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The most explosive college football players for 2021

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Howell heaves a long ball to Brown for a North Carolina TD (0:22)

North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell airs out a deep pass to Dyami Brown for a 54-yard touchdown. (0:22)

Explosiveness is fun. It creates crowd pops (when there are crowds). It wins games. When an explosive player is on the college football field, keep your eye on him at all times.

Of course, "explosive" means many things. Maybe it's a terrifying return man, or a beautiful deep ball thrower (or catcher!), or a pass-rusher who explodes into the backfield, or a one-cut-and-go running back.

A lot of college football's most explosive players from 2020 are now preparing to find out where they're getting drafted, but a lot are returning to school this fall. No matter the definition of choice, here are the most explosive players in college football (based on both specific rankings criteria and my own creative liberties).


Best deep-ball throwers

Few things in the sport are more hypnotic than a good deep ball. It's one of the only explosive plays viewers can prepare for. The crowd makes a rising, humming sound before exploding when the pass is completed. And some are much better at these throws than others.