Written by Barton Simmons at 24/7Sports
Some teams have a great quarterback. Some have a bell cow running back. Others have an unstoppable receiver on the outside. But there are the rare programs that have all three, a triumvirate of offensive firepower.
These are the top trifectas entering the 2017 college football season.
1. Oklahoma State – QB Mason Rudolph, RB Justice Hill, WR James Washington
Two thirds of Oklahoma State’s trifecta are possible first-round draft picks in next spring’s NFL Draft. Rudolph threw for more than 4,000 yards as a junior and has all his weapons back. Those weapons include Washington, a 1,300-yard receiver from the fall who’s one of the game’s most explosive big-play threats. Justice Hill rounds out the group after leading all freshman running backs nationally last fall with 1,142 rushing yards.
2. Penn State – QB Trace McSorley, RB Saquon Barkley, TE Mike Gesicki
You could make a strong argument that Trace McSorley was the best quarterback in the Big Ten last fall. In his second year playing in offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead’s system, he is expected to be one of the best quarterbacks in the country in 2017. Saquon Barkley is a virtual lock to be a first-rounder in next year’s NFL Draft at running back and tight end Mike Geisicki is one of the best big-bodied pass catchers in college football.
3. Washington – QB Jake Browning, RB Myles Gaskin, WR Dante Pettis
Despite losing a first-round draft pick in John Ross, Washington still returns one of the most dangerous threesomes in the game. Dante Pettis and his 15 receiving touchdowns steps into Ross’ shoes as Browning’s go-to receiver and Myles Gaskin’s 1,373 rushing yards will pace the ground game. Browning, who threw for 43 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a sophomore, just needs to continue to be Mr. reliable for this trio to click.
4. Missouri – QB Drew Lock, RB Damarea Crockett, WR J’Mon Moore
A trifecta that many outside of the SEC may not be familiar with, this is the year that these guys hit the national stage. Drew Lock threw for more than 3,300 yards in his sophomore season in what was a huge leap forward from his freshman campaign. As a junior, he’ll be targeting the SEC’s only returning 1,000-yard receiver in J’Mon Moore. Damarea Crockett has breakout star potential after rushing for over 1,000 yards as a true freshman last fall.
5. West Virginia – QB Will Grier, RB Justin Crawford, WR Ka’Raun White
Will Grier looked like the real deal in the WVU spring game and before his unceremonious departure from Florida he looked poised to be one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC. With Crawford in the backfield (1,184 yards rushing) and White looking to be the next uber-productive Mountaineers wideout, Grier inherits some serious talent. All the Mountaineers were missing last year was a quarterback. Grier will be their best since Geno Smith.
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