Fall camps are underway across the nation, so it's time to take a look at the nation's best of the best at each position heading into the 2011 season.
We've compiled a list of the best players at every offensive and defensive position, as well as special teams and put them together in Bleacher Report's official 2011 Preseason All-America Team.
There were plenty of deserving players, but only the best can call themselves All-Americans. Not only is past performance important, but the players' potential and their expectations for 2011 are taken into consideration.
We've also included a second-team selection for each positions, as well.
Without further delay, here are B/R's College Football 2011 Preseason All-Americans.
First Team: Kellen Moore, Boise State
Kellen Moore leads the No. 7 Boise State Broncos on their latest BCS-busting quest. The Broncos will start the season in the top 10 after a 12-1 campaign in 2010, and with Moore calling the signals under center for the fourth year, there are a lot of people high on the Broncos this season.
In 2010, Moore finished the year with 3,845 passing yards and 35 touchdowns, besting our second-team selection, Andrew Luck, by more than 500 yards and three touchdowns. Moore also had a passer rating of 182.6 (compared to Luck's 170.2).
If Moore can approach his nearly 300 passing yards per game as he did in 2010, Boise State should be a no-brainer to win the Mountain West Conference in their first attempt and don't be shocked if Boise State is sporting a very lofty BCS ranking come December.
Second Team: Andrew Luck, Stanford
First Team: LaMichael James, Oregon
What else is there to say about the nation's leading rusher in 2010?
LaMichael James led the way in the FBS with 1,731 rushing yards and contributed 21 touchdowns, anchoring Oregon's running offense last season. When those stats are combined with Oregon's passing output, you have a great recipe for a conference championship and berth in the BCS title game, which is exactly what Oregon came up with last season.
With some graduations from Oregon's offense taking a toll for 2011, expect to see the ball in James's hands early and often.
Second Team: Edwin Baker, Michigan State
First Team: Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
Marcus Lattimore had a great season for a freshman in 2010. In fact, he had a great season for any player last year. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in his first attempt, gaining 1,197 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground last season. He also averaged 4.8 yards per carry and 92.1 yards per game.
With Stephen Garcia back as the quarterback for the Gamecocks, Lattimore won't be called upon to shoulder the entire South Carolina offense, but that could actually improve his chances this season. Even a half-way decent passing game (which South Carolina is sure to have this year) will take enough pressure off Lattimore that he will really shine this season.
Second Team: Trent Richardson, Alabama
First Team: Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
Justin Blackmon is easily one of the top returning wide outs for the 2011 season. Last year, he was a big part of Oklahoma State's prolific offense, contributing 1,782 yards receiving, plus adding 20 receptions for touchdowns in 2010. He averaged nearly 150 yards per game last season (148.5) and averaged 16.1 yards per catch on 111 receptions.
He was a favorite target of Brandon Weeden last season, and there's no reason to see that changing for 2011. Expect big numbers from Blackmon in 2011.
Second Team: Alshona Jeffrey, South Carolina
First Team: Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
Another top receiver returning this season in Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles. In 2010, Broyles was able to haul in 131 receptions for 1,622 yards and 14 touchdowns.
He averaged well in excess of 100 yards per game (115.9), and his 2011 senior season will require a similar performance if the Sooners hope to earn another Big 12 title and berth in the BCS Championship Game, as expected.
Second Team: Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
First Team: Michael Egnew, Missouri
It seems as if the old model of the tight end has died. An offense with a blocking tight end is missing out on all the yards and touchdowns this position can deliver, and Michael Egnew from Missouri is the prototypical “new” tight end.
Basically a very big and strong receiver, Egnew established himself as the leader of this new breed of tight ends. Last season, he accounted for five touchdowns and 762 receiving yards as he averaged almost 60 yards per game (58.6). While not the cornerstone of offensive output, it's clear that his contributions are important to Missouri's ultimate success.
Second Team: George Bryan, North Carolina State
First Team: Barrett Jones, Alabama
People say that offensive linemen are some of the smartest players on the field. This Alabama accounting major is no exception.
Barrett Jones, a former freshman All-American, and two-time preseason All-SEC selection is not only smart, he's big.
Standing 6'4”, and coming in at 304 pounds, this behemoth of man is not only able to block would-be defenders with his large, muscular frame, he also frequently outsmarts the defense, deftly picking up blitzes while handling defensive stunts with ease.
His ability to keep defenders out of the backfield or open up running lanes for Crimson Tide ball carriers is a big reason Alabama's offense can be so prolific. He'll be a major contributor to Alabama's eventual success in 2011.
Second Team: Jonathan Martin, Stanford
First Team: Matt Reynolds, Brigham Young
For the 2011 season, the BYU Cougars will have plenty of returning talent, and one offensive linemen pro scouts are drooling over is Matt Reynolds.
Reynolds is 6'6” and 320 pounds. Pro scouts have had their eye on him for a couple of years, and his senior season in 2011 will be his opportunity to showcase his abilities as he moves towards a first or second-round draft selection in the spring.
Second Team: Levy Adcock, Oklahoma State
First Team: Mike Brewster, Ohio State
Mike Brewster anchored an impressive Ohio State offensive line last season, holding down the center position with such skill as to earn him All-American honors for the 2010 season.
Brewster has also been mentioned by head coach Luke Fickell as a reason why Ohio State “will be okay”—because players like Brewster are putting in the hard work to make sure the Buckeyes are successful in 2011.
As the NCAA meets with Ohio State personnel—present and past—about the all-but-proven allegations involving cash for memorabilia scandal and the Tressel cover up that ensued, there's no way to be certain how successful Ohio State may be this season. In the end, the Buckeyes may find themselves playing for nothing but pride.
Second Team: Thomas Byrd, Boise State
First Team: David Molk, Michigan
David Molk isn't the largest offensive lineman you'll find in the nation. He's not even the largest lineman you'll find in Ann Arbor. But he plays like a lineman twice his size.
Molk is “just” 6'2” and “only” 275 pounds, but he played well enough to be an All-American honorable mention last season, as well as All-Big Ten and a Rimington Trophy finalist.
Second Team: Mike Ryan, Connecticut
First Team: Nate Potter, Boise State
In the recent years of success at Boise State, there haven't been a ton of stars from the state of Idaho. After all, Idaho is sparsely populated, relative to football recruiting hotspots.
But Nate Potter isn't only from Idaho, he's actually from Boise, and he's been impressive in front of his hometown crowd.
Potter, a 6'6” 300-pound behemoth, has dominated the weaker WAC opponents over the past two seasons and has shown amazing consistency in his performance.
He may not receive as much credit in the media for his week-in and week-out domination of opposing defensive linemen, but his athleticism is a big reason why Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore has the time in the pocket to throw as accurately as he does.
Second Team: Mike Adams, Ohio State
First Team: Blair Walsh, Georgia
Blair Walsh enters his senior season at Georgia with some impressive marks from the previous season. Walsh was 20-for-23 on field goals last season and 6-for-8 on kicks over 40 yards (including 2-for-2 over 50). Under 40 yards, he was nearly automatic, going 14-for-15 on the season.
His leg may be called upon in 2011 to keep Georgia in some close games, and his proven consistency should have head coach Mark Richt resting comfortably on the fact that he won't have to spend too much time worrying about the kicking game this season.
Second Team: T.Y. Hilton, Florida International
First Team: Brandon Jenkins, Florida State
Brandon Jenkins is a Florida State defensive end that just destroys offenses he opposes. Finishing 2010 with an impressive 14 sacks, this 6'3”, 240-pound, one-man wrecking crew isn't very big, but he's incredibly fast and strong.
The Seminoles will need big things from Jenkins if they're to live up to their lofty preseason ranking in 2011.
Second Team: Billy Winn, Boise State
First Team: Jarel Worthy, Michigan State
Jarel Worthy is a 6'5”, 305-pound monster anchoring the Michigan State defensive line. His solid play in 2010 was a big part of the Spartans 11-2 record and co-Big Ten championship.
While a lot of people aren't giving the Spartans much hope this season, it will be players like Worthy that will eventually prove to the nation that one discounts MSU at their own peril.
Second Team: Jake Bequette, Arkansas
First Team: Devin Taylor, South Carolina
Devin Taylor returns for his junior season at South Carolina after a very impressive sophomore campaign for the Gamecocks.
Taylor had 46 tackled, 7.5 sacks, and 13 TFL in 2010, and this defensive end is sure to be stellar against the run again this season. Taylor also has the agility and strength to get into the backfield and wreak havoc on unsuspecting quarterbacks.
Second Team: Vince Browne, Northwestern
First Team: Jared Crick, Nebraska
Nebraska has certainly had their share of great interior linemen, and Jared Crick seems to be only the latest defensive star on the line for the Cornhuskers.
Last season, Crick stepped into the rather large hole left by Ndamukong Suh as the top defensive lineman on the squad, and although we didn't see Suh-like numbers, it's clear that Crick is establishing himself as one of the greats at the position.
Crick finished 2010 with 70 tackles, 9.5 sacks and 17 TFL. If he takes another step up in performance this season, he may soon have people asking, “Ndamukong Who?”
Second Team: Shea McClellin, Boise State
First Team: Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
There's little doubt that Manti Te'o is one of the nation's premiere linebackers.
Last season at Notre Dame, Te'o established himself as a top linebacker with his amazing speed, field vision, and vicious tackling. Te'o had 133 tackles last season, which included 9.5 for loss and a sack.
With Te'o prowling the field, the Fighting Irish defense looks to take the next step up and help lead their team back to the BCS in 2011.
Second Team: Sean Spence, Miami (FL)
First Team: Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
When the player you're asked to replace is Rolando McClain, it's quite a tall order. But Dont'a Hightower has risen to the challenge and proved that a knee injury wasn't going to slow him down.
While some lingering questions about his long-term fitness may keep some people from buying Hightower stock, his late-season form in 2010 showed us that he has the skills and versatility to become the linebacker we all thought he would when he was a budding young freshman. Look for big improvements on his numbers from 2010: 69 tackles, 3.5 TFL.
Second Team: Luke Kuechly, Boston College
First Team: Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State
With 90 tackles and 8.5 TFL in 2010, Vontaze Burfict was a clear bright spot on an otherwise gloomy 6-6 Arizona State squad last year.
But experience can go a long way, and if there's one thing Arizona State will have plenty of, it's experience (they return 20-of-22 total starters from last season).
Arizona State could be a very dangerous team in the Pac-12 in 2011, and a big part of the Sun Devil's defense will be Burfict.
Second Team: Tank Carder, Texas Christian
First Team: Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier has spent a lot of time convincing young stars that South Carolina is a program worth playing for in the SEC. He has taken the slow and steady steps needed to build an SEC Championship caliber program.
Last season, those building blocks finally amounted to something that had never happened before at South Carolina—an SEC divisional title and championship game berth.
Stephon Gilmore was a big part of the Gamecocks development into an SEC power, and he's exactly the type of player Spurrier is looking to attract. He's not only talented enough to play at SC, he could play for any SEC program, or any program in the nation, and still be a star on that team.
Gilmore was an All-SEC corner last season, and this year, he could blossom into one of the nation's top CB's.
Second Team: Jayton Hosley, Virginia Tech
First Team: Cliff Harris, Oregon
With all of the scoring going on for Oregon last season, it was easy to overlook the defense.
Cliff Harris anchored the Ducks defensive backfield with quiet confidence and a lethal ability to read quarterbacks. He had just 33 tackles last season but intercepted six passes and broke up 17 more.
No top-tier FBS returns with more pass deflections than Harris, and if Oregon hopes to repeat last season's conference championship performance, they'll need every ounce of output Harris can give them this season.
Second Team: Robert Lester, Alabama
First Team: Mark Barron, Alabama
Perhaps the one thing Alabama was lacking last season was a defense that mixed talent with experience. While the Tide secondary was certainly oozing talent, it was a little thin on experience.
Mark Barron was thrust into a leadership role in 2010, and he definitely rose to the occasion, with a team-leading 75 tackles, two sacks, three interceptions and six pass breakups.
The Crimson Tide will again look to Barron to anchor their defense this season, but in 2011, Barron should be leading a much more experienced squad—one that should be able to put Alabama within reach of another SEC championship and resulting BCS berth.
Second Team: Antonio Feneius, Wisconsin
First Team: Morris Claiborne, Louisiana State
Morris Claiborne is entering his junior season at LSU with some very high expectations. He had a solid sophomore campaign for the Tigers, accounting for 37 tackles, five interceptions and six pass breakups, but now is his opportunity to prove that he can be more than the occasional big play contributor.
Les Miles is hoping to build on the Tigers' 2010 successes, and the LSU defense should expect to play a starring role this season. If LSU is to return to the BCS in 2011, the defense, led by Claiborne, will need to do more to keep some of the SEC's elite offenses off the scoreboard this year. Claiborne certainly has all the tools necessary to do just that.
Second Team: T.J. McDonald, Southern California
First Team: Kyle Martens, Rice
You really have to feel for punters. After all, they are the one player on your favorite team that you hope you never have to see play.
Last season, Rice's Kyle Martens was called upon 52 times (just over four punts per game), and averaged an impressive 46.0 yards per punt, which included his long of a whopping 71. He also placed 22 punts inside the 20-yard line, yet only had five touchbacks on the season.
That kind of consistency with pinning opposing teams deep in their own territory is all a coach can ask of his punter.
Second Team: Drew Butler, Georgia
First Team: Damaris Johnson, Tulsa
Damaris Johnson is back at Tulsa for his senior season, and he'll continue his kick returning duties for the Golden Hurricane.
In 2010, Johnson amassed 904 return yards on 34 attempts, averaging 26.6 yards per return. He also was able to return one kick all the way for six points.
Tulsa has a long road in front of them this season in Conference USA, and their non-conference schedule includes both of the other FBS Oklahoma programs. That long road can be made just a little shorter with the exploits of a talented returner like Johnson.
Second Team: Quincy McDuffle, Central Florida
First Team: Cliff Harris, Oregon
There just doesn't seem to be any holes to exploit in Oregon's armor.
Their offense is prolific, their defense is suffocating and their special teams now boasts an All-American punt returner.
On top of that, Cliff Harris is a rare dual All-American, earning honors not only as a DB All-American, but also as a PR All-American.
Last season, Harris returned 29 punts for an average of 18.8 yards, totaling 546 yards. He also found his way into the end zone four times last season and is the FBS's top returning punt returner in two of those categories (touchdowns and average).
The only returning FBS punt returner to amass more yards during 2010 was our second-team selection—Maryland's Tony Logan.
Second Team: Tony Logan, Maryland