News & Analysis

The 10 best players in college football

Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly (10) looks to pass during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Tennessee-Martin in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. Mississippi 76-3. (AP Photo/Thomas Graning)

We are grading every player, on every play, in every game of the 2015 college football season — all the way from Week 1 to the College Football Playoff. That said, from now until the end of the season we're going to bring you the top 10 performers in the country every week.
Our ranking will be published every Tuesday, and updated throughout the week as more games are graded. Take a look at the best in the country following Week 2’s action:

1. Soloman Thomas, DE, Stanford

Grade: +9.6

Thomas was disappointing (-2.4) in the opener against Northwestern, but turned it around in a big way against UCF this weekend. He was dominant against the run and a menace as a pass rusher, with a sack, a hit and four hurries.

2. Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss

Grade: +8.5

Kelly's offensive line kept the pressure away from him for most of the game, with just three drop backs under pressure, and in turn the quarterback delivered an outstanding performance. 15 of his 25 attempts came on passes travelling 10 or more yards downfield, 11 of them completed for 273 yards and four touchdowns.

3. Ju Ju Smith-Schuster, WR, USC

Grade: +5.1

There wasn't much more you could have asked from the Trojans star wide receiver this week, catching all 10 passes thrown his way for 192 yards and two touchdowns. Throw in three missed tackles forced and it was one of the best performances we're likely to see each year.

4. Brandon Doughty, QB, Western Kentucky

Grade: +6.3

Doughty bounced back from a poor (-2.0) performance against Vanderbilt. Completing 28 of his 38 passing attempts, and with three incompletions coming as a result of drops, he had an accuracy percentage of 83.8.

5. Joseph Yearby, HB, Miami

Grade: +5.3

Yerby only 39 snaps this week, but made the most of them with a big game for the Hurricanes. 235 yards from scrimmage, two touchdowns and eight missed tackles forced from 20 touches of the ball on offense.

6. Erik Magnuson, OT, Michigan

Grade: +5.4

Michigan needed big performances all round to bounce back Magnuson gave them that up front. A big showing as a run blocker and, after allowing four hurries last week, he didn't allow a single pressure against Oregon State.

7. Justin Lawler, ED, SMU

Grade: +6.8

He struggled against Baylor in the season opener, registering just one quarterback hurry as a pass rusher, but Lawler bounced back against North Texas. Tormenting the Mean Green offense, he registered a sack, two hits and four hurries.

8. Carl Nassib, ED, Penn State

Grade: +6.7

Lawler wasn't the only edge rusher to stand out this weekend, with Nassib having a big game for the second week in a row. Against Temple it was all about his work against the run and, while that stood out against Buffalo too, he also did damage as a pass rusher, with four sacks and two hurries.

9. Blake Martinez, LB, Stanford

Grade: +5.1

He wasn't the only Cardinal to impress however, with Martinez having a big game at inside linebacker. Making nine tackles, six of which resulted in a defensive stop, he solidified the day by avoiding missing any tackles.

10. Donte Deayon, CB, Boise State

Grade: +4.7

BYU went after Deayon five times in coverage, and it didn't go well for them. He yielded five completions, but they went for just 25 yards, with none going for longer than nine, and came away with two interceptions.

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