There is nothing more exciting in college football than watching one player change the course of a game in a single play through sheer athleticism and grace. Few can pull off such a feat frequently enough that it becomes almost expected when fans watch him on the field.
Today, the Big Ten crew discusses which player in the league we expect to be the most dynamic and entertaining entering the 2017 season. Take a look:
Jesse Temple: Rutgers' receivers Janarion Grant
Grant's senior season was cut short last year because of a broken right ankle he sustained against Iowa in the Scarlet Knights' fourth game. Even on the play in which he was injured, however, Grant broke loose for a highlight-reel catch, taking a screen 76 yards down to the Iowa 3-yard line. Grant was given a medical redshirt, which means college football fans will have the opportunity to watch him work his magic for another season in 2017. He already has tied the NCAA record for career kick and punt returns for touchdowns with eight. In only 14 quarters of play a year ago, he tallied 210 receiving yards, 138 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He is so versatile that, against New Mexico last season, he returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown and threw a 21-yard touchdown pass. Grant was back in action for Rutgers during the team's first spring practice last week, which is great news for the Scarlet Knights, who have one of the top playmakers in the Big Ten, if not the country.
Austin Ward: Ohio State's running back Demario McCall
There was no reason to rush the true freshman into action last season with the Buckeyes, both because McCall could use the time to put more weight on his 5-foot-9 frame and Curtis Samuel didn't need much help in the H-back role. But Urban Meyer still couldn't resist putting him on the field at times, and those glimpses at McCall's dynamic athleticism suggest that filling the void left by Samuel's early departure to the NFL might be easier than expected. McCall touched the football 53 times on offense during his debut season, racking up 354 yards and four touchdowns. He also had a cameo on special teams by returning three punts, and odds are McCall's involvement is about to skyrocket with Meyer looking to unleash that versatility any way he can this fall.
Dan Murphy: Penn State QB Trace McSorley
He may not be the most exciting athlete on this list, but Trace McSorley's bombs-away approach to running the Nittany Lions' high-scoring offense made them as fun to watch as any team in the Big Ten during the final stretch of the 2016 season. The mixture of his fearless attitude, versatility with the ball in his hands and a very distracting backfield mate in Saquon Barkley should create a recipe for more fireworks in 2017. Here's hoping the coaching staff loosens the reins even more in his second year running Joe Moorhead's attack.