College football moves at a breakneck pace with new talents cropping up and being snapped up in the draft season after season. Last year was no exception as the usual assortment of standout performers graced the college football schedule and delivered a mesmerizing show of skill, athleticism and impact on the field.
In preparation for the next season of college football coming up in August, here’s a rundown below of our top picks for the best stars of college football for the 2022 season.
Will Anderson Jr
As ESPN’s number one pick for best college football player of 2022 and former Freshman of the Year, Will Anderson Jr. has had an incredible impact on Alabama’s defense. His record from 2021 is outstanding — he led the country in both sacks and tackles for loss, earning him the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. That kind of season is hard to top, but Anderson Jr. still packs a punch and is a highly regarded prospect.
You can’t coach size, and at 310 pounds, Jalen Carter can back up his immense presence on the field with exceptional talent and instinctual play. His defensive tackles are among the best we’ve seen in this era, and he breaks the mold as an interior defender by dominating against both the run and the pass. His talent is set to grow, and there’s no question he’s already indispensable to the Georgia Bulldogs.
Another stand-out player from Alabama Crimson Tide, Bryce Young is a star quarterback with a Heisman Trophy under his belt and a school record for touchdowns in 2021. Even if he hasn’t hit quite the same heights this year, Young continues to impress with 36 touchdowns and his usual athletic presence and agility. You can rely on Young to make any throw the team needs, and to make it like a player with far more experience than he has.
Bijan Robinson, running back for the Texas Longhorns, is a standout talent drawing on his tackle-breaking and his ability to create space. He earned 1,127 yards run and 5.8 yards per carry last season, which was enough to put him in the running for the Heisman award, no matter the elbow injury that took him out of the last two games.
Stroud is a dynamic quarterback bringing outstanding talent to the Ohio State offense. Placing as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy two years running, Stroud’s outstanding stats should say it all for him.
He leads the nation in passer rating, bringing home over 40 touchdowns and 3,600 passing yards for the second season in a row. He’s not won big with Ohio State yet, but there’s absolutely no question that the shortcoming is unrelated to Stroud’s domineering performance on the field.
Playing for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, tight end Michael Mayer is a prime contender for the Mackey Award as he finishes up his final college season. From the beginning, his dominance has been unquestionable. He has 113 receptions for 1,290 yards and nine touchdowns under his belt, just within two seasons. It’d be easy to argue that Mayer is the best tight end in the country as his run-blocking game keeps great time with his outstanding passing.
Wide receiver for the USC Trojans Jordan Addison might not have quite pulled out the same game that snagged him the Biletnikoff Award in 2021, but he’s still delivering games alongside some of the best wide receivers in college football. Teaming up with another mention on this list, Caleb Williams, Addison led his team with a total of 875 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. It’s his exceptional route-breaks and body control that helps him carve out his big yardage and makes him such an outstanding name to watch out for in the upcoming draft picks.
Another tight end who deserves a mention is Georgia Bulldogs’ Brock Bowers. Bowers has staked a place for himself as one of the best players in his sophomore season, in addition to being one of the fastest and he leads the Bulldogs in all the big receiving categories.
Winner of the John Mackey Award, he’s elite in his passing and blocking and outstandingly agile for his huge build. He’s definitely one to watch out for as he comes into his second season next year.