No. 2 Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Previous ranking: Not ranked.
Making the case for Watkins: Just about everyone is expecting Watkins to be even better than he was as a freshman in 2011, when he made an impressive debut as one of the top all-purpose players in the country. Last year was a down year by his standards, as he did not reach 1,000 yards receiving, thanks to an early season suspension and then an injury that limited him from living up to the hype. Headed into this year, there are no distractions. Watkins has stayed out of trouble, and worked harder both in the weight room and on the practice field. He also has grown up, too, and is ready to become a dependable leader on an offense that will be missing its top receiving threat from a year ago. Watkins will be counted on to replace DeAndre Hopkins' reliability and production, and will once again be a key member of the Tigers return game. If he can put last season behind him, Watkins should be one of the top players not in the ACC but the nation this season.
No. 3 Duke Johnson, RB, Miami