Commentary

Six QBs headline best clutch players for 2008

Originally Published: August 1, 2008
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

Looking for a quarterback who will stand in the pocket with a 250-pound defensive end bearing down on him? Looking for a kicker who will stare down a 50-yard field goal and not blink? Here's a look at the top clutch players in college football for 2008:

[+] EnlargePatrick White
Ned Dishman/Getty Images Pat White's big-game performances help make him the top clutch player of 2008.

1. Pat White, QB, West Virginia
The senior has played his best in the Mountaineers' biggest games, leading them to upset victories over Georgia in the 2006 Sugar Bowl and Oklahoma in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl.

2. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner has produced big play after big play for the Gators. The junior will have to become a better passer for the Gators to win their second national title in three seasons.

3. Chase Daniel, QB, Missouri
The senior outshined his competition late last season, leading the Tigers to the Big 12 North title. He had 15 touchdowns and only one interception in four victories last November.

4. Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
The senior is one of the most feared hitters in college football and was a one-man wrecking crew against Illinois in the Rose Bowl.

5. Sam Swank, K, Wake Forest
There isn't a steadier kicker in college football than Swank, who is 9-for-12 on attempts from 50 yards or longer.

[+] EnlargeCullen Harper
Rex Brown/Getty ImagesMeet college football's most underrated quarterback: Clemson's Cullen Harper.

6. Cullen Harper, QB, Clemson
Tigers tailbacks James Davis and C.J. Spiller are more heralded than Harper, who is college football's most underrated quarterback.

7. James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
The reigning Butkus Award winner led the top-rated defense in the country in 2007. He came back to school to lead a defense that might be even better this season.

8. Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech
The senior led an improbable comeback in a 31-28 win over Virginia in the Gator Bowl last season. Coach Mike Leach is hoping the Red Raiders don't have to come from behind very often in 2008.

9. Travis Beckum, TE, Wisconsin
There isn't a more fearless pass-catcher in the country than Beckum, who had 136 receptions in the past two seasons combined.

10. Max Hall, QB, BYU
If the Cougars are going to crash the BCS party this season, they'll need big performances from Hall. The Arizona State transfer had more passing yards (3,848) than any other sophomore in the country last season.

Mark Schlabach covers college football and men's college basketball for ESPN.com. You can contact him at schlabachma@yahoo.com.

Mark Schlabach | email

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