Few players can be named an All-American defensive lineman while playing with a torn labrum, but that's exactly the feat USC's Leonard Williams accomplished last season. He has terrific size for a defensive end, shows a number of quality moves and his hand placement is very solid for someone his age. Williams is also remarkably savvy when it comes to rushing the passer and knows just what to exploit against opposing offensive linemen.
Pulling back the curtain on the vote
Only two players were ranked inside the top 10 by every panelist. Williams was one of them. One analyst ranked him as college football's best player (Williams was one of three players to receive a first-place vote); his lowest ranking was eighth.
What some of our analysts are saying about Williams
"He is a dominant player on tape. He has a rare blend of size, length and explosiveness." - Daniel Jeremiah
"Powerful interior defender with outstanding first-step quickness and body control. Williams should dominate the Pac-12 now that he's healthy and ready to go." - Bucky Brooks
"Plays inside like a defensive end ... breathtaking athleticism." - Charles Davis
"Great pass rusher, big-time athlete who is strong and fast." - Gil Brandt
"When he's finished, he might be the most talented defensive player to come through USC in the past decade." - Bryan Fischer
"The nation's top defensive lineman can play inside or outside, and unlike some of the pass-rushing ends who might record a higher sack total, Williams can hold his own against the run as well." - Chase Goodbread
"He's a bad man. And that is meant in a good way. He can be a dominant defensive tackle as well as a dominant end." - Mike Huguenin
Where do fans rank Williams?
We asked Twitter and Facebook users who they considered the best player in college football. Williams didn't receive any votes among the more than 19,000 cast. Could be some East Coast bias at work here.