What is #CFBrank?
#CFBrank is the Twitter hashtag to use if you want to get involved in the discussion or just follow along.
How did we rank the players?
We asked 32 of ESPN's college football writers, editors and analysts to rate players on a scale of 0-10 based on their expected contributions for the 2016 season.
What has Scarbrough done to deserve mention as one of college football's best running backs? On the field, not much. But you can disregard last season's 108 yards and one touchdown. As a former five-star prospect stepping into a system that has produced two Heisman Trophy-winning running backs, much is expected.
LSU returns a whopping 18 starters, but Beckwith ranks among the most important. He is a preseason All-SEC pick after making 84 tackles and 10 tackles for loss last season, but Beckwith's value doubles when taking into account his status as one of LSU's few experienced linebackers.
With a 1,000-yard season in the books and the NFL on the horizon, Williams entered 2015 as one of the nation's top receivers. Then in the first quarter of the first game, he collided with the goal post on a touchdown grab, injuring his neck and missing the season. He returns for 2016 fully healthy and eager to make up for lost time on an offense that could be one of the most explosive in the nation.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Sophomore | Defensive Back
You don't just walk into Alabama's secondary and play from Day 1. Nick Saban personally coaches the position, and we all know how demanding he can be. So it says something that Fitzpatrick, the former No. 1 prospect out of New Jersey, was able to do exactly that, earning significant playing time at nickel back as a freshman. He not only led the team in passes defended, but he was also a playmaker on special teams.
The unofficial mayor of Austin, as his coaches call him, lived up to the hype as a true freshman and as a linebacker — but more so as a leader. The Big 12's Preseason Defensive Player of the Year is the face of Charlie Strong's rebuild and should get to do more of what he does best — rush off the edge — as a sophomore.
Fields ended last season on a tear, racking up 10.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss in the season's final seven games after transferring to the Cards from junior college. His athleticism outside made him difficult for many offenses to contain. Now that he has had a full offseason in the Louisville program, he should be among the contenders for ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
Kaaya has thrown for 3,000 yards in each of his first two seasons and is now closing in on becoming the Hurricanes' all-time leading passer. Kaaya needs 3,130 yards to break Ken Dorsey's Miami record, set during its last run at a national championship in 2001. Another successful season could mean Kaaya's last with the Canes, as an NFL future awaits.
He emerged as one of the nation's top passers last season, finishing fifth nationally with 4,561 yards and tied for fourth with 38 passing touchdowns. With an outstanding receiving corps and an offense designed to move the ball through the air, look for Falk to build on last season's success.
In his second season at the helm, Mahomes burst into the elite category of QBs nationally last fall. One of five players in FBS history to throw for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns while rushing for 450 yards and 10 touchdowns, he led the nation with 393 total-offense yards per game.
At 6-foot-9, 360 pounds, there's little doubt that Banner is one of the biggest players in college football. He also is a first-team All-Pac-12 performer who could potentially be selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft. A 27-game starter and winner of USC's top offensive lineman award last season, he's a likely preseason All-American.
Voters: Andrea Adelson, Edward Aschoff, Brian Bennett, Kyle Bonagura, David Ching, Heather Dinich, Matt Fortuna, Kevin Gemmell, David Hale, Travis Haney, Brock Huard, Chantel Jennings, Sharon Katz, Sam Khan Jr., David Lombardi, Chris Low, Tom Luginbill, Ivan Maisel, Ryan McGee, Erik McKinney, Ted Miller, Dan Murphy, Max Olson, Greg Ostendorf, Adam Rittenberg, Alex Scarborough, Jared Shanker, Mitch Sherman, Phil Steele, Jake Trotter, Tom VanHaaren, Austin Ward