Who are college football’s best players, among all positions, heading into the 2016 season? Sporting News writer Bill Bender took on the tough task of ranking the top 40 in order, and included 11 players from the SEC in his list.

While many will agree with the SEC’s top player, some might be surprised to see he didn’t get ranked best overall.

The 11 conference players represent seven schools:

  • LSU RB Leonard Fournette (No. 3)
  • Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett (No. 4)
  • Alabama DE Jonathan Allen (No. 7)
  • Alabama OT Cam Robinson (No. 9)
  • Florida CB Jalen Tabor (No. 11)
  • Alabama WR Calvin Ridley (No. 13)
  • Tennessee DB Cam Sutton (No. 19)
  • Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly (No. 25)
  • Georgia RB Nick Chubb (No. 27)
  • LSU S Jamal Adama (No. 30)
  • Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs (No. 40)

Here’s what Bender had to say about giving Fournette the No. 3 spot:

Fournette is the most physically gifted running back in college football since Adrian Peterson, and he’s played like it the last two seasons. He rushed for 1,953 yards and 22 TDs last season, and was the Heisman frontrunner until Alabama shut him down.

The fact he’s No. 3 speaks to the level of talent of the next two players.

Fournette was edged by Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey and Clemson QB Deshaun Watson.

Did any SEC players get snubbed from the top 40? Does anyone stand out as overrated or underrated?