In college football there are a variety of contributors on a team. There are the workhorses who just bang away all game long with strength and consistency. You have linemen who are bruised and battered but never get the exposure.
Then there are the players that are simply electric. They are the home-run hitters who can turn any play into a touchdown.
College football has two freshmen that meet these criteria and have shown it several times this season. Those players are Clemson’s Sammy Watkins and Oregon’s De'Anthony Thomas.
Both players have adjusted to the college game with little resistance and have become a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators.
Thomas just put on a show for the ages in the Rose Bowl despite only touching the football six times. He had two rushes for 155 yards and two touchdowns and four receptions for 34 yards.
Altogether he had six touches for 189 yards on one of the biggest stages in college football.
For the season, Thomas had 1,200 yards of offense and 16 total touchdowns.
Watkins has put up some monster numbers as well at Clemson. With one game left to play this season, Watkins has caught 77 passes for 1,153 yards and 11 touchdowns.
To put that in perspective, former Georgia Bulldog and current Cincinnati Bengal A.J. Green never had 1,000 yards in a season, yet he was voted All-Pro as a rookie.
Watkins has had a reception of at least 42 yards in seven football games this season and has had more than 80 yards receiving in a game in eight of 12 games.
As you can tell by the stats, both players have had their share of success this season and have made multiple big plays. However, between the two, I believe the Thomas is the more electric player.
The reason I believe this is because of the different ways he can break a big play. Watkins is used in the rushing game and he has experienced mild success. However, you can put Thomas into so many different positions on the field.
Watkins has the potential to become the nation's top wide receiver but Thomas has a shot to become the nation's top player. Thomas has the potential to become a Reggie Bush-type playmaker, and that is very rare.
If LaMichael James heads for the NFL at the end of the season and Thomas becomes the feature back, be prepared for video game-type numbers.
In my opinion, both players are can’t-miss prospects. However, Thomas will likely end his career with a Heisman Trophy.
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