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Insider

Jalen Hurts, Colorado among the year's most pleasant surprises

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Dede Westbrook: 'Great to see hard work paying off' (2:32)

Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook reflects on a stellar season that has led to recognition with college football award nominations, including an invitation to the Heisman ceremony. (2:32)

With the playoff field set and bowl season nearly upon us, it's time to look back at the regular season. Some things, like Alabama and Clemson back in the playoff, were predictable. Others were not. And that's what we'll focus on here. From the emergence of Jalen Hurts to the rejuvenation of Colorado to the collapse of Notre Dame, our insiders break down the most stunning storylines from 2016.

Who was this season's most surprising player? (OK, other than Lamar Jackson.)

Andrea Adelson: Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma
I thought about going with Sam Darnold at USC because his performance over the last nine games was stellar. Folks were even talking about a three-loss Trojans team as a playoff contender. But Westbrook made it to the Heisman ceremony after blitzing through opponents over the last nine games with one outstanding performance after another. He has four times as many touchdowns this season (16) as he did in 2015 (four).