12 College Football Players with Most to Prove in 2014

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12 College Football Players with Most to Prove in 2014
JOE RAYMOND/Associated Press

What is college football if not one big proving ground?

Everybody wants to show somebody something, whether it's a well-respected player trying to vindicate his supporters or an ill-reputed player trying to silence his detractors.

Even reigning Heisman Trophy winner and national champion Jameis Winston, who is 14-0 as a starter and had the highest quarterback rating in the country last season, has critics that he needs to shut up.

For the most part, though—and this is painting with admittedly broad strokes—the players with the most to prove exist where hype exceeds production. That is, where what was expected of someone, at some point, has not yet been achieved...or perhaps was once achieved but now must be corroborated with another good season.

This is the case for 11 of the players on this list, the one exception being a freshman who hasn't had a chance to meet his hype, but whose hype is so big that he has a lot to prove regardless.

Not included on the list are players whose main thing to prove is "that they can stay healthy." Former blue-chip prospects such as USC wide receiver George Farmer and even semi-proven commodities such as Texas quarterback David Ash were considered but left off because injuries are the main thing that have derailed them.

By contrast, the players who did make the list are ones in whom we recognize potential greatness but aren't sure if we've seen it yet, even though they've had ample time to show us (with one exception).

Sound off below and let me know whom I might have missed.

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