3. Barry Sanders, RB, Oklahoma State (1986-88)
During Barry Sanders’ first two seasons at Oklahoma State he was pretty much an unknown as the backup to Thurman Thomas. Once he got his chance to be the featured back, Sanders delivered what many consider the greatest single season in college football history. Sanders rushed for 2,628 yards while averaging 7.6 yards a carry and cruising to the 1988 Heisman Trophy. He also had 42 touchdowns when you include his outstanding performance in the Holiday Bowl that season. Sanders left for the NFL after the season. In addition to his glorious college career, Sanders excelled at the pro level, and is widely recognized as one of the top running backs in NFL history.