The 30 Biggest College Football Stars Since 2000

30. Deshaun Watson

Watson had a storybook career at Clemson. After entering his freshman year as the back-up, Watson performed well enough to get the starting nod after three weeks. In his first career start, Watson threw for a school record six touchdowns. A broken hand interrupted Watson’s great start, and at the conclusion of the season, he underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL.

In his sophomore year, Watson set the world on fire. The steady signal caller carried the Tigers all the way to the National Championship, only to lose a close game to Alabama by the score of 45-40. In Watson’s third and final season with the Tigers, he was named a Heisman finalist for the second straight year. The Tigers returned to the National Championship in 2016, this time defeating Alabama on a last-second touchdown pass from Watson. Watson finished his career with 116 total touchdowns and a 157.5 passer rating.

Image Source: John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports

29. Michael Crabtree

Before Crabtree was getting into fights with Aqib Talib in the NFL, he was busy setting NCAA records. As a freshman in 2007, Crabtree set eight NCAA receiving records. The All-American caught 134 passes for 1,962 yards. If those numbers weren’t ridiculous enough, Crabtree hauled in 22 touchdowns.

Following up his historic freshman year, Crabtree solidified his place in history by having an excellent sophomore campaign. Crabtree caught 97 passes for 1,165 yards and 19 touchdowns. The star receiver finished fifth in Heisman voting, and won the Biletnikoff Award for a second time. Crabtree remains the only player to win the award twice.

Image Source: Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images