Top 100 college football players: Nos. 51-60

Mike Huguenin
Yahoo! Sports

More top 100 players: Nos. 61-70 | Nos. 71-80 | 81-90 | 91-100

Here is the fifth grouping in Yahoo! Sports' top 100 player countdown. We're unveiling the top players in groups of 10 each Sunday for 10 weeks.

'Top' doesn't necessarily mean the most pro potential or even the most talent. It's what the player has accomplished and how we think the player will do this season. Production does trump potential.

It's still a long way until the first game on Aug. 30. We're trying to make the long wait bearable.

60. Wisconsin LB Chris Borland

Particulars: 5-11/250, Jr.; Kettering (Ohio) Archbishop Alter
Buzz: He was the Big Ten freshman of the year in 2009 and a first-team all-league performer last season; he missed all but two games in 2010 with a shoulder injury. Borland is a throwback linebacker of sorts; he's not the fastest guy but has excellent instincts and is a hard hitter. He made 143 tackles last season; he had 19 tackles for loss, two interceptions, seven pass breakups and five forced fumbles. He has 10 forced fumbles in his career.

59. North Carolina LB Kevin Reddick

Particulars: 6-3/240, Sr.; Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy, preceded by New Bern (N.C.) High
Buzz: Reddick will be a four-year starter for the Tar Heels and has 190 career tackles. He is a big, physical linebacker with good instincts, and he knows how to put himself in position to make tackles. While he is known mostly as a tough run-stuffer, he does have two interceptions and 10 pass breakups in his career. UNC is switching to a 4-2-5 set this fall, and the Tar Heels are expected to be more aggressive than they have been, which should suit Reddick.

58. Auburn DE Corey Lemonier

Particulars: 6-4/240, Jr.; Hialeah (Fla.) High
Buzz: Lemonier isn't the heaviest guy, but he is an elite pass rusher. He had 9.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss, 15 quarterback hurries and five forced fumbles for the Tigers last season. As a true freshman backup on Auburn's 2010 national title team, Lemonier had two sacks and five tackles for loss, including one in the championship game victory over Oregon. Lemonier had a huge game against Florida last season, with two sacks, six tackles and four quarterback hurries.

57. Oregon DE Dion Jordan

Particulars: 6-7/241, Sr.; Chandler (Ariz.) High
Buzz: He was signed as a tight end in 2008 and didn't move to defense until spring practice in 2010. He became a full-time starter for the first time last season and responded with an All-Pac-12 season. Jordan had 7.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss for the Ducks. He is a good athlete (a 33.5-inch vertical leap) and a big wingspan, and also possesses a good first step off the ball. He could stand to gain a few pounds but still will be a force for the Ducks this fall.

56. North Carolina TB Gio Bernard

Particulars: 5-10/205, So.; Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
Buzz: He likely would've played as a true freshman in 2010 but tore his ACL early during fall camp and redshirted. He returned with a vengeance last season, rushing for 1,253 yards and 13 touchdowns. Bernard had seven 100-yard games and four games in which he scored at least two touchdowns. He also had 45 receptions for 362 yards, and his abilities likely will be even more on display in new coach Larry Fedora's high-powered offense. Last season Bernard became the first UNC player to rush for 1,000 yards since Jonathan Linton in 1997.

55. Oklahoma State TB Joseph Randle

Particulars: 6-1/200, Jr.; Wichita (Kan.) Southeast
Buzz: Randle went from key reserve as a true freshman in 2010 to a highly productive starter last season. He rushed for 1,216 yards and 24 touchdowns, and he also had 43 receptions for 266 yards and two more TDs. He scored at least two touchdowns in eight games, including a four-score day in a rout of Baylor. Randle already is No. 6 on Oklahoma State's career list for rushing touchdowns with 26.

54. Nebraska TB Rex Burkhead

Particulars: 5-11/210, Sr.; Plano (Texas) High
Buzz: Burkhead lacks breakaway speed, but he is a tough-minded guy who doesn't mind a heavy workload. He rushed for 1,357 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, and he added 21 receptions for 277 yards and two more scores. His rushing total was the most by a Huskers running back since 1997, and his 284 carries were two shy of the school record set by Lawrence Phillips in 1994. Burkhead scored at least once in 11 of 13 games and reached the 100-yard plateau seven times. He has 2,654 career rushing yards, 12th in school history.

53. Texas A&M TB Christine Michael

Particulars: 5-11/213, Sr.; Beaumont (Texas) West Brook
Buzz: When healthy, this guy is one of the nation's top backs. But the "when healthy" part has been a bugaboo. As a sophomore in 2010, Michael ran for 631 yards and four TDs before suffering a broken leg in Game 8. Last season, he suffered a torn ACL in Game 9; before his injury, he had rushed for 899 yards and eight TDs. In both seasons, he shared time with Cyrus Gray. Gray has graduated, so the job is all Michael's now. His first name is pronounced "Chris-tin."

52. Alabama S Robert Lester

Particulars: 6-2/210, Sr.; Foley (Ala.) High
Buzz: He is heading into his third season as a starter for the Tide. Lester flirted with the idea of turning pro after last season but stayed in school for his senior season. He had an OK junior campaign, with 36 tackles, three pass breakups, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal. He was excellent in 2010, though, finishing with 52 tackles, an SEC-high eight interceptions and four pass breakups. He was a high school teammate of former Alabama star WR Julio Jones.

51. Texas CB Carrington Byndom

Particulars: 6-0/180, Jr.; Lufkin (Texas) High
Buzz: Byndom is a physical corner headed into his second season as a starter. He was a first-team All-Big 12 pick last season, when he had two interceptions, 15 pass breakups, 58 tackles, eight tackles for loss and a forced fumble. Byndom was a key reserve as a true freshman in 2010. Byndom's dad, C.B., was a defensive back at Houston in the early 1980s. Byndom, who admits that a guilty pleasure is watching "Phineas and Ferb" on Disney Channel, should be part of one of the nation's best cornerback duos this fall with sophomore Quandre Diggs.

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