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#CFBTop20 Do-over: Ranking top 20 players at midseason

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LSU's Leonard Fournette has emerged as a top contender for the Heisman Trophy.

Before the season, CFB 24/7 counted down the top 20 players in college football based on input from seven writers and analysts.

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Unfortunately, three of the top 11 players on that list have suffered injuries (Georgia running back Nick Chubb, No. 8; UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, No. 11; Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright III, No. 6) that prevent me from including them on this list.

In addition, Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, No. 4 on the preseason list, has yet to play this season due to a suspension, so he wasn't included on this list. He would likely be in the top 10 if he had been playing. He'll be back on Oct. 24 to face Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett (listed below).

The other players that didn't make my midseason list after cracking the top 20 in the preseason staff poll: Pitt WR Tyler Boyd, USC QB Cody Kessler, Ohio State WR Braxton Miller, Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley, Michigan State DE Shilique Calhoun, Oregon DE DeForest Buckner and Baylor DE Shawn Oakman.

Thankfully, there are plenty of talented players to fill those vacated spots -- my No. 1 midseason player wasn't on the preseason list, and there are 11 newcomers total -- as I redo the list based on what has transpired in the first half of the season.


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1. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 1: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
LSU's man-child has already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark by running through, around and past defenders. The road might be a bit tougher as the Tigers go through their conference schedule. If he keeps this up in the second half of the season, the Heisman Trophy likely will be his in December.

2. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU
Preseason ranking: No. 2
The leader of the undefeated Horned Frogs uses his arm and legs (tied for second in the FBS with 412 yards of offense a game) to join Fournette as the front-runners in the Heisman race. A win over Baylor in November to win the Big 12 and a College Football Playoff berth could help him leapfrog Fournette in the Heisman battle.

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3. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Preseason ranking: No. 5
Preseason No. 3: Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
Through uneven play by the Buckeyes' quarterbacks, Elliott has kept the offense rolling with his consistent effort. He and Fournette are the only backs in the FBS to hit 100 yards in every game this season. Elliott's success (and the offensive line's) is a key for the Buckeyes if they want to repeat as champions.

4. Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Preseason ranking: No. 1
Preseason No. 4: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
Yes, I know he was suspended for the opener. And I know his stat line isn't exceptional (six tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks in five games). In spite of everything, he's an absolute load to handle vs. the run and pass. The numbers will come, even in the Buckeyes' ever-rotating front.

5. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Preseason ranking: No. 9
Preseason No. 5: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
The sophomore is a one-man wrecking crew (Aggies fans appreciate that reference), accumulating 7.5 sacks so far this season. His height, length, and motor make him a tough ask for any offensive tackle.

6. Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 6: Scooby Wright III, LB, Arizona
Ole Miss can line him up inside or outside on the defensive line. The Rebels can play him standing up, at tight end, at fullback -- no matter what, he's going to make an impact on almost every play. Nkemdiche has scored three touchdowns on offense (two rushing, one receiving) and is a constant presence in the backfield (5.5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, four quarterback pressures).


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7. Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 7: Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
Coleman's after-the-catch ability is phenomenal. He'll take any short pass the distance, as is evidenced by his FBS-leading 13 scores in the Bears' first five games. And if no one checks him at the line of scrimmage, Coleman will jet down the seam or sideline to get behind the defense. He's the sort of all-around threat that an offense can be built around.

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8. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 8: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
If Trevone Boykin wants to stretch the field, Doctson will get down the sideline to make the play. If TCU needs a first down, Doctson boxes out his man and gets the needed yards. In the red zone? The future All-American will get open for the score. His two scores in the last six-plus minutes against Kansas State last weekend helped save the dream of a national title.

9. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 9: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
A physically imposing presence, Treadwell is a tough matchup for any college cornerback. He might not put up as many yards or scores as the previously ranked receivers due to playing an SEC schedule, but he's deserving of a top-10 spot on this list.

10. Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida
Preseason ranking: No. 7
Preseason No. 10: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Hargreaves' slip of a couple of spots is not a reflection of his play. It's a result of the ascension of others. Florida's defense relies on him to take away half the field, and he usually delivers.

11. Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
Preseason ranking: No. 3
Preseason No. 11: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
The Irish's leading tackler is as instinctive as he is explosive. Now that Myles Jack and Scooby Wright have had their seasons cut down due to injuries, a healthy Smith is on his way to joining former Notre Dame star Manti Te'o as the only linebackers to win the Butkus Award as both a prep and collegiate athlete.

12. Kyle Allen, QB, Texas A&M
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 12: Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
If I were starting a college football team for 2016, Allen would be my first phone call. His ability to move in the pocket and deliver the ball with accuracy downfield makes him a likely candidate to be at the top of this list next season. And this year, he and Garrett might just lead their team to a major bowl game.


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13. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason: Cody Kessler, QB, USC
I would say that "when healthy," Cook is one of the best backs in the country. However, he obviously wasn't healthy against Miami last weekend, pulling up on runs when tweaking his hamstring injury -- yet he still ran for 222 yards and two scores. The acceleration and quickness he showed with a damaged wheel was amazing.

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14. Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Preseason ranking: No. 10
Preseason No. 14: Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State
Cook might not be as athletic as Trevone Boykin or Kyle Allen, and he might not be as great of a pro prospect as Goff (see below). Most college coaches outside of Fort Worth and College Station would gladly take Cook to be their quarterback, though, because he can effectively lead an offense with toughness and strong downfield throws.

15. Jared Goff, QB, California
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 15: Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State
Goff's five-interception nightmare against Utah last weekend took the shine off of his junior season, but, overall, he's been very effective leading the Golden Bears. It will be interesting to see if he can shake off a night of dropped and tipped passes, as well as his own cavalier decision-making, to bring efficiency back to his game for the rest of the year.

16. Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State
Preseason ranking: No. 14
Preseason No. 16: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Ramsey is the most versatile defensive back in the country. He's able to stay with receivers downfield, play around the line of scrimmage and effectively rush the passer. It's almost a luxury for the Seminoles to have him play on the outside. Ramsey leads the Seminoles with five pass breakups to start the season, but if he remained in the Spur position this season, he would be attacking the backfield on a regular basis.

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17. Su'a Cravens, LB/S, USC
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 17: Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State
How's this for versatility? Cravens leads the Trojans in tackles for loss and sacks and is tied for the lead in interceptions, pass breakups, and forced fumbles. He'll need to step up as a defensive leader given the problems facing the football program, and there's no reason to think he can't do it.

18. Adoree' Jackson, CB/WR/KR/PR, USC
Preseason ranking: No. 18
Jackson is another player who will jump up this list in 2016 due to his all-purpose talents. He has a good chance to win the Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player) this year, however, as he averages 20 yards a catch at receiver, 10 yards per punt return, and 23 yards per kick return. He has just 11 tackles and one pass breakup at cornerback, but teams aren't exactly lining up to throw against him.

19. Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason No. 19: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
Accolades are coming to Ann Arbor, as the Wolverines are on their way back into national prominence under Jim Harbaugh. Lewis is a legitimate lockdown corner who regularly makes big plays -- he'll leap onto All-America teams if he can play well vs. Michigan State and Ohio State down the stretch.

20. Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame
Preseason ranking: Unranked
Preseason: Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor
Day blows up offensive lines with strength and quickness (eight tackles for loss, nine quarterback hurries this season). And although Day is not very big by defensive-lineman standards (listed at 6-foot-2, 285 pounds), he holds his ground in the run game by using his low center of gravity to his advantage.

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter @chad_reuter.

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