No. 18. T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina
2010 numbers: He was second in the ACC in passing average per game (262.9 yards), and second in the ACC in pass efficiency (145.5). He completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He ranked among the top 25 in the country in passing, total passing yards, passing efficiency and passing average per game.
Previous ranking: Not ranked.
Making the case for Yates: There’s no way UNC would have won eight games without him. He was one of the most improved players in the ACC and almost single-handedly beat Florida State in Tallahassee. He set 37 school records and led the Tar Heels to three straight bowl games. He was a leader at a time the team needed it most and one of the underrated stars of 2010.