The 2019 College Football season is upon us, and numerous scenarios will intrigue fans all season long. Current dynasties, dynasties in the making and teams looking to take that next step will dominate the country for the next 6 months. Let’s take a look at our top players to watch during this season, in no particular order…….well maybe alphabetically.
The player who saved the day and rallied Alabama in the 2018 SEC championship was equivalent to a glorified quarterback coach in the National Championship beating at the hands of Clemson. Hurts deciding to leave Alabama for an opportunity to show he could be more than a game manager. With all its recent success, the Alabama offense is designed for quarterbacks to not fail rather than succeed. Surprisingly, Hurts chose to spend his final college season in Norman, OK at the modern-day “quarterback U.” Lincoln Riley has coached the last two Heisman Trophy winners in a dynamic offensive scheme that translated to both, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray being selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the last two NFL Drafts. Watching Hurts this season will be like watching a high-speed chase, a full-on adrenaline rush while hoping there are no fatalities. Hurts stats are good but don’t stand out due to the run-heavy scheme he played in at Alabama. He was rarely asked to be more than a player than “the” player, but he will get that chance this season. Jalen Hurts can become part of college football history by winning a national title for two different teams. And if that happens there’s a good chance he’ll be a Heisman Trophy candidate who would further solidify Norman, OK as THE spot for quarterbacks. Win or lose the microscope will be on Hurts all season, and his results will be legendary at worst.
Very few quarterbacks with the high school fanfare of Trevor Lawrence live up to the hype, but he exceeded all expectations by winning the national championship in his first season.
Not only did he lead Clemson to an undefeated season, but he also handed Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban his worst loss in recent history. Lawrence threw for 3,280 yards and 30 touchdowns despite only starting 10 of the 15 games he appeared in, and those numbers are expected to increase significantly considering the upcoming schedule. Outside of a Week 2 match-up with the 12th ranked Texas A&M Aggies, the schedule is laughable. By the end of the season, there will be a faction of CFB fans clamoring for Lawrence to sit out his junior year, because he has nothing left to prove.
All it took was a small injury to and a couple of bad quarters of play for the college football world to turn against Tua Tagovailoa. The hero of the 2018 season was quickly forgotten after a few ill-advised passes, but the doubters and haters will serve as motivation for his redemption tour. Let’s not forget Tua was 34 yards away from throwing for 4,000 yards while throwing 46 TDs with just 6 interceptions. He was embarrassed on the biggest stage by a true freshman while the whole world watched in disbelief in a game Alabama was a six-point favorite. It may sound silly to most, but Tua has the most to prove out of any player in CFB this year. The CFB world should be terrified of what this young man is going to do to your defenses this year. Tua also has to prove he can be NFL-caliber QB and not just a system player who can accel against inferior opponents. If doubt motivates this young man, quite a few head coaches and defensive coordinators will be looking at relocation packages at the end of this season.