Ranking the top 25 players in college football: 5-1

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theScore's top 25 players in college football list was voted on by Michael Amato, Dane Belbeck, Alex Chippin, and Dylan Perego.

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5. Ed Oliver - DT, Houston

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Oliver didn't waste any time in making an impact as a freshman for Houston last season, living up to the hype that comes with being the No. 4 recruit in the nation. The big man will be relied on heavily by new head coach Major Applewhite to continue dominating opposing offensive lines as the Cougars work toward returning to the AAC conference championship game.

4. Baker Mayfield - QB, Oklahoma

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Oklahoma is poised to make a serious run at the CFP this season thanks to Mayfield's decision to return, and the pivot will be looking to close out his storied career on its highest note yet. Mayfield is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate after being nominated a year ago and defenses will need to be on top of their game to overcome the control Mayfield exhibits every game.

3. Derwin James - S, Florida State

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Don't let an injury-filled 2016 season fool you, Florida State has the real deal when it comes to its defensive secondary. James is universally lauded as the top safety in the nation and for good reason. His 91 tackles and 4.5 sacks as a freshman in 2015 set the table for explosive development, and a clean bill of health will make the Seminoles tough to score against as a favorite for the CFP.

2. Saquon Barkley - RB, Penn State

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The elite of the running-back class of 2017 will see a lot of turnover from a year ago, but Penn State's Barkley is a crown jewel that deserves the respect of being arguably the best of them all. Barkley capped off a remarkable season with a 194-yard performance in the Rose Bowl and could very well find himself on stage as a Heisman Trophy finalist with a similar body of work this season.

1. Lamar Jackson - QB, Louisville

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What can be said for Jackson other than he is the reigning, defending top player in the entire nation? Replicating his numbers from a season ago is the tallest of orders, but for someone who has his kind of skill set, is anything really impossible?

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