Though Ferrell was an all-state football star at Benedictine College Prep in Virginia, an all-male military school, he suffered through some difficult times. His father passed away when he was a freshman, and he missed his senior football season with a torn ACL. Ferrell was still ranked among the top 10 defensive end recruits in the country. Unfortunately, his bad luck continued once he arrived at Clemson, as a hand injury forced him to redshirt the 2015 season. Ferrell stood out as a freshman the following fall, sharing the team's defensive rookie of the year award with Dexter Lawrence after posting 50 tackles, 12.5 for loss, and six sacks in 15 starts. He made an impact in the ACC Championship Game (sack) and national semifinal (Fiesta Bowl Defensive MVP with three tackles for loss, sack) for the eventual title-winners. His sophomore season was even more impressive. Ferrell was named first-team All-American by the Associated Press, first-team All-ACC by league coaches and a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation's top defensive end (63 tackles, 18 for loss, 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles in 14 starts). Clemson coaches named him co-defensive player of the game (two tackles, sack) in the team's loss to Alabama in the national title game. The Tigers took care of business in 2018, beating Alabama thanks in part to Ferrell's All-American play. The first-team All-ACC selection and winner of the Ted Hendricks Award racked up 53 stops, 19.5 for loss, 11.5 sacks, four pass breakups, and three forced fumbles in 15 starts.
Alabama's stacked stable of running backs kept Jacobs from putting up huge numbers during his three years in Tuscaloosa. It didn't take many reps on offense, though, to see his talent. He played in 15 games as a true freshman reserve in 2016, carrying the ball 85 times for 567 yards and scoring four times while also being a factor in the passing game (14-156-11.1). A hamstring injury put him on the sidelines for the Tide's first two games in 2017, but he returned to contribute as a rusher (46-284-6.2, one TD), receiver (14-168-12.0, two TD) and kick returner (4-86-21.5) in 12 appearances (one start) that season. Jacobs became more of a focus for the offense in 2018, getting 120 carries, covering 640 yards (5.3 average) and scoring 11 touchdowns in 15 games (one start). He also caught 20 passes for 247 yards (12.4 average) and three scores and was a weapon as a kick returner (14-428-30.6, one TD) during the season for the SEC champs. He was the Most Valuable Player of the 2018 SEC Championship Game with 86 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries (10.4 average).
Abram was his conference's Defensive Player of the Year at safety as a high school senior in Columbia, Miss., and also a dual-threat quarterback. He left the state to sign with Georgia for the 2015 season. Abram played well, starting four of 10 games played that year (25 tackles, 1.5 for loss) but he did not go to the team's bowl game because of "personal issues." Those issues, along with the departure of defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt to Alabama, led Abram to return to Mississippi to play at Jones County Junior College for 2016. The No. 1 JUCO safety recruit in the country, Abram enrolled at MSU to become a starter for the Bulldogs his junior year (71 tackles, five for loss, two sacks, five pass breakups). His play in 2017 earned fans of NFL scouts, and his senior campaign impressed SEC coaches (first-team all-conference) and the media (third-team Associated Press All-American). Abram started 13 games in 2018, leading the Bulldogs with 99 tackles, nine for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, five pass breakups and a forced fumble.
The first cousin of former Heisman Trophy-winner at Louisville and current Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson decided to join his relative in the NFL instead of returning to Clemson for his senior season. Mullen was named second-team All-American by USA Today and was a top 100 overall prospect nationally out of Fort Lauderdale, starring as a receiver his senior year. He played as a reserve defensive back and on special teams coverage units as a freshman in 2016 (15 tackles, one pass breakup). Mullen started 12 of 13 games played the following season, receiving honorable mention All-ACC accolades for his play (42 tackles, three interceptions, seven pass breakups). He was a second-team all-conference pick in 2018, starting 14 of 15 games played for the national champions. Mullen posted 37 stops, four for loss, an interception and four pass breakups as a junior, finishing the year as the title game Defensive MVP with 6 tackles, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble to help shut down Alabama's offense in the second half.
Crosby was born in Michigan but his family moved to Texas when he was in middle school. He was an All-Area pick as a senior at Colleyville Heritage High School before coming back to the state of his birth to play with the Eagles. Crosby was the squad's Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year during his redshirt season in 2015. He played in all 13 games as a reserve the following season (35 tackles, 5.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks). Crosby broke out as a sophomore, earning first-team All-MAC and team Most Valuable Defensive Player honors after starting all 12 games and compiling 57 tackles, 16.5 for loss, and a team-high 11 sacks and four forced fumbles. MAC coaches voted him first-team all-conference in 2018, as well, rewarding him for his 70 tackles, 19 for loss, 7.5 sacks, four pass breakups, and four forced fumbles in 12 starts. Crosby was suspended for the 2018 season opener due to a violation of team rules.
Isaiah JohnsonCB Houston
Johnson was a three-star receiver recruit when he enrolled at UH, coming off a successful high school football and track career. He spent his redshirt season and two more years at receiver (6-43-7.2 in 11 games in 2015; 15-165-11.0, one start in 11 games in 2016) before making the switch to cornerback. Johnson started 5 of 12 games there in 2017, intercepting two passes and breaking up seven others. He had an impact outside again as a senior, starting 10 of 11 games played, compiling 66, two for loss, intercepting two passes, and leading the Cougars with seven pass breakups.
A New Orleans native, Moreau has worked himself into a starting tight end for his home-state team. As a true freshman, he played in 12 games and started one, but did not catch a pass. He started 3 of 11 games as a sophomore, catching six passes for 79 yards and one touchdown. The team made him a more regular target in 2017, and Moreau took advantage with 24 receptions for 278 yards and three touchdowns in 13 starts. He started all 13 games in 2018, putting up similar statistics to the previous year (22-272-12.4, two scores).
Renfrow is the third college football player in his family. His father, Tim, played at Wofford, but did have an interception against Clemson in his career. His brother, Cole, played tight end for the Tigers. Renfrow's hard work and bloodlines helped him stand out as a redshirt freshman walk-on, starting 10 games and catching 33 passes for 492 yards and five touchdowns. He was the Co-Player of the Game (with quarterback Deshaun Watson) in the national title game against Alabama. Renfrow missed time in the Clemson's national championship season, but still started 9 of 11 games (44-495, six TD) and shared the team's Hustle Award on offense with left tackle Mitch Hyatt. He was a third-team All-ACC pick as the Tigers' top receiver in 2017, starting 13 of 14 games played and grabbing 60 passes for 602 yards and three scores. Though Renfrow became somewhat less of a factor on offense in 2018 due to the Tigres' young talent at the position, ACC coaches voted him third-team all-conference as the 15-game starter corralled 49 passes for 534 yards (10.9 average) and one touchdown. His career accomplishments earned him the Brandon Burlsworth Trophy as the top senior who began his career as a walk-on.
Quinton BellEDGE Prairie View A&M
Bell played wide receiver for A&M for three seasons before moving to defense as a senior. The result was a shot at an NFL career. As a freshman, he played in six games on offense with limited production (2-24-12.0). He scored a touchdown in his sophomore year (9-138-15.3) and was a reserve pass catcher as a junior, as well (8-97-12.1). In 2018, he started 9 of 10 games played at defensive end, leading PVAMU with 7.5 sacks (46 total tackles, 10 for loss) and garnering second-team All-SWAC honors. Bell participated on Prairie View's track squad during his career.