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Instant analysis: Tracking CFB's top 10 players in Week 1

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Editor's note: In this space we'll track the top 10 players in college football (based on NFL.com analyst Chad Reuter's rankings) through the first weekend of the season. Here you'll find each player's final stats and analysis of their performances from Reuter. The post will be updated throughout the day as games conclude. All times listed are Eastern.

1. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (at Auburn, Saturday, 9 p.m.)
Week 1 stats: 19 of 34 for 248 yards, TD, interception
Reuter's analysis: It wasn't one of Watson's most explosive performances, thanks mostly to a hungry Auburn defense. Watson had control of the pocket on most plays, though, making multiple NFL-caliber throws to the back shoulder and in the corner of the end zone against blitzes and tight coverage. But he did what his coaches, and NFL scouts and coaches, want to see -- calmly lead his team to a win in a hostile environment.

2. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU (vs. Wisconsin in Green Bay, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.)
Week 1 stats: 23 carries for 138 yards (6.0 average). 3 catches for 38 yards (12.7 average)
Reuter's analysis: The Heisman hopeful did not have much room to run in the first half against a well-coached Badgers defense, covering only 35 yards. He came on with some very strong runs up the middle to start the second half, and looked like he was about to carry the team on his back to win the game. But he left the field with an injury late in the fourth quarter and QB Brandon Harris threw an interception before his big back could return, as LSU fell. This wasn't Founette's best game, but scouts won't be feeling any differently about him based on this performance.

3. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M (vs. UCLA, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.)
Week 1 stats: 3 tackles, 1.5 for loss (1 sack), 2 QB hurries
Reuter's analysis: The elite pass rusher took on a very good left tackle in UCLA's Conor McDermott, who used his length to keep Garrett at bay on a number of snaps. However, Garrett got McDermott leaning badly on some plays with a strong upfield move, and used his strength to bull the Bruins' blind-side protector into the backfield on other plays (including one sack and multiple pressures). There's no sense of entitlement coming out of this star defender; he wants to live up to the hype.

4. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (vs. Kansas State, Friday)
Week 1 stats: 22 carries for 126 yards (5.7 average), 2 TDs. 7 catches for 40 yards. 2 punt returns for 16 yards. 1 kickoff return for 28 yards.
Reuter's analysis: Kansas State contained McCaffrey as much as anyone can on 20 of his 22 carries, and the star back and his quarterback had a bad exchange that led to a fumble. But talent like McCaffrey's will eventually shine through. The junior's two touchdowns covered 76 of his 126 rushing yards, as his ability to exploit a crease and find another gear was on full display on those two totes. He also had as strong of a punt return as I've ever seen -- even though the 95-yard effort was called back due to a block in the back. McCaffrey looked a bit like his dad, "Easy Ed", in leading the team with seven catches.

5. Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama (vs. USC in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, 8 p.m.)
Week 1 stats: 4 tackles (2 sacks), 2 pass breakups
Reuter's analysis: From the first play of the game, Allen was around the ball. Despite weighing about 300 pounds, he was able to get some pressure with quickness and bend when lined up outside the left tackle. Allen's motor was impressive, as well, chasing plays to the sideline when needed. Even though he didn't put up big numbers in a laugher over the Trojans, his presence was felt.

6. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (vs. Ole Miss in Orlando, Monday, 8 p.m.)
Week 1 stats: 23 carries for 91 yards (4.0 average). 7 catches for 101 yards (14.4 average).
Reuter's analysis: Cook didn't put up huge rushing yardage, and a lot of that can be attributed to a sturdy Ole Miss defense that was ready for him. The junior looked quick and agile, but didn't have many holes to cut through, so there weren't huge gains to be had. However, Cook was a great safety valve as a receiver and showed excellent hands by high-pointing a pass between two defenders in the first half. His fumble after a catch while walking uncontested into the end zone was not a good look.

7. Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami (vs. Florida A&M, Saturday, 6 p.m.)
Week 1 stats: 12 of 18 for 135 yards, 4 TDs
Reuter's analysis: Florida A&M didn't give Kaaya much of a challenge today, as the junior stood in a clean pocket and delivered accurate passes. Scouts won't learn much from this tape, as he didn't need to deal with pressure or go through progressions. In fact, he had a seat in the mid-third quarter as his team rolled up 70 points on the day.

8. Teez Tabor, CB, Florida (vs. UMass, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.)
Week 1 stats: None (serving 1-game suspension)
Reuter's analysis: Tabor and teammate C'yontai Lewis were suspended for the opener after reportedly getting into a scuffle last month. This is the second suspension for the outstanding cover man, as he missed the Tennessee game last year. He also was cited for marijuana possession in 2014, just a few months after he signed with the Gators. He'll face questions about these incidents from NFL teams whenever he enters the league, and he'll need to steer clear of trouble for the rest of the year if he wants to use his cover skills to make life difficult for opposing quarterbacks and receivers.

9. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama (vs. USC in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, 8 p.m.)
Reuter's analysis: Alabama's left tackle attacked his man on the edge all night long, getting his hands up and widening his base in pass protection to allow no pressures. He also sealed the edge and drove his legs in the run game, looking more nimble than in past years but still very aggressive. It was an impressive opening-night performance.

10. Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama (vs. USC in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, 8 p.m.)
Week 1 stats: 2 tackles, 1 QB hurry
Reuter's analysis: Like Allen, Williams didn't put up big statistics against USC but was a factor in the game while it was in doubt. Early on, he bulled right tackle Zach Banner into the backfield and created pressures. Later on, Williams allowed Banner to control him on the edge more regularly, wearing down a bit in his first action as a three-down player. Scouts will want to see him be a factor in quarters three and four if playing more against the run early in games.

3 knocking on the door

Derwin James, S, Florida State (vs. Ole Miss in Orlando, Monday, 8 p.m.)
Week 1 stats: 8 tackles (6 solo), one interception.
Reuter's analysis: Physicality is the name of the game for James, as Ole Miss found out the hard way. The sophomore made a hard hit every time a Rebel ball carrier got in his way. The Seminoles' secondary struggled early in the game against Chad Kelly's arm, but it wasn't James' fault. He made plays in coverage, including an interception that helped keep the game close in the first half. His versatility going from the deep half to the flat is impressive.

Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama (vs. USC in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, 8 p.m.)
Week 1 stats: 2 tackles (1 for loss), interception
Reuter's analysis: Humphey set the Tide's defensive tone vs. USC with a big hit on the outside early in the game, though NFL scouts were already aware of his physicality. He also displayed hands, ball awareness and quickness by corralling a tipped pass and running it in for an 18-yard touchdown. Even on special teams, Humphrey was a factor because of his work as a gunner on punt coverage.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC (vs. Alabama in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, 8 p.m.)
Week 1 stats: 1 catch for 9 yards
Reuter's analysis: It was not a good night for Smith-Schuster. Alabama's defense, including Humphrey, gave him no room to catch the ball. His frustration was evident throughout the evening, which is understandable since he had no catches until five minutes left in the third quarter. NFL teams won't hold this game against him, though, because of the inexperience of his quarterbacks and the difficulty of facing a Nick Saban defense.

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter @chad_reuter.

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