The Top 10 Players in College Football in 2023

On3 imageby:On3 Staff Report02/20/23

The college football offseason is upon us, but the sport never sleeps. In fact, spring practices around the country are about to kick off so it’s time to rank the top 10 players in college football going into 2023.

On3 and its team of experts have come together to decide on the 10 players who are the best in the sport heading into this offseason.

The rankings include players of every position, and several schools could have made a compelling case for one of their players to be on our official ranking of the top 10 players in college football. But let’s dig into the ones On3 tabbed with that honor.

Top 10 Players in College Football in 2023

1. QB Caleb Williams, USC: It’s usually an easy pick at the top when a reigning Heisman Trophy winner is back in school for another season. Williams was terrific in lifting USC to borderline playoff contention a year ago, and that’ll certainly be the goal for the Trojans this fall. Williams threw for 4,537 yards and 42 touchdowns last season while adding another 10 scores with his legs.

2. QB Drake Maye, North Carolina: The Tar Heels’ season got off to a shaky start in 2022, but it quickly became apparent that Maye was going to be capable of lifting the team to some impressive heights. The freshman threw for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns, while also rushing for 698 yards and seven scores. Perhaps most impressive was his toughness. Maye never hesitated to put his body on the line when it could help his team.

3. WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State: CJ Stroud will be one of the top quarterback prospects in this year’s NFL Draft, and he can certainly thank his receivers for plenty of help. Harrison was a massive part of Stroud’s success, dependable even when injuries took away other weapons on the Ohio State offense. He finished his season with 77 catches for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2022.

4. TE Brock Bowers, Georgia: Speaking of weapons that made life easy for quarterbacks, how about one of the most statistically productive tight ends in the last several years? Bowers was a vacuum for any balls thrown in his vicinity, recording 63 catches for 942 yards and seven touchdowns. Georgia even experimented with getting him the ball in different ways; he also logged nine carries for 109 yards and three rushing touchdowns.

5. EDGE Jared Verse, Florida State: Arguably the most productive transfer in college football last season, Verse came over from Albany and immediately had a huge impact at Florida State. He was a menace off the edge, an obvious inclusion on a list of the top 10 players in college football. He finished the year with 48 tackles, including 17 for a loss and nine sacks.

6. RB Blake Corum, Michigan: Want a guy you can just hand the ball off to and have good things happen? Look no further than Corum, who carried a hefty load in the Michigan backfield. Corum single-handedly beat a couple teams last season, toting the rock 247 times for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was a major reason Michigan made a repeat appearance in the College Football Playoff.

7. LB Harold Perkins, LSU: If Maye was the best freshman in the country on offense, Perkins was on defense. He had an absolutely massive impact as a true freshman and was a huge part of LSU winning the SEC West. Perkins might have helped the Tigers avoid an upset at Arkansas with a monster outing. He finished the year with 72 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, an interception and three pass breakups.

8. OT Olu Fashanu, Penn State: It’s easy to load up lists like these with players who pile up plenty of statistics either offensively or defensively, but the big guys deserve just as much praise a lot of the time. That’s certainly the case with Fashanu, who was a rock at tackle for the Nittany Lions. He allowed zero sacks in 281 pass-blocking snaps, according to Penn State. That’s getting the job done.

9. OT Joe Alt, Notre Dame: Another absolute stalwart on the offensive line, Alt has now started 21 consecutive games for the Fighting Irish. He was named a first-team AP All-American and Notre Dame’s run game was terrific, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Alt was the leader of the group up front and helped Notre Dame rush for 220 or more yards in seven games last season.

10. CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama: One of the most versatile players in this ranking of the top 10 players in college football, McKinstry returned punts for Alabama while starting at cornerback. His athleticism is off the charts, and McKinstry finished with 35 tackles, 2.0 tackles for a loss, 1.0 sacks and an interception. He also had an average of 15.8 yards per punt return.