2008, and Tim Tebow led the way. After having his name removed from Playboy’s Preseason All-American team because he’s a good Christian (and wishes to never be affiliated with anything that might be construed as fun), Tebow led Florida to a second BCS Championship in three years. Tebow was named the SEC Player of the Year, leading the conference in completion percentage, yards per attempt, passing touchdowns, and efficiency rating. He accounted for 3.419 total yards, passed for 30 touchdowns, ran for 12, and continued to lead the NCAA in not having sex.

2 Colt McCoy – QB, Texas

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When Colt McCoy’s parents named him, they guaranteed that he could only become one of three things: An 1860s sheriff, a porn star, or a Texas football icon. In case you’re unaware, he wound up being the third. McCoy was an absolute star for the Longhorns in ’08, leading the NCAA in completion percentage, while passing for 3,859 yards, 34 touchdowns, and allowing just 8 interceptions. He even ran for 11 touchdowns and led the team in rushing the year after star back Jamaal Charles left for the NFL. He led Texas to a 12-1 record, was a consensus All-American, and missed out on the Heisman by just over 100 votes.

1 Sam Bradford – QB, Oklahoma

In his sophomore season, Sam Bradford led an Oklahoma offensive machine that would become the first team ever to score 60+ points in five straight games and set the mark for most points ever scored in a season. The Sooners went 12-0 in the regular season, and Bradford became just the second sophomore ever to win the Heisman, leading the NCAA in passer efficiency and touchdowns (50). Despite Bradford’s monster year, a ten-point loss to Florida in the National Championship eventually prompted the highly touted quarterback to forego the draft and return to Oklahoma in 2009… SPOILER ALERT: It didn’t work out.

Honorable Mention

Well, that about does it. Unless of course you think that someone unjustly missed out on inclusion in this illustrious list. What’s that you say? Michael Oher deserved a spot? Come on, didn’t that guy get enough credit with that Sandra Bullock movie? Besides, you try coming up with humorous asides about offensive linemen. It’s impossible. But, you’re welcome to try…

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