College Football Teams with the Most Star Power in 2018

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2018

College Football Teams with the Most Star Power in 2018

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Premier talent can be found all across the college football landscape, but only a select few are surrounded by other household names.

    Without question, the sport is losing a massive collection of talent to the NFLespecially at quarterback and running back. Yet there are seven teams with multiple returning starters who the majority of fans already know.

    Although other programs will join that mix in 2018, we're highlighting the best of the bunch entering the offseason.

    Florida State, Miami, Penn State, Stanford and Wisconsin are among the first group of teams that narrowly missed the cut.

West Virginia Mountaineers

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    Ray Thompson/Associated Press

    The A-listers: No returning power-conference quarterback averaged more yards per game than Will Grier, who amassed 3,490 yards and 34 touchdowns in a slightly injury-shortened year. David Sillsfirst famous for USC offering him a scholarship when he was 13tied for an FBS-best 18 touchdown receptions in 2017.

    Other big names: David Long Jr. recorded seven tackles for loss in a single game last season, finishing the year with 15.5 total. Additionally, no returning receiver had more catches than Gary Jennings (97) during the 2017 campaign.

Washington Huskies

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The A-listers: Jake Browning finished sixth in Heisman Trophy voting during the 2016 season when he helped Washington reach the College Football Playoff. Myles Gaskin has three consecutive 1,300-yard seasons and scored 21 rushing touchdownstied for the third-most in the nationlast year.

    Other big names: Byron Murphy and Jordan Miller are star cornerbacks, but injuries cut short 2017 for both standouts. They, along with Taylor Rapp, headline a stellar secondary. Left tackle Trey Adams will be a popular name in early 2019 NFL mock drafts.

Georgia Bulldogs

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    Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

    The A-listers: After replacing Jacob Eason, Jake Fromm guided Georgia to an SEC title and appearance in the national championship. Barring injury he'll be under center for the next two seasons alongside D'Andre Swift, who will be replacing Nick Chubb and Sony Michel in the backfield.

    Other big names: Deandre Baker is a lockdown cornerback, and disruptive linebacker D'Andre Walker will likely be a productive player in 2018. Mecole Hardman, the speedster with an 80-yard touchdown against Alabama in the national championship, should take on a featured role during his sophomore year.

Alabama Crimson Tide

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    The A-listers: Alabama will be the home of college football's most intriguing quarterback battle this offseason. Jalen Hurts has started for two years, but Tua Tagovailoa is an enormous reason the Crimson Tide won the national title last season. Damien Harris has back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns, and Jonah Williams is one of the most respected offensive linemen in the country.

    Other big names: Anfernee Jennings, Dylan Moses and Mack Wilson are the next great linebackers in a rich tradition at the position. Najee Harris will continue a similar tradition at running back. Raekwon Davis made the critical interception against Georgia, and DeVonta Smith pulled in the game-winning catch.

Michigan Wolverines

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    The A-listers: Rashan Gary, a former No. 1 overall recruit, exploded onto the national scene last summer. He highlighted a cycle that included Shea Patterson, the nation's top-ranked quarterback prospect in 2016 and a recent transfer to Michigan.

    Other big names: Long-haired Chase Winovich has 13.5 sacks over the last two seasons, and Devin Bush Jr. earned third-team AP All-America honors in 2017. Khaleke Hudsonwho posted an absurd eight TFL in a game last yearDavid Long and Lavert Hill are also tremendous defenders. Wide receiver Tarik Black missed most of 2017 due to injury but could be an All-Big Ten target if healthy.

Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

    The A-listers: Nick Bosa arrived with hype because he's the younger brother of Joey, the third overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, but the defensive end has proved he's an All-American talent himself. J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber combined for 2,029 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground in 2017.

    Other big names: In addition to Dre'Mont Jones, the defense is full of rising stars in Jordan Fuller, Tuf Borland, Damon Arnette, Chase Young and Jeffrey Okudah. Whichever quarterback replaces J.T. Barrett will quickly become a well-known face, and Dwayne Haskins is likely to earn that spot.

Clemson Tigers

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    Rusty Costanza/Associated Press

    The A-listers: Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell and Dexter Lawrence are elite defensive linemen, and Mitch Hyatt is one of the best left tackles in the country. Quarterback Kelly Bryant garnered attention for both being Deshaun Watson's replacement and guiding Clemson to the College Football Playoff.

    Other big names: Hunter Renfrow isn't quite a star, but he's a key receiver who has twice excelled against Alabama in a national championship. Trevor Lawrence was the No. 1 recruit in the 2018 class, and Kendall Joseph is among the best returning linebackers.

           

    All recruiting information via 247Sports. Stats from NCAA.comcfbstats.com or B/R research. Quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.

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