Predicting Each College Football Team's Offensive and Defensive MVP for 2013

Alex CallosCorrespondent IAugust 20, 2013

Predicting Each College Football Team's Offensive and Defensive MVP for 2013

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    From Jadeveon Clowney to Teddy Bridgewater, some players stand out more than others as the offensive or defensive MVP for their respective teams.

    While the MVP on either side of the ball for a particular team is not necessarily the best player on the roster, that certainly does not hurt.

    The college football season is just over a week away. Depth charts are virtually set, and teams are preparing for their season openers next week.

    Before the season begins, let's look at each FBS team to decipher who will be the offensive and defensive MVP during the 2013 season.

Air Force Falcons

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    Offensive MVP: QB Kale Pearson

    Pearson has huge shoes to fill, stepping in for the departed Connor Dietz. The junior only threw for 128 yards with four interceptions and no touchdowns in limited actions last season. 

    Everybody knows Air Force is a team that enjoys running the football, and Pearson certainly fits that mold. He is a very intelligent quarterback who should do well over the next two seasons with the Falcons. The success of the team is certainly going to be on his shoulders this year. 

     

    Defensive MVP: S Christian Spears

    The secondary is certainly the strength of the Air Force defense. The group is led by junior safety Christian Spears.

    Spears is the leading returning tackler with 91 stops a season ago. He has the ability to have huge games on any given night and gives the Falcons an intimidation factor in the secondary.

Akron Zips

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    Offensive MVP: RB Jawon Chisholm

    The offense appears to be the strength of the Zips. Leading the way for that offense is junior running back Jawon Chrisholm. As a sophomore he rushed for 953 yards and five touchdowns on 180 carries, despite the Zips trailing in virtually every contest.

    Look for much bigger numbers from Chisholm this season, as the Zips should be slightly improved in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Justin March

    Defense is certainly the weakness of the team, as the unit gave up nearly 36 points a game last season.

    No returning player made more tackles than the 62 March posted a season ago. He will be counted on even more in 2013. The defense needs to make improvements. It all starts in the middle with this run-stopper.

Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Offensive MVP: A.J. McCarron

    There are certainly more talented players on the Alabama offense, but the most important is without question senior quarterback A.J. McCarron. He was a stud last season and will almost certainly be in the Heisman conversation in 2013.

    Last year McCarron passed for 2,933 yards with 30 touchdowns and only three interceptions.

    While there is a wealth of talent around him, McCarron is one of the best in the business at his position.

     

    Defensive MVP: C.J. Mosley

    The best all-around player on the Crimson Tide might just be senior linebacker C.J. Mosley. He led the team last season with 107 tackles. Mosley also totaled two interceptions, four sacks and eight tackles for loss.

    He is the emotional leader of a very talented defense. If Alabama is going to pull of the three-peat and win another national championship, it is going to need another huge season from its senior leader on defense.

Arizona Wildcats

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    Offensive MVP: RB Ka'Deem Carey

    Ka'Deem Carey led the nation last season in rushing yards with 1,929 on 303 attempts. Throw in 23 touchdowns and he had a remarkable year.

    This year he will be counted on even more with the injury to star wide receiver Austin Hill and the graduation of quarterback Matt Scott. There is a chance that Karey could carry the ball even more this year than he did in 2012.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Jake Fischer

    There are some talented linebackers leading the way on defense for the Wildcats, but topping the list is last season's top tackler, Jake Fischer.

    Fischer came up with 119 stops in 2013. He also had three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and 6.5 tackles for loss. Even though he is undersized, he packs a big punch for the Arizona defense.

Arizona State Sun Devils

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    Offensive MVP: QB Taylor Kelly

    There are two studs coming back on offense for Arizona State. Running back Marion Grice will be solid, but the leader of the team will be quarterback Taylor Kelly.

    Last season Kelly passed for over 3,000 yards with 29 touchdowns and nine picks. He will be counted on even more this season with another year of experience under his belt.

     

    Defensive MVP: DT Will Sutton

    There is little doubt who the best player on the roster is. Defensive tackle Will Sutton might be the most intimidating player on the team and is also one of the best defensive players in the nation.

    Last season Sutton had 63 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks from his defensive tackle position. Those are some remarkable numbers, and he certainly shocked fans when he returned for his senior season.

    Look for another huge year from this guy in 2013.

Arkansas Razorbacks

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    Offensive MVP: C Travis Swanson

    There is not a lot coming back for Arkansas as far as skill players are concerned. That makes the play of senior center Travis Swanson that much more important. 

    He will be entering his fourth season as a starter and was a Second Team All-SEC performer a year ago. Swanson will be counted on heavily to protect the quarterback and help open up holes for the running game in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Chris Smith

    The defensive line is certainly the strength of the Arkansas defense. Leading the way is senior end Chris Smith.

    Last season Smith recorded 9.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss and 12 quarterback hurries. Throw in his 52 tackles, and this pass-rusher put together an excellent 2012 campaign.

Arkansas State Red Wolves

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    Offensive MVP: RB David Oku

    There is little question who will be the go-to guy on offense for the Red Wolves. Last season running back David Oku totaled 1,061 yards and 16 touchdowns on 243 carries as a junior.

    He also doubles as a kick returner. With star quarterback Ryan Aplin having moved on, Oku will be counted on even more this season.

     

    Defensive MVP: DT Ryan Carrethers

    It all starts up front for the Arkansas State defense, more specifically in the middle. Large defensive tackle Ryan Carrethers is a space-eater in the middle of the line for the Red Wolves.

    Last season he totaled 68 tackles, while playing excellent in the middle all season long. There are very few run-stoppers in the Sun Belt as talented as Carrethers.

Army Black Knights

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    Offensive MVP: RB Raymond Maples

    Army is another team that loves to run the football. Last season the Black Knights were led by running back Raymond Maples.

    Maples totaled 1,215 yards and two touchdowns on 223 carries last season. Expect even better numbers in 2013 with another year of experience under his belt.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Geoffrey Bacon

    When it comes to tackling machines, there are few better than free safety Geoffrey Bacon of the Black Knights.

    Last year he finished the season with 136 tackles. That was easily first on the team for this rising junior.

Auburn Tigers

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    Offensive MVP: RB Tre Mason

    Auburn is going to concentrate heavily on the running game this season, led by junior Tre Mason. Last season Mason rushed for 1,002 yards and eight touchdowns on only 171 carries.

    Expect much better numbers in 2013 from this guy, as he is going to receive the bulk of the carries for the Tigers.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Dee Ford

    The Auburn defense should be solid up front, led by end Dee Ford. Last season he led the team with six sacks and also posted 6.5 tackles for loss with 34 total stops.

    Those are not spectacular numbers, but he will be the MVP of this defense in 2013.

Ball State Cardinals

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    Offensive MVP: QB Keith Wenning

    The Ball State offense is without question the strength of this team. Last season the group averaged nearly 34 points a game.

    Leading the way for that offense is quarterback Keith Wenning. Wenning passed for 3,095 yards with 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions a season ago. Look for even better numbers in 2013 from this senior signal-caller.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Jonathan Newsome

    The defensive side of the ball is a completely different story for the Cardinals. Last year the group allowed 32 points a game, ranking 94th in the nation. 

    One strength of that group is senior end Jonathan Newsome. Newsome recorded 52 stops last season with 8.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. Look for him to improve on those numbers in 2013.

Baylor Bears

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    Offensive MVP: RB Lache Seastrunk

    While guard Cyril Richardson might be the most talented player on offense for the Bears, the slight edge here for MVP goes to explosive running back Lache Seastrunk.

    Seastrunk totaled 1,012 yards and seven touchdowns on only 131 carries a season ago. He has the ability to score from anywhere on the field. No question he is one of the most entertaining players in the country to watch.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Bryce Hager

    Defense has not been a strength for the Bears in recent years. One bright spot on that side of the ball is linebacker Bryce Hager.

    Hager led the team with 124 tackles a year ago. He also posted four sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss, along with two forced fumbles.

    He will need to post even better numbers for Baylor to improve on last season.

Boise State Broncos

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    Offensive MVP: WR Matt Miller

    The Boise State offense might not be as strong this season as it has been in years past, but it should still be a very solid group.

    Leading the way on that offense is wide receiver Matt Miller. He caught 66 passes for 769 yards and five touchdowns last season. He is one of the only targets for quarterback Joe Southwick.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Demarcus Lawrence

    The Broncos always seem to be strong on defense. The 2013 season should not be any different. The best player on that side of the ball is end Demarcus Lawrence.

    Lawrence was the team leader last season in sacks with 9.5, tackles for loss with 13.5 and also total tackles with 48. He has an excellent combination of size and speed to beat anybody off the edge.

Boston College Eagles

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    Offensive MVP: WR Alex Amidon

    Many people probably do not know who Alex Amidon is, but the wide receiver finished last season with 1,210 yards and seven touchdowns on 78 grabs.

    Those are huge numbers for a team that struggled mightily on the offensive side of the ball last season. quarterback Chase Rettig returns to give the Eagles someone to get Amidon the ball.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Kevin Pierre-Louis

    Despite missing significant action with injuries last season, linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis still finished fourth on the team with 85 tackles.

    The Eagles always produce very talented linebackers. This guy is the latest. Look for a huge season from Pierre-Louis if he can just stay on the field and free of injury.

Bowling Green Falcons

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    Offensive MVP: QB Matt Schilz

    Matt Schilz is just another of the very talented quarterbacks who can be found throughout the MAC.

    Last season he passed for 2,585 yards with 14 scores and 12 interceptions. Look for those numbers to improve immensely in 2013 during his senior season and fourth year under center for the Falcons

     

    Defensive MVP: S BooBoo Gates

    Certainly one of the best names in the country, this Bowling Green safety had 47 tackles last season with two interceptions.

    He is also where the action is. Even though Gates had a down year in 2012, expect him to play more like he did during his 2011 sophomore season.

Buffalo Bulls

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    Offensive MVP: RB Brandon Oliver

    Buffalo did make some significant improvements last season. If the Bulls are going to get over the hump and contend for a bowl berth, running back Brandon Oliver will need to have another huge season.

    Last year as a junior, he rushed for 821 yards and five touchdowns on 148 carries. Going over the 1,000-yard mark should not be an issue if he can stay healthy.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Khalil Mack

    Last season, linebacker Khalil Mack led the team with 94 tackles. While that is solid number, what is even more impressive is the 21 tackles for loss he posted, along with the eight sacks.

    There might not be a pass-rusher in the MAC more dominant than this guy.

BYU Cougars

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    Offensive MVP: WR Cody Hoffman

    Last season BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman proved why he was one of the top receivers in the country.

    He caught 100 passes for 1,248 yards and 11 scores. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall certainly had to be excited to get this guy back in the fold for the 2013 season.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Kyle Van Noy

    This is a player who has the ability to be an All-American once again this year. Last year, Van Noy put together a monster season, totaling 13 sacks, 22 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles and 53 total tackles.

    He will anchor yet another very talented BYU defense in 2013.

     

California Golden Bears

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    Offensive MVP: RB Brendan Bigelow

    The Cal Bears lost a lot of talent from last season, particularly at the skill positions. One player who should be solid is running back Brendan Bigelow.

    Bigelow is the leading returning rusher. Last season he totaled 431 yards and three touchdowns on only 44 carries. Those numbers should go up drastically as he will get the bulk of the carries in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: NT Deandre Coleman

    This guy is the anchor along the defensive line. Last season he totaled 48 tackles with three sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss.

    He is one of the best tackles in the entire Pac-12 and will be a force in the middle all season long for the Golden Bears.

Central Florida Knights

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    Offensive MVP: QB Blake Bortles

    The success of Central Florida in 2013 will likely come down to the play of junior quarterback Blake Bortles. Bortles passed for 3,059 yards last season, with 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

    He has a chance to be one of the top quarterbacks in the American Athletic Conference. There are not many players with more talent in the league than Bortles. If he can put everything together, it could be a very successful season for the Knights.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Terrance Plummer

    The star of the defense is linebacker Terrance Plummer. Last year Plummer was third on the team with 108 tackles. He also totaled seven tackles for loss.

    On a lot of college football teams, the most important player on defense is the middle linebacker. That is certainly the case for Central Florida in 2013.

Central Michigan Chippewas

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    Offensive MVP: RB Zurlon Tipton

    Central Michigan was a solid MAC bowl team last season. Leading the way was running back Zurlon Tipton.

    The star rushed for 1,531 yards and 19 scores on 252 carries. Those are very impressive numbers and helped the Chippewas reach a bowl game in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Shamari Benton

    Senior Shamari Benton is a tackling machine. Last season he was second on the roster with 126 stops. That is an incredible number and one that could even be improved upon in 2013.

    He had a few big games last season for a team that came on strong at the end of the year.

Cincinnati Bearcats

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    Offensive MVP: RB Ralph David Abernathy IV

    There are a few new faces on offense this season for the Cincinnati Bearcats, but one player who will see significantly more action is speedy running back Ralph David Abernathy IV.

    Last season he showed he can be a threat on the ground and catching passes out of the backfield. He will now be the go-to guy on offense for the Bearcats.

    Abernathy is also one of the most explosive kick returners in the country.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Greg Blair

    There is no question who the anchor of this defense is. Linebacker Greg Blair led the team with 138 tackles last season. 

    With another year under his belt, this experienced senior could be one of the top tacklers in the entire country. He is quick to the ball and does not miss a tackle in the open field. 

Clemson Tigers

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    Offensive MVP: QB Tajh Boyd

    Clemson has two extremely talented players on offense. One of those is senior quarterback Tajh Boyd.

    Last year Boyd passed for 3,896 yards with 36 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He is also the leading returning rusher on the squad. Last year he carried the ball 186 times for 514 yards and 10 touchdowns.

    There are not many quarterbacks in the country who can take a hit quite like Boyd. He is fearless in the pocket and one of the best players in the nation.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Vic Beasley

    Even though he did not start a game in 2012, end Vic Beasley led the team with eight sacks. That is a remarkable number, but not something that is unheard of in this day and age.

    Beasley is one of those rare athletes who have the ability to get to the quarterback in a hurry. He will step into a starting role this season and could be an all-conference performer.

Colorado Buffaloes

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    Offensive MVP: WR Paul Richardson

    The Colorado offense struggled big-time last season, but part of the reason for that was the injury to wide receiver Paul Richardson.

    He missed all of last year with an ACL tear. That came a season after catching 73 passes for 1,069 yards and 11 touchdowns. Expect similar numbers in 2013 from Richardson as the Buffaloes offense should be dramatically improved.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Chidera Uzo-Diribe

    This is a guy who has an immense amount of talent. Last season he finished the year with 43 tackles, seven sacks and 10 tackles for loss.

    He was one of the few bright spots on a Colorado defense that had trouble stopping anybody a year ago.

Colorado State Rams

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    Offensive MVP: RB Donnell Alexander

    Colorado State does not have a ton of talent coming back on the offensive side of the ball, but one player who appears ready to carry the load this season is sophomore running back Donnell Alexander.

    Alexander rushed for 587 yards and four touchdowns on 117 carries a year ago. He will get plenty more this season, as he will be the featured back on the Colorado State offense.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Shaquil Barrett

    As the only returning starter on the front seven, Barrett finished the season with 67 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

    He is one of a few players with experience on that side of the ball. Look for him to improve on those numbers as the Rams defense might struggle in the process.

Connecticut Huskies

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    Offensive MVP: RB Lyle McCombs

    Even though he struggled last season, junior running back Lyle McCombs is easily the top offensive player on the Huskies roster.

    He totaled 860 yards and six touchdowns on 243 carries. Those numbers were nowhere close to what he posted as a freshman, but he will be much improved this year.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Yawin Smallwood

    Without question, the best player on the Connecticut roster is linebacker Yawin Smallwood. Smallwood led the team with 120 tackles last season. He also had 15 tackles for loss, four sacks, four passes defensed and two forced fumbles. 

    No doubt, he is one of the best linebackers in the new American Athletic Conference. 

     

Duke Blue Devils

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    Offensive MVP: WR Jamison Crowder

    Duke has some very talented offensive players to replace, but wide receiver Jamison Cowder is easily the best returning player on that side of the ball.

    Last year he caught 76 balls for 1,074 yards and eight touchdowns. While he will have a new quarterback throwing him the ball, those numbers should still be MVP-worthy in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: CB Ross Cockrell

    The Blue Devils struggled last season on defense, but one bright spot was cornerback Ross Cockrell. The senior was a First Team All-ACC selection last year.

    He might be one of the most underrated defensive players not only in the ACC, but the entire country as well.

    Last year he totaled 71 tackles with five interceptions, 13 passes defensed and two touchdowns.

East Carolina Pirates

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    Offensive MVP: QB Shane Carden

    While wide receiver Justin Hardy might be the best offensive player for East Carolina, quarterback Shane Carden is without question the MVP.

    Last year Carden passed for 3,116 yards with 23 touchdowns and 10 picks. If he improves in 2013 like he did in 2012, this could be a huge year for the East Carolina signal-caller.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Derrell Johnson

    Defense is not a strength for a lot of teams in Conference USA, and East Carolina is certainly one of them.

    One bright spot on that side of the ball is linebacker Derrell Johnson. The converted end finished last season with 62 stops and 11 tackles for loss to go along with a team-high seven sacks.

Eastern Michigan Eagles

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    Offensive MVP: QB Tyler Benz

    Benz is another player who might not be the most talented on the roster but is more important than anybody else.

    Last year he only totaled 1,511 yards with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Those are numbers that he must improve upon, but with the talent coming back on offense, Benz will be much improved this season for the Eagles.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Donald Coleman

    Even though he is not in on every snap, this safety will be the key to the defense this season. Last year he finished the season second on the team with 88 tackles. 

    This year he will be counted on even more with the amount of talent lost on that side of the ball. Look for a 100-tackle season from Coleman. 

Florida Gators

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    Offensive MVP: WR Loucheiz Purifoy

    There are not many athletes in the country quite like Louchiez Purifoy. The cornerback is moving to offense this season. He will actually play both ways for most of the season.

    With the lack of talent on that side of the ball for the Gators, he will be one of the most explosive players in the country on that side of the ball.

    Purifoy is a bit of a wild card, but he may have a huge season on both sides of the ball for the Gators.

     

    Defensive MVP: DT Dominique Easley

    Defensive tackle Dominique Easley has the ability to play both end and tackle along the Florida defensive line.

    He totaled 26 tackles with four sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss last season from the end position. He will move inside this season now that Shariff Floyd has moved on to the Minnesota Vikings.

    The Gators defense will be excellent this season, and Easley will be a huge reason for that.

Florida Atlantic Owls

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    Offensive MVP: WR William Dukes

    Florida Atlantic is losing some key talent on offense, but one player coming back is wide receiver William Dukes.

    Last season Duke caught 63 passes for 979 yards and four touchdowns. Those numbers might not be quite as good with a new quarterback, but he is without question the most valuable player on that side of the ball for the Owls.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Andrae Kirk

    The Florida Atlantic defense has a few talented linebackers. The best of the bunch is junior Andrae Kirk.

    Last season Kirk was fourth on the team with 70 tackles. He is blessed with more potential than any player on that side of the ball for the Owls, as his combination of size and speed is excellent.

Florida International Golden Panthers

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    Offensive MVP: QB Jake Medlock

    Even though he missed a few games last season, junior Jake Medlock still managed to put together an excellent 2012 season. 

    He finished the year with 2,127 yards and 13 touchdowns, along with only two interceptions. There is no doubt that he is the MVP and leader of this offense.

     

    Defensive MVP: CB Richard Leonard

    There might not be a better true athlete on the team than this guy. He has excellent speed with the ability to make plays all over the field. 

    Last season he finished with 55 tackles and seven passes defensed, as he came on strong at the end of the year. 

Florida State Seminoles

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    Offensive MVP: WR Rashad Greene

    There is a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball for the Seminoles, but topping the list is wide receiver Rashad Greene.

    Last season Green caught 57 passes for 741 yards and six touchdowns. He joins a pair of talented running backs and a freshman quarterback with a wealth of potential in Jameis Winston.

    Look for the Seminoles offense to have plenty of big games in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: CB Lamarcus Joyner

    Considering the fact that Florida State lost an NFL defensive line, the Seminoles defense will still be one of the best in the country on the defensive side of the ball in 2013, as there is plenty of talent coming back.

    At the top of that talent is cornerback Lamarcus Joyner. Joyner played mostly safety last season but will be moving to corner in 2013. He finished the year with 51 tackles and was an All-ACC First Team selection.

Fresno State Bulldogs

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    Offensive MVP: QB Derek Carr

    Carr is not only the best player on Fresno State, but he is also one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. The senior leader was a stud last season and should be even better in 2013, with some of his top targets back.

    A year ago Carr passed for 4,104 yards with 37 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Those are mighty impressive numbers from anybody.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Derron Smith

    With six interceptions last season, it is easy to see that safety Derron Smith is some kind of ball hawk. He also totaled 79 tackles a year ago as well. 

    Look for those numbers to improve this season, as he will once again prove to be one of the top safeties in the Mountain West Conference.

Georgia Bulldogs

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    Offensive MVP: QB Aaron Murray

    The Georgia offense has two very talented running backs, but the man in charge is fifth-year quarterback Aaron Murray.

    Murray is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Last year he passed for 3,893 yards and 36 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions.

    He will be the key to the season for the Bulldogs. If they plan on playing for a national championship, he is going to have to play better in the big games.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Jordan Jenkins

    Georgia lost a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball from last season, but one player coming back is linebacker Jordan Jenkins.

    Last season as a freshman, Jenkins finished the year with 31 tackles and was second on the team with five sacks. Those are not huge numbers, but he did manage 23 quarterback pressures.

    He could have a breakout season for the Bulldogs in 2013.

Georgia State Panthers

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    Offensive MVP: WR Albert Wilson

    Georgia State will be playing its first season at the FBS level in 2013. There are certainly going to be some growing pains, but wide receiver Albert Wilson should be able to help with that.

    He is the definition of a big-play threat. Last year he caught 48 passes for 947 yards and seven touchdowns. Expect similar numbers out of this stud in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Joseph Peterson

    Leading the team in tackles is one thing, but doing it as a true freshman is certainly another.

    That was the case for linebacker Joseph Peterson. He finished the season with 65 stops. He could be an all-conference performer as early as this season.

     

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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    Offensive MVP: RB David Sims

    Georgia Tech has a lot to replace on offense, but one player the Yellow Jackets should be able to rely on is senior running back David Sims.

    Sims totaled 612 yards and four touchdowns on 135 carries last season. He will be one of a few guys getting the bulk of the touches for this offense in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Jeremiah Attaochu

    For the Yellow Jackets, it all starts with defense. That defense begins up front with end Jeremiah Attaochu.

    Last year Attaochu finished the season with 69 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. Those are outstanding numbers for a guy built with NFL size.

    Expect him to be even better this season.

Hawaii Warriors

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    Offensive MVP: QB Taylor Graham

    Graham is an Ohio State transfer who should fit Norm Chow's system perfectly. He did not play last season, sitting out for a year but is without question the most valuable player on an offense that was not very good last season.

    He has played hardly any collegiate snaps, but he comes in as the most important player on this offense in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Marrell Jackson

    As a freshman in 2012, safety Marrell Jackson made a name for himself on the Hawaii defense. He led the team with 56 tackles and also had five passes defensed.

    There is little question that he will develop into the leader of this defense and could be the best player on the team as early as this season.

Houston Cougars

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    Offensive MVP: WR Deontay Greenberry

    The transfer of star running back Charles Sims certainly put a damper on the Houston offense. Stepping into that role as the MVP of the group will be sophomore wide receiver Deontay Greenberry.

    Last season as a freshman, he finished the year with 569 yards and three touchdowns on 47 catches. His combination of size and speed make him a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Derrick Mathews

    There are not many linebackers in the country faster than this guy. Last year Mathews finished the season with 126 tackles, ranking second on the team.

    He also posted 17 tackles for loss, six sacks, five passes defensed and two forced fumbles. Not a bad season for the defensive leader of this squad.

Idaho Vandals

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    Offensive MVP: WR Najee Lovett

    Idaho is another team on the list who has not been very successful the past few seasons. With that being said, one bright spot on offense has been wide receiver Najee Lovett.

    Last year as a junior, Lovett hauled in 46 catches for 538 yards and six scores. He is the best target and most talented player on the offensive side of the ball for the Vandals.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Maxx Forde

    End Maxx Forde had a strong sophomore season in 2012, totaling four sacks and 37 tackles. That sack number tied for the team lead. 

    He will likely improve on that with another year of experience under his belt heading into the 2013 season. 

Illinois Fighting Illini

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    Offensive MVP: QB Nathan Scheelhaase

    There is not a lot coming back on offense for an Illinois team that only managed to win two games last season.

    Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase has a wealth of potential but will need to live up to that this season.

    Last year he finished the season with only 1,361 yards and four touchdowns along with eight picks. Those numbers will need to improve in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Jonathan Brown

    On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Jonathan Brown is the star. Last season he totaled only 59 tackles but was suffering through a leg injury. 

    In 2011 he had 108 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. 

    If he can stay healthy and get back to those numbers, it could be an excellent season for this senior linebacker. 

Indiana Hoosiers

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    Offensive MVP: RB Stephen Houston

    The talent for the Hoosiers can mostly be found on the offensive side of the ball. Leading the way from that group is senior running back Stephen Houston.

    Last season Houston rushed for 749 yards and 12 touchdowns on only 161 carries. He will likely play a larger part in the offense this season.

    That will certainly be a good thing.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Greg Heben

    Defense was certainly a struggle last year for Indiana. Senior safety Greg Heben led the team with 91 tackles in 2012. 

    He also totaled seven tackles for loss and 11 passes defensed. He will need to be even better for this group to improve in 2013. 

Iowa Hawkeyes

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    Offensive MVP: TE C.J. Fiedorowicz

    It is not often that a tight end is the most valuable player of an offense, but that is the case for the Iowa Hawkeyes. 

    Last season, during a year of struggles for his team, C.J. Fiedorowicz still managed to finish the season with 45 catches for 433 yards and a touchdown. He will likely lead the team in receptions and possibly yards this season.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB James Morris

    This middle linebacker is the anchor of what should should be a very talented group.

    Last season he totaled 113 tackles, nine tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Over the past two years, he has recorded 232 tackles. That is a very impressive number for anybody.

Iowa State Cyclones

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    Offensive MVP: RB James White

    Iowa State has some talented players coming back on offense. The name at the top of the list is running back James White. 

    He totaled 505 yards on only 99 carries with two touchdowns last season but will now get the bulk of the carries in 2013. Look for a huge season from this budding senior.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Jacques Washington

    The Cyclones lost a lot of talent from the defensive side of the ball, particularly at the linebacker position.

    One player returning is senior safety Jacques Washington. Washington was second on the team last year with 90 tackles. He also had three interceptions. No question, he is the best and most complete defensive player on the roster.

Kansas Jayhawks

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    Offensive MVP: RB James Sims

    Kansas was downright awful last season. One bright spot on the roster heading into 2013 is running back James Sims.

    Sims rushed for 1,013 yards and nine touchdowns on 218 carries last year. He will likely improve on those numbers in 2013. Look for this senior to be the star of the offense all year long.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Ben Heeney

    When it comes to tackling machines, this guy is near the top of the list. Last season, linebacker Ben Heeney finished with 112 tackles. He also had 12 tackles for loss and a sack.

    There is not a lot of talent on that side of the ball for the Jayhawks, but he is as consistent as they come. Expect another season filled with tackles for this junior in 2013.

Kansas State Wildcats

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    Offensive MVP: RB John Hubert

    With quarterback Collin Klein having graduated, the offense will now focus even more on the running game. The man who will get the bulk of the carries is running back John Hubert. 

    Last season Hubert was very effective, rushing for 947 yards and 15 touchdowns on 189 carries. He will likely even get more carries this season and put up huge numbers for the Wildcats.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Ty Zimmerman

    Zimmerman is the top returning player on the defensive side of the ball. Last year the safety recorded 50 tackles to go along with three tackles for loss and five interceptions. 

    The senior will be counted on heavily in 2013 with some key players from last season's defense having departed.

     

Kent State Golden Flashes

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    Offensive MVP: RB Dri Archer

    No question who the choice is for offensive MVP here. Dri Archer is one of the most explosive players in the country. He can do a little bit of everything with the ball in his hands.

    Last season Archer led the team with 1,429 yards rushing on 189 carries with 16 touchdowns. He also led the team in receiving. Archer caught 39 passes for 561 yards and four more scores.

    Did we mention he is a stud on special teams as well?

     

    Defensive MVP: DT Roosevelt Nix

    The anchor on the defensive side of the ball is the big man in the middle. Roosevelt Nix totaled 59 tackles with six sacks and 15 tackles for loss. He is not as tall as a lot of defensive tackles, but he is a force in the middle. 

    Look for another huge season out of this guy. If he can return to his form from a few years ago, he has the potential to be the MAC Defensive Player of the Year. 

Kentucky Wildcats

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    Offensive MVP: RB Raymond Sanders

    There is not a lot coming back on the offensive side of the ball for Kentucky. The Wildcats do return tiny senior running back Raymond Sanders.

    Last season he scampered for 669 yards and five touchdowns. He not only led the team in rushing but also caught 18 passes for 111 yards. Expect those numbers to rise drastically in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Alvin Dupree

    The defensive line is the strength for Kentucky. Leading the way up front is defensive end Alvin Dupree.

    Last season Dupree finished second on the team with 91 tackles. The converted tight end and linebacker also finished with 12.5 tackles for loss and six sacks.

    Those are not bad numbers for a guy who played offense a few seasons ago.

LSU Tigers

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    Offensive MVP: OT La'el Collins

    It is not often that an offensive lineman is the most valuable player of the team, but that is the case for LSU.

    The junior left tackle is perhaps the most NFL-ready player on the offensive side of the ball. He has moved around the line but already has 20 starts in his first two seasons.

     

    Defensive MVP: DT Anthony Johnson

    The Tigers lost more talent on defense than perhaps any team in the country. One player head coach Les Miles will count on as the season begins is defensive tackle Anthony Johnson. 

    The junior will now be the go-to guy on that side of the ball. Last season he was third on the team with 10 tackles for loss. He may have a huge season in 2013 for LSU.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

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    Offensive MVP: RB Kenneth Dixon

    Louisiana Tech was the best offensive team in the country last season when it came to points per game.

    With the amount of talent lost, that is not likely to be the case this season. One player coming back is running back Kenneth Dixon.

    Last season Dixon toted the rock 200 times, picking up 1.194 yards and an astounding 27 touchdowns. The senior will likely have even more touches this season.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE IK Enemkpali

    Defensive end IK Enemkpali will be entering his third season as a starter at defensive end. Last season he made 32 tackles with 7.5 tackles for loss and six sacks.

    He has as much potential as anybody on the roster. Expect a huge season from this guy, as he is relentless when it comes to getting to the quarterback.

Louisiana-Lafayett Ragin' Cajuns

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    Offensive MVP: QB Terrance Broadway

    Quarterback Terrance Broadway had a solid sophomore campaign in 2012. He passed for 2,842 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

    This season he should be able to improve on those numbers with another year of experience under his belt.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Christian Ringo

    On defense the leader of the Ragin' Cajuns is end Christian Ringo. Ringo only totaled 29 tackles, but 10.5 of those were tackles for loss. He also led the team with seven sacks.

    He is very versatile, having played tackle for most of last season. This year he will slide out to end and should post even better numbers.

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

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    Offensive MVP: QB Kolton Browning

    Kolton Browning is the epitome of a dual-threat quarterback. Last season he passed for 3,049 yards and 29 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 488 yards and seven touchdowns on 146 carries.

    He is one of the most important players to his team in the entire country. Not many teams rely on one player more than the Warhawks do on Browning.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Isaiah Newsome

    There is not a standout on the defensive side of the ball, but the most valuable returning player is safety Isaiah Newsome.

    Last season he totaled 57 tackles with nine passes defensed and four interceptions. He has excellent range and is all over the field all game long.

     

Louisville Cardinals

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    Offensive MVP: QB Teddy Bridgewater

    Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is a hot pick to win the Heisman in 2013. After his performance against Florida in the Sugar Bowl, he has become a national star.

    He did perform well in 2012. Bridgewater passed for 3,718 yards with 27 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. He also proved he could come up big when there is a lot on the line.

    This might be his last season at Louisville, and this team has a chance to win a national championship.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Hakeem Smith

    The Cardinals are blessed with a pair of talented safeties. At the top of the list is strong safety Hakeem Smith.

    Last season Smith finished the year with 73 tackles. He already has 245 during his three-year career.

    Louisville is going to be very difficult to throw the ball on, and Smith will be a large reason why.

Marshall Thundering Herd

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    Offensive MVP: QB Rakeem Cato

    Rakeem Cato might be one of the best pure passers in the entire country. Last season as a sophomore he passed for 4,201 yards and 37 touchdowns with only 11 picks.

    He will likely put up numbers similar to that in 2013, particularly with how much Marshall struggles on the defensive side of the ball.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Jeremiah Taylor

    Jeremiah Taylor finished the 2012 season with 54 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss. He also led the team with 5.5 sacks.

    This former walk-on has a wealth of potential and should continue to improve throughout the 2013 season.

Maryland Terrapins

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    Offensive MVP: WR Stefon Diggs

    When it comes to pure talent very few wide receivers have what sophomore Stefon Diggs does. Last season as a true freshman playing with five different quarterbacks Diggs still managed to catch 54 passes for 848 yards and six touchdowns.

    Imagine what he might be able to do this season with more consistency from the quarterback position.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Cole Farrand

    The leader of the team on the defensive side of the ball is linebacker Cole Farrand. Farrand is the leading returning tackler, having totaled 78 stops in 2013. He also came up with six tackles for loss and led the team with three forced fumbles.

    He has bulked up this season and is without question the emotional leader of this defense.

Massachusetts Minutemen

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    Offensive MVP: TE Rob Blanchflower

    UMass struggled during its first season at the FBS level in 2012. The Minutemen did have a few bright spots on offense. One of those was tight end Rob Blanchflower.

    He is one of the few returning playmakers on that side of the ball and will without question be the leader of the group.

    Last season he caught 43 passes for 464 yards and two touchdowns.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Kassan Messiah

    On defense the Minutemen will be much better than they will on offense. The leader of the group is linebacker Kassan Messiah.

    The sophomore finished last season with 65 tackles and a sack. Those are impressive numbers for anybody, let alone a freshman. He only played in nine games last season, so his numbers will go up big time in 2013.

Memphis Tigers

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    Offensive MVP: RB Brandon Hayes

    Memphis is not exactly one of the most talented teams in the country. One player coming back who should help on offense is running back Brandon Hayes. 

    Hayes finished the 2012 season with a team-high 576 yards and six touchdowns on only 118 carries. Imagine what he could do with a heavier workload. 

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Martin Ifedi

    Last season end Martin Ifedi virtually came out of nowhere to finish the year with 46 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and a team-leading 7.5 sacks.

    He has the potential to improve those numbers in a large way. If that is the case, he could be an all-conference performer in the American Athletic Conference.

Miami Hurricanes

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    Offensive MVP: QB Stephen Morris

    While running back Duke Johnson might be the best player on the Miami roster, quarterback Stephen Morris is certainly the most valuable. 

    Last season he passed for 3,345 yards with 21 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. The senior has really grown over the years. Look for a huge season from Morris and the Hurricanes. 

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Denzel Perryman

    On defense, there is no question who the most valuable player is. Last year linebacker Denzel Perryman finished second on the team with 64 tackles, six of those tackles for loss.

    He did all that despite missing three games due to injury. If he can stay healthy and on the field, this is a player who could make huge strides during his junior season.

Miami Redhawks

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    Offensive MVP: WR Dawan Scott

    Miami lost a ton of talent from last season on offense, including quarterback Zac Dysert to the NFL and star wide receiver Nick Harwell after he was kicked off the team.

    That leaves Dawan Scott as the top receiver coming back in 2013 and also the best offensive option. Last season he caught 57 passes for 851 yards and seven touchdowns. With a new quarterback under center, those numbers might drop slightly in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: CB Dayonne Nunley

    On the defensive side of the ball, cornerback Dayonne Nunley is the best option. He missed the end of last season with an injury but was excellent throughout the year.

    Last year he picked up 63 tackles with 11 passes defensed and three interceptions. He is also the punt returner for the Redhawks.

Michigan State Spartans

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    Offensive MVP: OT Fou Fonoti

    It is hard to pick an offensive MVP for the Spartans, but the honor goes to right tackle Fou Fonoti.

    He is the senior anchor on an offensive line that does not have a lot of skill position players around him. No question, this team will struggle on offense in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Max Bullough

    The best 10 players on the Michigan State roster might all be on the defensive side of the ball. Topping the list is linebacker Max Bullough.

    Last season he led the team with 111 tackles with 12.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He is not only one of the top linebackers in the Big Ten but also near the top in the country.

     

Michigan Wolverines

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    Offensive MVP: OT Taylor Lewan

    Michigan left tackle Taylor Lewan is one of the best players in the entire country. He is certainly one of the top two offensive linemen in the nation.

    He has the very important job of protecting quarterback Devin Gardner’s backside once again this season.

    If Michigan wins the Big Ten, this guy is going to be a large reason why…literally.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Desmond Morgan

    Jake Ryan would certainly top the list on defense for the Wolverines if he was healthy, but since he is not, the honor goes to another linebacker in Desmond Morgan.

    Last season as a sophomore Morgan totaled 81 tackles with 5.5 tackles for loss. He has improved steadily in each of his two seasons with the program. Look for him to continue to improve and possibly go over 100 tackles in 2013. He will be very important for the Michigan defense this year.

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

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    Offensive MVP: QB Logan Kilgore

    Quarterback Logan Kilgore is without question the most important player on the Blue Raiders roster. Last season he passed for 2,571 yards with 16 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

    He is the MVP on offense for the Blue Raiders. If Middle Tennessee plans on returning to a bowl game, this is going to be the guy to help them do it.

     

    Defensive MVP: DT Jimmy Staten

    There are not many players on the Middle Tennessee roster larger than 300-pound tackle Jimmy Staten.

    He does not put up huge numbers, but he eats up the interior of the line. Last season he totaled 36 tackles with a sack.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

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    Offensive MVP: RB Donnell Kirkwood

    Minnesota surprised a lot of people, reaching a bowl game last season. The Golden Gophers lost some talent but return talented junior running back Donnell Kirkwood.

    Last season he rushed for 926 yards and six touchdowns on 218 carries. Expect him to be even better in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: DT Ra'Shede Hageman

    At 6'6" and 311 pounds, tackle Ra'Shede Hageman is one of the largest players in the Big Ten. Last season that size was on full display. 

    Hageman totaled 35 tackles, six sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss. He also contributed in ways that the stats do not show. 

Ole Miss Rebels

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    Offensive MVP: WR Donte Moncrief

    The slight edge here goes to wide receiver Donte Moncrief over quarterback Bo Wallace.

    Moncrief is one of the most complete wide receivers in the SEC. Last season he caught 66 passes for 979 yards and 10 touchdowns.

    The junior has an excellent shot to go over 1,000 yards in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Denzel Nkemdiche

    As a freshman in 2012, linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche finished the season with 82 tackles, which led the team.

    He also totaled three interceptions, three sacks, four forced fumbles and 13 tackles for loss. He will now join up with his brother Robert to form an excellent brother combination on defense for the Rebels.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

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    Offensive MVP: QB Tyler Russell

    Senior quarterback Tyler Russell quietly had an excellent season in 2012. He finished the year with 2,897 yards and 24 touchdowns. He threw 10 interceptions along with that.

    While he might not be the most talented player on the offensive side of the ball for the Bulldogs, he will definitely be the most important in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Benardrick McKinney

    On defense, linebacker Benardrick McKinney is the man. Last season as a freshman he picked up 102 tackles with a sack and 4.5 tackles for loss.

    He is very large for a linebacker, but still has no problem getting all over the field and wreaking havoc on opposing offenses.

Missouri Tigers

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    Offensive MVP: QB James Franklin

    There are offensive players who are better than quarterback James Franklin for Missouri, including wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and running back Henry Josey, but Franklin is the most valuable.

    Part of the reason the Tigers struggled so much last year was because of injuries to Franklin. If he can stay healthy, this could be a very dangerous team in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: CB E.J. Gaines

    Perhaps the most talented player on the entire roster is cornerback E.J. Gaines. Gaines had 74 tackles with 11 passes defensed last season.

    He has developed into what many would consider a shutdown corner.

Navy Midshipmen

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    Offensive MVP: QB Keenan Reynolds

    For an offense like Navy, the quarterback is going to have the ball in his hands a lot. That is good news for the Midshipmen, as sophomore Keenan Reynolds performed well in 2012.

    Reynolds rushed for 649 yards and 10 touchdowns, while also passing for 898 yards and nine touchdowns with only two interceptions.

    Expect him to continue to improve in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: CB Parrish Gaines

    Cornerback Parrish Gaines finished last season with 69 tackles and two interceptions. He has developed into the most complete player on the Navy roster.

    Look for another huge season from this junior playmaker.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Offensive MVP: QB Taylor Martinez

    Martinez has continued to develop over the past few seasons and is now one of the top quarterbacks in the country.

    Last season he passed for 2,871 yards with 23 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also led the team in rushing with 1,019 yards and 10 touchdowns on 195 carries.

    If he can continue to improve his passing game, he will be one of the most complete quarterbacks in the nation in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Jason Ankrah

    The Nebraska defense struggled mightily last season. One of the few bright spots on the year was end Jason Ankrah.

    Ankrah finished last season with 26 tackles, two sacks and six tackles for loss. He is a guy who has yet to live up to his potential but has plenty of it. If he can play like he is capable, this defense will be much improved this year.

Nevada Wolf Pack

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    Offensive MVP: QB Cody Fajardo

    It seems like Nevada senior quarterback Cody Fajrdo has been at the program for nearly a decade. With that being said, this will be his final year running the offense for the Wolf Pack.

    Last season Fajardo passed for 2,786 yards with 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He will be counted on even more in 2013 with some holes in the running game.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Brock Hekking

    As the leading returning tackler, end Brock Hekking is the go-to guy on defense for Nevada. His 75 tackles were third on the team last year and he also had eight sacks. Throw in 10 tackles for loss, and it was an excellent season.

    Hekking could be an all-conference performer in 2013 for the Wolf Pack.

New Mexico Lobos

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    Offensive MVP: RB Kasey Carrier

    There is little doubt who the top player is on the New Mexico Lobos. Running back Kasey Carrier rushed for 1,469 yards and 22 touchdowns on 255 carries.

    He is the definition of a workhorse and will need to carry the load once again for the Lobos in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Dallas Bollema

    Linebacker Dallas Bollema is the top returning tackler coming back with 89 stops. He also had a sack and 6.5 tackles for loss. 

    Bollema has continued to develop over the years; he will be a huge factor on defense for the Lobos this season. 

New Mexico State Aggies

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    Offensive MVP: WR Austin Franklin

    Wide receiver Austin Franklin is one of the most under-appreciated wide receivers in the entire country. He led New Mexico State last season with 74 catches for 1,245 yards and nine touchdowns. 

    Look for the junior to improve on those numbers this season.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Trashaun Nixon

    After finishing second on the team with 96 tackles, Trashaun Nixon will be counted on even more in 2013.

    Along with those 96 tackles, he also had three sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss, an interception and four passes defensed.

North Carolina Tar Heels

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    Offensive MVP: QB Bryn Renner

    Bryn Renner is another quarterback who seems to have been in college for quite some time. The senior threw for 3,356 yards with 28 touchdowns and only seven interceptions in 2012.

    He has a chance to be one of the top quarterbacks in the ACC this season. Look for big numbers out of him, as the Tar Heels could be a bit of a sleeper in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Tre Boston

    Free safety Tre Boston is the most complete player on the North Carolina roster. He has already made 27 career starts, making him one of the most experienced players on the roster.

    Boston led the team with 86 tackles in 2012 and also led the squad with four interceptions. He is quite the athlete in the secondary for the Tar Heels.

North Carolina State Wolfpack

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    Offensive MVP: WR Bryan Underwood

    North Carolina State is blessed with a pair of talented receivers in Bryan Underwood and Quinton Payton.

    Last season Underwood caught 44 passes for 620 yards and 10 touchdowns. Payton put up similar numbers, so this award could easily go to either of these two players.

     

    Defensive MVP: DT T.Y. Gill

    Most defenses begin up front, and that is the case for the Wolfpack. The man they rely on is tackle T.Y. Gill.

    Last season Gill totaled 39 tackles with 10.5 tackles for loss and five sacks.

    He has a lot of potential and could turn into one of the true surprises this season.

North Texas Mean Green

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    Offensive MVP: WR Brelan Chancellor

    North Texas did not have a successful 2012 season, but part of that was due to an injury to wide receiver Brelan Chancellor.

    He went down in October and the team was never the same. If he can come back healthy in 2013, he could be a difference-maker. He had already totaled 450 yards and five touchdowns on 25 receptions.

    Chancellor is also a factor in the running game and on special teams.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Zach Orr

    The best player on the team can be found on the defensive side of the ball. Linebacker Zach Orr led the team with 108 tackles. He also finished the season with two picks and 3.5 tackles for loss.

    He is the unquestioned leader of the defense and has had a solid career for the Mean Green.

Northern Illinois Huskies

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    Offensive MVP: QB Jordan Lynch

    Jordan Lynch was in the Heisman conversation by the end of last season. The Northern Illinois quarterback put up astronomical numbers for the Huskies in helping lead them to an Orange Bowl berth.

    Last season he passed for 3,138 yards with 25 scores and only six picks. He also led the team in rushing with 1,815 yards and 19 more touchdowns on 294 carries.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Jimmie Ward

    The defense of Northern Illinois is anchored by strong safety Jimmie Ward. Ward has reached 10 tackles in each of the past two seasons.

    Last year he had 104 stops with three interceptions and 11 passes defensed. Expect another similar season in 2013.

Northwestern Wildcats

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    Offensive MVP: RB Venric Mark

    Mark is a stud on both offense and as a kick returner. He rushed for 1,366 yards and 12 touchdowns on 226 carries.

    His combination of strength and speed makes him the most complete running back in the Big Ten. Expect another huge season out of Mark and Northwestern in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Damien Proby

    Linebacker Damien Proby is one of the best tacklers in the Big Ten. Last season he totaled 112 stops and 4.5 tackles for loss. That puts him in some elite company. 

    This season he will be the anchor on a defense that should be solid once again in 2012.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    Offensive MVP: OT Zack Martin

    With the talent Notre Dame lost on the offensive side of the ball from last season, the best players on this offense can be found along the line.

    Anchoring that line is left tackle Nick Martin. Martin has made 39 starts over the past three seasons for the Fighting Irish. Needless to say he has been an anchor on the offensive line. Martin might be one of the best in the country at his position. He will need to protect the blind side of quarterback Tommy Rees.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Stephon Tuitt

    On defense there are two players who stand out. One of those is end Stephon Tuitt. Tuitt is likely to be a first-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, but before that he will wreak havoc on college offensive lines.

    Tuitt totaled 47 tackles last season with 12 sacks and 13 tackles for loss. He recovered a fumble, which he turned into a 77-yard touchdown as well. He teams with large tackle Louis Nix III to form one of the best defensive lines in the nation.

Ohio Bobcats

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    Offensive MVP: QB Tyler Tettleton

    There are plenty of talented players on the Ohio offense, including running back Beau Blankenship. But the man at the top of the list is quarterback Tyler Tettleton.

    Last season Tettleton passed for 2,844 yards with 18 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He leads a very balanced offensive attack for the Bobcats heading into the 2013 season.

    Look for this team to be one of the sleepers in college football in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Keith Moore

    Linebacker Keith Moore led the team last season with 98 tackles. He also totaled two sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions.

    Ohio is a team known for its offense. If the Bobcats plan on getting over the hump and winning the MAC, they will need to get more consistent play out of their defense. It all starts with this guy.

Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Offensive MVP: QB Braxton Miller

    Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller will once again be right in the middle of the Heisman conversation this season.

    Last year he was an absolute stud for the Buckeyes, passing for 2,039 yards and 15 touchdowns with only six interceptions. He also led the team in rushing with 1,271 yards and 13 touchdowns on 227 carries.

    If he can get a little help from his receivers, this guy will be a Heisman front-runner in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Ryan Shazier

    The honor for most valuable player on defense could easily go to star cornerback Bradley Roby, but the slight edge here is with linebacker Ryan Shazier.

    There is plenty of talent in the secondary, but at the linebacker position, Shazier is it. In 2012, as a sophomore, he totaled 115 tackles with five sacks, 17 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.

    With the exception of possibly C.J. Mosley, this is the most talented college football linebacker in the nation.

Oklahoma Sooners

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    Offensive MVP: C Gabe Ikard

    Oklahoma center Gabe Ikard is the best in the country at his position. He is back for his senior season and will be more important than anybody on the offense.

    There are a lot of new players, particularly at the skill positions, meaning Ikard is that much more important for this offense.

     

    Defensive MVP: CB Aaron Colvin

    The Oklahoma defense is led by senior cornerback Aaron Colvin. Colvin is as gifted as they come in the secondary. Last season he finished with 61 tackles and four interceptions, along with 11 passes defensed.

    He has been excellent each of the past two seasons and has the ability to play multiple positions in the secondary.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Offensive MVP: WR Josh Stewart

    Oklahoma State wide receiver Josh Stewart is one of the most explosive players in the Big 12. Last season he not only excelled on offense but was also a stud on special teams as well.

    He caught 101 passes for 1,210 yards and seven touchdowns. He should put up even better numbers, as the Cowboys look to have one of the best offenses in the nation.

     

    Defensive MVP: DT Calvin Barnett

    There is not nearly as much talent on defense for Oklahoma State as there is on offense, but one player to keep an eye on is tackle Calvin Barnett.

    Last season the junior college transfer made 30 tackles with a sack and eight tackles for loss. He will help slow down the rushing attack of Big 12 teams all season long.

Oregon Ducks

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    Offensive MVP: QB Marcus Mariota

    The Oregon offense is filled with talented players, but the man running the show is sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota.

    Mariota was excellent last season, passing for 2,677 yards and 32 touchdowns with only six interceptions. He also rushed for 752 yards and five more touchdowns on 106 carries.

    While names like De’Anthony Thomas and Josh Huff are certainly important, this is the man on offense for the Ducks.

     

    Defensive MVP: CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

    On defense, Oregon has improved over the past few seasons and one of the reasons why is cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. He has developed into one of the top cornerbacks in the Pac-12.

    Last season he not only finished with 63 stops but also led the league with 20 passes defensed. Throw in four interceptions and six forced fumbles and this guy is one of the best secondary players in the Pac-12.

Oregon State Beavers

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    Offensive MVP: WR Brandin Cooks

    Oregon State is another team with a very talented wide receiver. Brandin Cooks caught 67 passes last season for 1,151 yards and five scores.

    He is a deep play threat and can go long every time he touches the ball. There are not many players more explosive in the Pac-12 than this guy.

    No matter who is throwing him the ball, he is going to make plays all year long.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Scott Crichton

    End Scott Crichton is one of the top players in the country at his position. He had 44 tackles last season, including 17.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks.

    This pass-rusher is as speedy as they come. Even though he is only a junior, this could be his final season at Oregon State. This guy is ultra-talented and the anchor on defense for Oregon State.

     

Penn State Nittany Lions

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    Offensive MVP: WR Allen Robinson

    There is very little doubt who the top player is on offense for Penn State. Wide receiver Allen Robinson was a stud last season for the Nittany Lions.

    In 2012 he caught 77 passes for 1,013 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has excellent size and is one of the biggest deep-play threats in the Big Ten. He will make it easy for freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg to transition to the big time.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Glenn Carson

    With 85 tackles and one sack last season, linebacker Glenn Carson is as good as it gets on defense for the Nittany Lions.

    Penn State has been known to produce some very talented linebackers, and Carson might be the latest in that long line.

    He finished last season with 85 tackles, one sack and three tackles for loss.

Pittsburgh Panthers

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    Offensive MVP: WR Devin Street

    The Panthers lost a lot of skill position players, but one man coming back is wide receiver Devin Street. He will be the top target on offense and is without question the most important player on the offense.

    Last season Street caught 73 passes for 975 yards and five touchdowns. He has the size and ability to make plays down the field but is also an excellent possession receiver.

     

    Defensive MVP: DT Aaron Donald

    Pittsburgh is never short on talent along the defensive line. The 2013 season will be no different. The big man in the middle this year is tackle Aaron Donald.

    Donald has a chance to be one of the best in the ACC at his position. Last year as a junior he recorded 64 tackles, led the league in tackles for loss with 18.5 and also had five sacks. Those are incredible numbers for a defensive tackle.

Purdue Boilermakers

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    Offensive MVP: RB Akeem Hunt

    A lot of the talent on Purdue resides on the defensive side of the ball. With that being said, one talented player on offense is running back Akeem Hunt.

    Hunt only saw limited action last season but will be the go-to guy on offense this season. In 2012 he recorded 335 yards and two touchdowns on the ground but averaged right at eight yards a carry. Those are solid numbers from a back who has the ability to go the distance every time he touches the ball.

     

    Defensive MVP: DT Bruce Gaston

    The defensive line is one of the strengths for the Boilermakers. Leading the way along the line is tackle Bruce Gaston. He is very impressive when it comes to slowing down the run.

    Gaston is also capable of making plays in the backfield and disrupting the quarterback. Last season he finished the year with 5.5 tackles for loss and 28 stops. Look for much better numbers this season from Gaston.

Rice Owls

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    Offensive MVP: QB Taylor McHargue

    Rice came on strong at the end of the 2012 season to qualify for a bowl game. This year the offense will once again be led by quarterback Taylor McHargue.

    In 2012 McHargue passed for 2,209 yards and 12 touchdowns. He only threw five interceptions but did miss some action due to injuries. If he can stay healthy, he could be one of the top quarterbacks in Conference USA this season.

     

    Defensive MVP: CB Phillip Gaines

    There is very little defense played in Conference USA, but one player on Rice who stands out is cornerback Phillip Gaines.

    Gaines was a first-team all-league selection last season. He finished second in the country in passes defensed with 18. He also recorded 33 stops last season.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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    Offensive MVP: WR Brandon Coleman

    Rutgers lost a few talented players on offense, but one solid receiver it has coming back is wide receiver Brandon Coleman.

    Last season Coleman caught 43 passes for 718 yards and a school record 10 touchdowns. Those are not astronomical numbers, but with how conservative the Scarlet Knights are on the offensive side of the ball, they are very strong. They should be even better this season.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Jamal Merrell

    Linebacker Jamal Merrell is a tackling machine for Rutgers. He will likely pick up even more stops this season with Khaseem Greene now gone.

    Last year he finished with 83 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, and he also contributed on special teams with two blocked kicks. No doubt he will be a force on defense, along with twin brother Jamil.

SMU Mustangs

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    Offensive MVP: WR Jeremy Johnson

    SMU was up-and-down last season on the offensive side of the ball, but one of the bright spots was wide receiver Jeremy Johnson.

    Last season as a junior he caught 67 passes for 679 yards and three touchdowns. If quarterback Garrett Gilbert can show some improvements this season, Johnson is a guy who could see his numbers rise drastically.

     

    Defensive MVP: CB Kenneth Acker

    Cornerback Kenneth Acker is likely to be one of the best cover guys in the new American Athletic Conference this season.

    Last year as a junior he finished with 15 passes defensed and also picked up 50 tackles. Throw in three interceptions and this guy was a Second Team All-Conference USA selection in 2012.

San Diego State Aztecs

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    Offensive MVP: RB Adam Muema

    No question who the leader on offense will be. Running back Adam Muema carried the ball 237 times for 1,458 yards and 16 touchdowns.

    He will be a senior this season and relied on even more this season, as there are some talented players for the Aztecs to replace.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Jake Fely

    Linebacker Jake Fely led the team with seven sacks and finished second with 90 tackles. He also had 11.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles last season.

    Those were very impressive numbers for the junior. He should be able to improve on those in 2013.

San Jose State Spartans

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    Offensive MVP: QB David Fales

    Fales proved he is one of the top passing quarterbacks in the entire country last season. He passed for 4,193 yards with 33 scores and only nine interceptions.

    The former junior college transfer shocked most of the college football world last season with the year he had. The Spartans will be a very dangerous team in 2013, especially if Fales puts together the season he did in 2012.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Keith Smith

    This senior linebacker is one of the top tacklers in all of college football. Last season he had some huge games. He posted 19 tackles against BYU and 13 against Stanford. He finished the season with 97 stops.

    There are not many players in the country who are more sure-handed when it comes to tackling than this guy.

South Alabama Jaguars

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    Offensive MVP: WR Jereme Jones

    Wide receiver Jereme Jones is not only a stud on offense but can also dominate on special teams as well.

    Last season he caught 45 passes for 513 yards and seven touchdowns. He is very tiny but is as elusive as they come. Look for an even better season in 2013 from this shifty junior wideout.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Alex Page

    On defense the Jaguars are anchored by defensive end Alex Page. Page finished last season with 64 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and six sacks.

    He led the team in sacks and has no problem getting to the quarterback no matter who is in his way. He is slightly undersized for a defensive end but makes up for it with a motor that is second to none on South Alabama.

South Carolina Gamecocks

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    Offensive MVP: QB Connor Shaw

    There might be a few players on offense more talented than quarterback Connor Shaw, but the senior quarterback is the team leader on that side of the ball and the most important player on offense for the Gamecocks.

    Last season he passed for 1,956 yards with 17 touchdowns and seven picks. He might be asked to pass a little more this season with Marcus Lattimore no long running the ball, but South Carolina should still be solid at that position as well.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Jadeveon Clowney

    No surprise here. End Jadeveon Clowney is the best defensive player in the country and should be right in the Heisman conversation all season long.

    Last year Clowney was a beast, totaling 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss. Throw in 54 tackles and Clowney had one of the best seasons of any defensive player in the country despite dealing with double teams for most of the year.

South Florida Bulls

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    Offensive MVP: WR Andre Davis

    South Florida is a team that has a lot of talent to replace on offense, but one player coming back is wide receiver Andre Davis.

    Davis finished the 2012 season with 46 catches for 534 yards and six touchdowns. He will not have B.J. Daniels throwing him the ball anymore but should still be able to improve on those numbers this season.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Aaron Lynch

    This Notre Dame transfer should have a huge 2013 season for the Bulls. Last year he sat out due to transfer rules, but he was solid during his one year at Notre Dame.

    In 2011 he had 33 tackles with seven tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Those are impressive numbers for a freshman at Notre Dame. Linebacker DeDe Lattimore is another name to watch out for on the South Florida defense.

Southern Miss Golden Eagles

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    Offensive MVP: RB Kendrick Harvey

    There is not much to speak of when it comes to Southern Miss. Last season the Golden Eagles failed to win a game, and it is not looking like it is going to be too much better this season.

    The likely star on offense will be running back Kendrick Harvey. He battled injuries and other issues last season. If he can stay on the field, he will be the best option on offense for Southern Miss.

     

    Defensive MVP: CB Deron Wilson

    The defensive side of the ball is not much better for Southern Miss. One player who does stand out is cornerback Deron Wilson.

    Wilson will be entering his third season as a starter and last season picked up 61 tackles with an interception and nine passes defensed. Expect an even better season in 2013 from Wilson.

Stanford Cardinal

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    Offensive MVP: G David Yankey

    There are some excellent players on offense for Stanford, but none better than guard David Yankey. Yankey is the latest in a long line of talented guards to come through Stanford.

    He is not only the best offensive player on the Cardinal, but might just be the best guard in the entire country. He is an All-American who can play a number of different positions along the offensive line.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Shayne Skov

    The Stanford defense will be loaded once again, particularly at the linebacker position. Leading the way from that group will be talented senior Shayne Skov.

    Last season Skov led the team with 81 tackles, despite missing action due to a suspension. He also had 2.5 sacks and nine tackles for less. He could be an All-American-caliber player if he can stay healthy all season long.

Syracuse Orange

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    Offensive MVP: RB Jerome Smith

    Syracuse might look like a completely different team in 2013. The Orange will have a new quarterback and a new head coach, among many other changes.

    One player new head coach Scott Shafer will rely on offensively will be running back Jerome Smith. Last season Smith carried the ball 227 times for 1,171 yards and three touchdowns. He may see even more touches this season.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Dyshawn Davis

    On defense Syracuse has a very talented linebacker in junior Dyshawn Davis. Davis completed last season with 69 tackles and 14 tackles for loss.

    He is extremely talented and can play the outside linebacker spot with more athleticism than almost anybody in the ACC. Look for a solid year from this very talented linebacker.

TCU Horned Frogs

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    Offensive MVP: QB Casey Pachall

    This is kind of a wild card here because quarterback Casey Pachall has not yet been named the starter. With that being said, he needs to be there in order for TCU to contend in the Big 12 this season.

    Pachall only played in a few games last season before checking into rehab and leaving the team. He is back and competing with returning starter Trevone Boykin for the starting role.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Devonte Fields

    Very few players burst onto the scene more than freshman end Devonte Fields did last season. He was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, totaling 54 tackles, 10 sacks and an amazing 18.5 tackles for loss.

    If he continues to improve this season, he could be one of the best defensive players in the country as early as this season.

Temple Owls

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    Offensive MVP: QB Chris Coyer

    Temple lost a boatload of talent at its skill positions but does return quarterback Chris Coyer. Coyer did not do much offensively last season, passing for 946 yards with eight touchdowns and also rushing for 444 yards and two more scores.

    He returns to anchor an offense that could undergo its fair share of struggles this season.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Tyler Matakevich

    Temple will be a little stronger on the defensive side of the ball. Led by linebacker Tyler Matakevich, the group should be solid in 2013.

    Last season Matakevich recorded 101 tackles with some huge games thrown in there. He was the Big East Rookie of the Year and could be an all-league performer this season.

Tennessee Volunteers

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    Offensive MVP: OT Antonio Richardson

    Speaking of a team losing a lot of skill players, Tennessee might be at the top of the list. The Vols will have to replace their top four leading receivers, as well as their starting quarterback.

    That leaves star left tackle Antonio Richardson as the best player on offense. He will have the task of trying to protect the blind side of the quarterback. There are few players better equipped to take on that task.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB A.J. Johnson

    No question that the best player on the Vols is linebacker A.J. Johnson. Johnson was a menace last season as a sophomore, finishing the year with 138 tackles.

    Throw in 8.5 tackles for loss and Johnson was one of the best defensive players in the SEC. It looks like he has the talent to be an All-American in 2013 for Tennessee.

Texas Longhorns

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    Offensive MVP: RB Johnathan Gray

    There could be a few choices on the offensive side of the ball for the Longhorns, but topping the list is running back Johnathan Gray.

    Last season as a freshman, Gray rushed for 701 yards and three touchdowns on only 149 carries. Those are phenomenal numbers for a guy who was not expected to do anything close to that.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Jackson Jeffcoat

    The defense did not live up to expectations in 2012, partly because of the injuries star end Jackson Jeffcoat was dealing with.

    When healthy, Jeffcoat is one of the most talented defensive players in the country. Last season he missed a lot of action due to injury. As a sophomore in 2011 he had 18 tackles for loss.

    Everybody knows exactly what this guy is capable of.

Texas A&M Aggies

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    Offensive MVP: QB Johnny Manziel

    The reigning Heisman Trophy winner is the easy selection here. He threw for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns last season. Manziel also rushed for 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns on 201 carries.

    He is without question the most important player on the Texas A&M squad. That will certainly be realized if he is unable to play this season.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Steven Jenkins

    Defense for the Aggies is not nearly as strong as the offense. The top player on that side of the ball looks to be linebacker Steven Jenkins.

    Last season Jenkins recorded 79 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss, with two sacks. He is the leading returning tackler on the team. He did miss action last season. If he can stay on the field, he will be a force for the Aggies in 2013.

Texas State Bobcats

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    Offensive MVP: WR Andy Erickson

    Texas State is a team that is not very well known. The Bobcats were new to the FBS level last season and are now a member of the Sun Belt.

    The most talented player on offense is wide receiver Andy Erickson. Last year Erickson caught 39 passes for 482 yards and three touchdowns.

     

    Defensive MVP: DT D.J. Yendry

    The defensive side of the ball is the strength for the Bobcats. Leading the way is the big man up front. D.J. Yendry is a TCU transfer who will see immediate action.

    Yendry was a contributor for TCU and should be the best player on a solid Texas State defense.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

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    Offensive MVP: WR Eric Ward

    Texas Tech will have a new quarterback, but Michael Brewer will have a solid target to throw the ball to in wide receiver Eric Ward.

    Last season Ward caught 82 passes for 1,053 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is one of the most talented receivers in the Big 12. Look for another huge season from the senior.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Kerry Hyder

    Defense is not necessarily a strength for the Red Raiders, but one player new head coach Kliff Kingsbury can rely on is end Kerry Hyder.

    Hyder has the size to play either the inside or outside. He brings a lot of experience to the team. Last season he finished third on the team with 56 tackles. He also totaled 14 tackles for loss and six sacks.

Toledo Rockets

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    Offensive MVP: QB Terrance Owens

    There are some very talented players on the Toledo offense, including running back David Fluellen and wide receiver Bernard Reedy. But the most valuable of them all is quarterback Terrance Owens.

    Last season Owens passed for 2,707 yards with 14 touchdowns and eight picks. He also has the ability to make people miss in the open field. Look for another excellent season from the Toledo offense in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Trent Voss

    Defense is not exactly a strength of Toledo. The top returning player is linebacker Trent Voss. Last season Voss made 47 tackles with 3.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss.

    He is one of the few huge returning players who made huge contributions last season.

    The Rockets could struggle on this side of the ball in 2013.

Troy Trojans

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    Offensive MVP: QB Corey Robinson

    The Troy offense should be the strength of the team. Leading the way out of that group is quarterback Corey Robinson.

    Robinson did not put up huge touchdown totals last season with 12 scores but did throw for 3,121 yards with nine touchdowns. He will be the key to the offense for the Trojans this season.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Chris Pickett

    On defense the group will be anchored by strong safety Chris Pickett. Pickett did not have his best season in 2012. He did come up with 61 tackles, which was fourth on the team. He also had two passes defensed.

    The Trojans are going to need a huge season from Pickett if they plan on getting anywhere close to a bowl game this season.

Tulane Green Wave

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    Offensive MVP: WR Ryan Grant

    Ryan Grant was one of the few bright spots last season for the Toledo offense. Last season he caught 76 passes for 1,149 yards and six touchdowns.

    He is the only returning player on Tulane who posted solid numbers last season. He is far and away the best player on offense for the Green Wave.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Julius Warmsley

    The top returning player on defense for Tulane is end Julius Warmsley. Warmsley has the ability to play both inside and outside on the defensive line.

    Last season he had 26 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and a sack. Those numbers are likely to improve in 2013.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane

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    Offensive MVP: RB Trey Watts

    The Tulsa offense is one of the most underrated in the country. There are two strong running backs on the roster. One of them is Trey Watts.

    Watts rushed for 1,108 yards and three touchdowns last season on 186 carries. He teams with Ja’Terian Douglas to form one of the best combinations in the country. Look for huge things from this offense in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Shawn Jackson

    Linebacker Shawn Jackson is the most experienced player on that side of the ball. He has already made 34 career starts. Last season he did miss three games because of a suspension, but he still finished the season with 88 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and five passes defensed. He also had three forced fumbles to go along with it.

    No question, he is one of the best linebackers in Conference USA.

UAB Blazers

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    Offensive MVP: RB Darrin Reaves

    UAB is another Conference USA team that struggled mightily for most of last season. The top returning player on offense is running back Darrin Reaves.

    Reaves rushed for 1,037 yards and 13 touchdowns on 215 carries, easily making him the best player on offense for the Blazers. If the Blazers are going to get back on track, he is going to have to have an excellent junior campaign.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Calvin Jones

    On defense, the most valuable player is strong safety Calvin Jones. Jones is the leading returning tackler. Last season he recorded 71 stops, along with 2.5 tackles for loss.

    He is one of the few bright spots on a defensive group that could not stop many teams last season.

UCLA Bruins

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    Offensive MVP: QB Brett Hundley

    There is no question that quarterback Brett Hundley is the most important player on offense for the Bruins, particularly with the departure of running back Johnathan Franklin.

    Last season, Hundley came up huge as a freshman in leading the Bruins to the Pac-12 title game. He passed for 3,740 yards and 29 touchdowns with only 11 interceptions. He is also the leading returning rusher. Last season he carried the ball 160 times for 355 yards and nine scores.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Anthony Barr

    While Hundley is the best offensive player for UCLA, the top talent on the roster is senior linebacker Anthony Barr.

    Barr is one of the top linebackers in the Pac-12. Last year he came up with 83 tackles and 21.5 tackles for loss, despite playing running back during his first two seasons in the program.

    He also had 13.5 sacks and four forced fumbles, along with five passes defensed. No question he could explode for an even better 2013 campaign.

UNLV Rebels

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    Offensive MVP: RB Tim Cornett

    Without question, the star on offense in 2013 for the Rebels will be running back Tim Cornett. Last year as a junior he rushed for 1,232 yards with seven touchdowns.

    UNLV struggled last season, but if not for this guy, it could have been much worse.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Tim Hasson

    On defense, linebacker Tim Hasson is the best the Rebels have to offer. Last season he totaled 76 tackles, including five tackles for loss and a sack.

    He will be the anchor of a defense that needs to make some major improvements in 2013.

USC Trojans

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    Offensive MVP: WR Marqise Lee

    This is one of the easier selections on the list, as wide receiver Marqise Lee is the choice here.

    Lee might be the most gifted player in the country and it showed in his numbers last season. He caught 118 passes for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. Those are video game stats.

    With quarterback Matt Barkley no longer in the fold, it would be hard to imagine him equaling his output from last season.

    Still, he is the best receiver at the collegiate level, and it is not even close.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Morgan Breslin

    USC struggled on defense last season, but one of the few bright spots was linebacker Morgan Breslin.

    Breslin finished the season with 62 tackles, but more importantly 19.5 tackles for loss. He also posted 13 sacks, something a USC player had not accomplished in nearly 10 years.

    He will be a force to be reckoned with this season.

Utah Utes

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    Offensive MVP: WR Kenneth Scott

    Utah has a lot of holes to fill on the offensive side of the ball, but one guy to keep an eye on is junior wide receiver Kenneth Scott.

    Last season Scott came on strong at the end of the year to finish with 32 catches for 360 yards. He also totaled three touchdowns.

    With the improvement he showed a year ago, there is no doubt he could be the go-to player on offense for Utah.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE Trevor Reilly

    The star of the defense is senior end Trevor Reilly. Last year Reilly totaled 69 tackles, with 6.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

    He can also be disruptive in the passing game. He had four passes defensed in 2012.

    The former walk-on is making a name for himself at Utah.

Utah State Aggies

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    Offensive MVP: QB Chuckie Keeton

    Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton is one of the best in the country at his position, and some people have probably not even heard of him.

    Last year as a sophomore he passed for 3,373 yards and 29 touchdowns, with only nine picks. He is also the leading returning rusher on the team. He carried the ball 129 times last year for 619 yards and eight more scores. That's not bad for a virtual no-name before the season began.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Zach Vigil

    On defense the group is led by pass-rushing linebacker Zach Vigil. Last season he accumulated 105 tackles with 9.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Those are very impressive numbers for any linebacker.

    Vigil has bulked up and become the tackling machine the Aggies hoped he would be when he arrived as a safety.

UTEP Miners

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    Offensive MVP: RB Nathan Jeffrey

    UTEP is not really a football juggernaut. The Miners have struggled recently on both sides of the ball.

    One player who will stand out this season is running back Nathan Jeffrey. Jeffrey led the team last season with 897 yards rushing on 184 carries with seven touchdowns.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Horace Miller

    On the defensive side of the ball, Horace Miller is the best the Miners have to offer. He is a senior leader who finished last season with six sacks.

    Miler can play either linebacker or end for the Miners. Last season he had 31 tackles, with 7.5 of them being for loss. He will transition this year from end to linebacker.

UTSA Roadrunners

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    Offensive MVP: QB Eric Soza

    UTSA quarterback Eric Soza put up some excellent stats last season during the first year at the FBS level for the Roadrunners.

    He passed for 20 touchdowns with only three interceptions, while throwing for 2,085 yards. Not bad numbers for a team in a transition year.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Triston Wade

    On defense, the best player on the roster is free safety Triston Wade. Wade was second on the team with 74 tackles. He also came up with four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and four interceptions.

    This ball hawk is the most valuable player on defense for the Roadrunners.

Vanderbilt Commodores

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    Offensive MVP: WR Jordan Matthews

    There are plenty of talented receivers in the SEC, but this guy might just be at the top of the list. Jordan Matthews caught 94 passes for 1,323 yards and eight touchdowns .

    He will be one of the keys to the Vanderbilt season, as the Commodores lost a lot from the offensive side of the ball.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Chase Garnham

    The steady defense will be anchored by linebacker Chase Garnham. Garnham finished last season with seven sacks and also had 12.5 tackles for loss.

    Throw in 84 tackles, and it was a solid junior campaign for a guy who had not done much during his first two seasons in the program.

Virginia Cavaliers

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    Offensive MVP: LT Morgan Moses

    The Virginia offense struggled mightily last season, and the main reason for that was because of a lack of talent at the skill positions.

    For that reason, the most important player on offense for the Cavaliers is left tackle Morgan Moses. The senior is the best player on the roster and has the task of protecting the blind side of the quarterback.

     

    Defensive MVP: CB Demetrious Nicholson

    The Cavaliers are a little better on defense. Leading the way is cornerback Demetrious Nicholson.

    Last year Nicholson finished with 56 tackles and 15 passes defensed. The junior is easily the most valuable player on that side of the ball for the Cavaliers.

Virginia Tech Hokies

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    Offensive MVP: QB Logan Thomas

    Even though he struggled in 2012, quarterback Logan Thomas is still the most valuable player on the Virginia Tech roster. If he can play like he is capable, this is a team who could be a sleeper in the ACC.

    Last season he did not have the junior year he was expecting. Thomas passed for 2,976 yards, but only 18 touchdowns with 16 interceptions. Some of those picks were very costly in big games.

     

    Defensive MVP: DE James Gayle

    The defense should be stacked once again. Leading the way from that group is end James Gayle.

    Gayle is an absolute freak as far as athleticism is concerned. He had 43 tackles last season with 11 tackles for loss and five sacks.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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    Offensive MVP: WR Michael Campanaro

    Wake Forest is another ACC team who struggled on offense last year. The Demon Deacons have one talented player coming back in wide receiver Michael Campanaro.

    Last year he caught 79 passes for 763 yards and six touchdowns. Those are outstanding numbers, considering quarterback Tanner Price only passed for 12 touchdowns all season long.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Justin Jackson

    The defense for Wake Forest is slightly better. In 2013, the most valuable player of the group will be outside linebacker Justin Jackson. He led the team with 81 tackles in 2012.

    Jackson also had 8.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. He is the unquestioned leader of a defense that will need to carry the team in 2013.

Washington Huskies

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    Offensive MVP: RB Bishop Sankey

    The best four or five players on Washington can all be found on the offensive side of the ball. Topping that list is running back Bishop Sankey. Who knows where Washington would have been last season without Sankey.

    Last year the running back rushed for 1,439 yards and 16 touchdowns on 289 carries. It is easy to see that he was a workhorse for the Huskies in 2012.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB John Timu

    The dominant player on the defensive side of the ball is linebacker John Timu. He is a three-year starter who recorded a team-high 91 tackles in 2012.

    Timu also had 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, two picks and four passes defensed. He has the talent to be an all-conference performer in 2013.

Washington State Cougars

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    Offensive MVP: WR Dominique Williams

    Washington State lost some talent on offense. One player coming back is wide receiver Dominique Williams.

    As a freshman in 2012 he caught 34 passes for 546 yards and three touchdowns. After only catching three passes during the first six games of the season, he came on strong at the end of the year. No question there is a wealth of potential with this guy.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Deone Bucannon

    It is not easy to start four years at a BCS school, but that is what is going to happen with free safety Deone Bucannon.

    Last year he recorded 106 tackles in just 11 games. He also tallied four interceptions.

    He is the most NFL-ready player on the Washington State roster.

West Virginia Mountaineers

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    Offensive MVP: RB Andrew Buie

    There are three very talented running backs that could hold this honor for West Virginia. Recent transfer Charles Sims from Houston along with Dustin Garrison are both solid, but the choice here is Andrew Buie.

    These three players will be the key on offense for the Mountaineers. Last season Buie rushed for 851 yards and seven touchdowns on 179 carries. He is also the leading returning receiver with 318 yards on 28 receptions.

     

    Defensive MVP: S Karl Joseph

    On defense, the man leading the way is safety Karl Joseph. As a freshman in 2012, he led the team with 104 tackles and a sack.

    He also had seven tackles for loss, two interceptions and three forced fumbles. If he can continue to improve, he could be an all-conference performer as early as this season.

Western Kentucky Hilltopers

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    Offensive MVP: RB Antonio Andrews

    Antonio Andrews is one of the top returning running backs in the country. The senior rushed for 1,728 yards and 11 touchdowns on 304 carries last season.

    He was relied on heavily, and he answered the bell all season long. That is going to be the case again this season for Andrews.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Andrew Jackson

    On defense, the man is Andrew Jackson. He led the Sun Belt Conference with 116 tackles and also recorded 16.5 tackles for loss. Throw in two sacks and four forced fumbles and this was an excellent season by anybody’s standards.

    This guy could be an All-American if he puts together another season like he did in 2012.

Western Michigan Broncos

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    Offensive MVP: WR Jaime Wilson

    Western Michigan has some talent coming back on offense. Topping the list is wide receiver Jaime Wilson.

    Last season Wilson caught 67 passes for 792 yards and six touchdowns. Those are solid numbers for a freshman and something this sophomore can build on.

    News about a broken ankle, however, could be devastating to this offense, as Wilson might miss the entire season.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Johnnie Simon

    On defense, the man is linebacker Johnnie Simon. Simon led the team with 103 tackles. He also came up with an interception and three passes defensed.

    This is a guy who has the potential to be an all-conference selection in the MAC.

Wisconsin Badgers

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    Offensive MVP: RB James White

    Wisconsin is a team built around the run. The 2013 season will be no different. The man who will be receiving the bulk of the carries will be senior running back James White.

    Last season in a backup role to Heisman finalist Montee Ball, White rushed for 806 yards and 12 touchdowns on 125 carries. He is likely to receive plenty more touches in 2013.

     

    Defensive MVP: LB Chris Borland

    There are plenty of talented linebackers in the Big Ten, but one name near the top of the list is Wisconsin star Chris Borland.

    Last season he was a First Team All-Big Ten selection with 104 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. He has excellent size and rarely misses a tackle.

Wyoming Cowboys

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    Offensive MVP: QB Brett Smith

    The man in charge of this offense is quarterback Brett Smith. Last season Smith passed for 2,837 yards and 27 touchdowns with only six interceptions.

    He is an excellent passer, and the junior could develop into one of the best quarterbacks in the country within a year.

     

    Defensive MVP: CB Blair Burns

    On defense, the Cowboys are anchored by cornerback Blair Burns. Last season he led the team with 10 passes defensed and also finished fourth on the team with 60 tackles.

    Burns also had one interception, which he returned 99 yards for a touchdown. He also contributed on special teams as a punt returner.