This story appears in ESPN College Football 2016, on newsstands June 7. Order online today!
The SEC is once again king -- Alabama's 2015 national title was the league's eighth in 10 seasons -- but it can surely see a challenger coming in its rearview mirror. The Big Ten boasts more of my All-Americans (eight) than any other conference.
QB Deshaun Watson, Jr., Clemson
The first FBS player to ever have 4,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season is back ... and may do it again.
RB Leonard Fournette, Jr., LSU
Despite only 18 starts, Fournette has 2,987 rushing yards, 15 100-yard games and 32 touchdowns.
RB Dalvin Cook, Jr., Florida State
Finished seventh in the Heisman balloting, and is FSU's offensive key heading into 2016.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jr., USC
Smith-Schuster lit up secondaries in his first two years, including 1,454 yards in 2015, third most in USC history.
WR Calvin Ridley, So., Alabama
Ridley set a Crimson Tide freshman record with 1,045 receiving yards on 89 catches with seven touchdowns.
TE Jake Butt, Sr., Michigan
The Wolverines' NFL-ready receiver passed up the draft after catching 51 balls in Jim Harbaugh's offense.
C Kyle Fuller, Sr., Baylor
After 26 consecutive starts on a dominant line, Fuller will have four new starters alongside him this season.
T Zach Banner, Sr., USC
The former Trojans basketball player stands 6-foot-9, 360 pounds and will start for his third year at USC.
T Roderick Johnson, Jr., Florida State
Johnson won the ACC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy in Dalvin Cook's school-record 1,691-yard season in 2015.
G Pat Elflein, Sr., Ohio State
The Buckeyes' versatile standout has played both guard positions in Columbus, and returns as one of the Buckeyes' top team leaders.
G Dan Feeney, Sr., Indiana
Feeney is so dominant he didn't give up a sack on 475 pass plays in 2015 and has allowed only one in 37 starts.
DE Myles Garrett, Jr., Texas A&M
Warning to QBs: Garrett said his 12.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in 2015 added up to a "sophomore slump."
DE Jonathan Allen, Sr., Alabama
The Tide's senior star opted to return to Tuscaloosa, where he ought to again be one of the SEC's most dominant backfield disruptors.
DT Malik McDowell, Jr., Michigan State
McDowell (6-6, 275) has the size and strength to play in the middle of the line and the speed to play on the edge.
LB Jabrill Peppers, Jr., Michigan
Peppers started 12 games at DB, played a little offense, returned punts and kickoffs in 2015 and now moves to LB.
LB Ben Boulware, Sr., Clemson
The Tigers' top returning tackler (135 stops in 2015) should be even better in 2016.
LB Raekwon McMillan, Jr., Ohio State
McMillan led OSU with 119 tackles in 2015. This season he'll be the unquestioned leader of the defense.
LB Reuben Foster, Sr., Alabama
The Alabama player with the Auburn tattoo was second in tackles for the Tide last season with 73.
CB Desmond King, Sr., Iowa
Easy pick: King had eight picks as a junior en route to unanimous All-American honors.
CB Jourdan Lewis, Sr., Michigan
First-team All-Big Ten pick in 2015 as a junior, should make a big jump as a senior.
S Derwin James, So., Florida State
James won't be 20 until August, but he has already lived up to massive recruiting hype after a dominant freshman season (91 tackles, 4.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries).
S Jamal Adams, Jr., LSU
At 6-1, 211, and with 60 tackles and four INTs in 2015, Adams is bigger and maybe better than Tyrann Mathieu.
K Andy Phillips, Sr., Utah
The former U.S. ski team Alpine racer has made 84 percent of his field goals, including a perfect 4-for-4 on kicks of 50 yards or longer.
P Hayden Hunt, Sr., Colorado State
A Ray Guy finalist in 2015, Hunt may break through the Tom Hackett award blockade as a senior.
KR Adoree' Jackson, Jr., USC
The Trojans' do-it-all star was excused from spring practice to focus on trying to qualify for the 2016 Olympics as a long jumper.
AP Christian McCaffrey, Jr., Stanford
What else can you say about arguably the most versatile player in the country? A lot, actually. McCaffrey put up those monstrous numbers (3,864 total yards) in 2015 despite a paltry 114 rushing yards in his first two games.