The Tide went into Louisiana and stole a five-star recruit, and the top offensive lineman of 2014, right from under LSU. Robinson wisely chose Alabama due to its immeidate need for help on the line. Cam was plugged into left tackle from day one and proved to be Bama's top offensive lineman in 2014. Expect Robinson to play out the next two years before becoming a top NFL draft pick in 2017.
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The longtime Auburn commit shocked the state of Alabama when the five-star running back flipped to the Tide in December of 2011. Yeldon may not have been the flashiest of all the recent Bama backs, but he's consistently been excellent and always seems to make the big play when the Tide need it most. Yeldon will be a difficult player for the Tide to replace, as the standout runner has declared himself for the 2015 NFL draft.
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Collins became an Internet legend thanks in large part to his mother publicly displaying her displeasure as Collins chose Bama over hometown LSU. Landon proved to his mother Tuscaloosa was the right place for him, as he lead the Tide defense in tackles (98) and interceptions (3) on his way to an All-American campaign. Collins has also forgone his senior season and is expected to be a top pick in the NFL draft.
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The top-ranked player out of Tennessee in 2013, former five-star recruit Jalen Ramsey really came into his own last season and became a defensive leader for the Noles. Ramsey was known for making game-changing plays for the Noles this season, most notably in the Miami game with a blocked PAT that turned the game. Despite living in the shadow of Jameis Winston, Ramsey proved to be a better player than the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner in 2014.
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Goldman is a five-star lineman who lived up to the hype in the Noles' 2012 recruiting class. NC State head coach Dave Doeren has called Goldman "the best defensive tackle in the college football." Goldman showed up when it mattered most; he forced a fumble against Clemson that put the game into overtime. In OT, he sacked Deshaun Watson on second down and stuffed the Tigers on their ill-fated shotgun snap run play on fourth-and-1 to win the game.
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Famous Jameis was the name given to Winston by the recruiting gurus before he ever took a snap at FSU. Winston was the rare prospect that not only lived up to but also exceeded all the hype about him. Coming in as the top-ranked passer in the country in 2012, Winston was widely considered to be very talented, but no one could have seen the 27-1 career record coming. Winston will most likely be a top-3 selection in the 2015 NFL draft.
As Oregon often reaches out of state for talent, they pulled Ekpre-Olomu from California in 2011. Had he not gotten hurt in prepartion for the Rose Bowl, Oregon's chances to win the title might have improved significantly. Ifo made one of the more spectacular interceptions of the year against Michigan State early in the season, helping the Ducks win the biggest non-conference game of the regular season. Despite missing the playoff, Ekpre-Olomu put together an All-American season to help get the Ducks in position to play for the title.
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Freeman was just too good to keep off the field for Oregon this season, as the true freshman racked up an astounding 18 touchdowns on the ground to go along with his team-leading 1365 yards. Freeman was the fifth-ranked player in the state of California in 2014.
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Yet another four-star recruit plucked from California, Marshall led the Ducks in receiving yards (1003) and contributed in the run game with 392 yards and scored seven touchdowns in total for the high-flying Oregon offense in 2014. Don't blame Marshall for the loss against Ohio State; he played his best game in the national title with 8 catches for 169 yards and a touchdown.
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The five-star safety from Georgia seems to have a knack for making big plays when the Buckeyes defense needs them the most. Bell was second on the team in tackles (78) and had five interceptions, six passes broken up and 11 defended. Bell is essentially a faster version of Landon Collins. If Bell can lead Ohio State to another playoff run, expect him to head for an outstanding NFL career.
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Joey Bosa has been a nightmare for opponents every since he stepped onto the field in Columbus. The former four-star recruit is constantly blowing up the backfield or rushing quarterbacks into hurried decisions. Despite facing constant double teams all season, Bosa was able to rack up 14 sacks this season and was an Unanimous All-American selection by the Football Writers Association of America.
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Was there really any doubt who would be No. 1? The highest ranked player coming out of Missouri in 2013, Elliott really saved his best for last, as he averaged 232 yards on the ground in do-or-die games against Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon. Elliott finished the year with 1878 rushing yards (6.9 average) and 18 touchdowns, including four in the title game.