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Best offensive 'triplets' in college football

  • By Mike Huguenin, Bryan Fischer and Chase Goodbread NFL.com
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Rick Scuteri / Associated Press
Arizona State's Taylor Kelly is one of a number of talented quarterbacks that the Pac-12 features.

» Best defensive 'triplets' in college football


The sports landscape is littered with famed "triplets" -- trios of top-tier talent capable of dominating games. Perhaps the most prolific set of triplets in NFL history -- Pro Football Hall of Famers QB Troy Aikman, RB Emmitt Smith and WR Michael Irvin -- captured three Super Bowl championships in the 1990s. The NBA's Miami Heat just saw their group of triplets broken up, with LeBron James leaving Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.


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Looking ahead to the 2014 season, College Football 24/7 is taking a look at the top triplets in each of the top conferences. We started with defensive triplets and continue with offensive triplets, or the teams in each league with the best set of players at quarterback, running back and wide receiver.

ACC

Florida State: QB Jameis Winston, RB Karlos Williams and WR Rashad Greene.
Greene and Williams might be the best seniors in the nation at their positions, while Winston -- a sophomore -- might be the best player in the nation regardless of class. Winston (6-foot-4, 230 pounds), of course, won the Heisman Trophy and led FSU to the national title last season as a redshirt freshman. He threw for 4,057 yards and 40 TDs. Winston has some mechanical issues to clear up, and it's obvious he needs to grow up off the field, but he has a ton of talent and could lead FSU to a second consecutive national title. Williams (6-1, 225) didn't become a running back until Game 2 last season, moving over from safety. He is a big-time athlete with good speed who runs physical. FSU's Devonta Freeman ran for 1,000 yards last season, the first 1,000-yard rusher for FSU since Warrick Dunn in 1996; Williams should make it two 1,000-yard rushers in a row. Greene (6-0, 180) lacks bulk, but he is smooth, elusive and seemingly always open. Look for 1,000 receiving yards and 12 TDs from him this fall even though he is the only proven receiver on FSU's roster and should be double-teamed as soon as he steps on the field.

Big Ten

Indiana: QB Nate Sudfeld, RB Tevin Coleman and WR Shane Wynn.
Sudfeld (6-5, 232), a strong-armed junior from California, threw for 2,523 yards and 23 TDs while sharing time last season; this fall, the job is all his, and while IU lacks proven receivers other than Wynn, Sudfeld should put up big numbers in coach Kevin Wilson's pass-friendly offense. Coleman (6-1, 210), a junior, is underrated in the Big Ten, much less nationally. He is an explosive runner -- he had eight rushes of at least 40 yards (tied for the most nationally) and nine of at least 30 yards (tied for fourth-most) -- last season, when he had 12 rushing TDs. He also has the potential to become a dangerous receiver. Wynn (5-7, 170) should get enough passes thrown his way to lead the Big Ten in receptions, but his lack of size makes you wonder if he can take the punishment that goes with being a go-to receiver. Despite that lack of size, he has shown he can be an effective possession receiver and now needs to show he also can be a deep threat.

Baylor Bears wide receiver Antwan Goodley (5) eludes Louisiana Monroe Warhawks cornerback Rob'Donovan Lewis (4) during the game at Floyd Casey Stadium. The Bears defeated the Warhawks 70-7. (Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports)
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Big 12

Baylor: QB Bryce Petty, RB Shock Linwood and WR Antwan Goodley.
It's no surprise that the Big 12's best set of triplets comes from the state of Texas and that Art Briles is their coach. Petty put up phenomenal numbers last year in leading the Bears to the Big 12 title and could be even better in 2014. Linwood was once third on the depth chart, but made the most of being an injury replacement and wound up sixth in the conference in rushing, while Goodley is coming off a 1,339-yard and 13-touchdown season.

Pac-12

Arizona State: QB Taylor Kelly, RB D.J. Foster and WR Jaelen Strong.
Almost every team in the Pac-12 has a quality group on offense, but Sun Devils offensive coordinator Mike Norvell has the most talented trio combined. Kelly flies under the radar compared to some of his peers, but was as productive as any last season leading the offense, while Foster is a multi-purpose star no matter where he lines up at. Strong might be the best receiver west of the Mississippi and will be drawing plenty of attention from scouts in case he leaves school a season early.

NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks digs deep into the game tape to evaluate college football's most talented players.

» Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson
» Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
» Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
» Leonard Williams, DL, USC
» Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
» Wisconsin's Gordon vs. Georgia's Gurley

SEC

South Carolina: QB Dylan Thompson, RB Mike Davis and WR Damiere Byrd.
There are some teams in the SEC with a better answer than South Carolina at two of the three key skill positions on offense, but none of them are as well equipped at all three spots as the Gamecocks are. Thompson, though he's been Connor Shaw's backup for a couple of years, has significant playing experience (nearly 2,000 career passing yards) and should be among the top three or four passers in the league this fall. While most would argue Georgia's Todd Gurley as the league's top rusher, Davis is every bit as talented and productive, having rushed for 1,183 yards last year with 11 touchdowns. If healthy all season, Davis could easily threaten the 1,500-yard mark this year. Byrd has track star speed and should provide a valuable deep threat for Thompson this season. With 33 catches for 575 yards last year, he is the Gamecocks' leading returner at the position.

Other conferences

AAC: Houston (QB John O'Korn, RB Kenneth Farrow and WR Deontay Greenberry).

Conference USA: Marshall (QB Rakeem Cato, RB Steward Butler and WR Tommy Shuler).

MAC: Bowling Green (QB Matt Johnson, RB Travis Greene and WR Chris Gallon).

Mountain West: Boise State (QB Grant Hedrick, RB Jay Ajayi and WR Matt Miller).

Sun Belt: Louisiana-Lafayette (QB Terrence Broadway, RB Alonzo Harris and WR Jamal Robinson).

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