Certain star players are asked to shoulder a heavier burden than others when it comes to leading their team. Just ask LeBron James, whose Cavaliers still came up short in the NBA Finals despite his remarkable performance.
With that in mind, which standout college football player will have the most responsibility to carry his team to success in 2015? Here are the answers from our panel of analysts.
- Charles Davis NFL.com
WVU counting on hard-hitting safety
Pumped-up, fast-break, video-game style offenses are the rage right now, and West Virginia is one of the schools that has been leading the charge in that regard. Head coach Dana Holgorsen's offenses are rarely slowed and have set the pace for the Mountaineers' success in recent years.
But, for WVU to really make an advance in the Big 12, it's the continued improvement on defense that will tell the tale. Last year, under defensive coordinator Tony Gibson, the Blue and Gold's numbers improved significantly. Now, a thoroughly seasoned Karl Joseph's skill, savvy, leadership, and game-changing hits will be the No. 1 key to success for the team from Morgantown.
- Gil Brandt NFL.com
Boykin can carry TCU long way
I think there are four quarterbacks -- Trevone Boykin of TCU, Jeremy Johnson of Auburn, Cardale Jones of Ohio State and Cody Kessler of USC -- that have a chance to be the person who at the end of the year will lead their team to a national championship. All four teams have at least two very tough road games. My choice of the four is Boykin, because he is the best of the four quarterbacks at beating you with both his feet and his arm. Because of this ability, he can make the game-changing plays for his team.
- Lance Zierlein College Football 24/7
Freeman new face of Oregon offense
While nobody should ever cry poor for Oregon, running back Royce Freeman has a great opportunity to shine beyond expectations and help the Ducks back to the top of the Pac-12. With the departure of Marcus Mariota, Oregon will likely lean heavily on Freeman's power and explosiveness to overcome the losses of Mariota, Hroniss Grasu and Jake Fisher. Freeman carried the ball 252 times and finished with 18 touchdowns as a freshman. Don't be surprised to see Freeman carry Oregon to a conference title with nearly 1,800 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns this season.
- Mike Huguenin College Football 24/7
Prescott must deliver for MSU
I think Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott is going to have to carry a huge load if the Bulldogs are to compete in the SEC West. The Bulldogs lost three starting offensive linemen and 1,200-yard rusher Josh Robinson. Outside of De'Runnya Wilson, the receiving corps is so-so. And the defense likely takes a half-step back with the losses of the two best defenders: DE Preston Smith and LB Benardrick McKinney. That puts a lot of pressure on Prescott to again produce big numbers. Is he going to have enough help?