A few weeks ago, we talked about the terrific trios on both sides of the ball. Today, we're going to look at dandy duos at each position.
Here's the list of the top national duos, followed by the best duos by position in each league.
RUNNING BACKS DUO: Virginia Tech, with Darren Evans and Ryan Williams BUZZ: It's not often a team can count on two 1,000-yard rushers, but Virginia Tech can. Evans ran for 1,265 yards and 11 TDs as a freshman in 2008. But he blew out his knee and missed the 2009 season. No matter -- that just opened the door for Williams, who ran for 1,655 yards and 21 touchdowns. Williams had 10 100-yard games and had a carry of at least 30 yards in nine games and at least 40 yards in six games. Evans is expected to be 100 percent this fall, giving the Hokies one of the nation's best backfields.
RECEIVERS DUO: Boise State, with Austin Pettis and Titus Young BUZZ: Pettis has great size (6-3/201) and knows how to get open. He had 63 receptions last season, with 14 going for touchdowns; he has 29 TDs in his career. Young is one of the most explosive players in the nation. He had 79 receptions, with 10 going for scores. He also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and also had three rushing TDs. He had a catch of at least 20 yards in 10 games and of at least 40 yards in seven games.
OFFENSIVE LINE DUO: Wisconsin, with G John Moffitt and T Gabe Carimi BUZZ: Carimi might be the best offensive lineman in the nation. He's huge (6-7/315) and plows over opponents in the running game. He's also surprisingly nimble on the outside and is a solid pass blocker. Moffitt, who also can play center, is a mauler in the middle.
DEFENSIVE LINE DUO: North Carolina, with T Marvin Austin and E Robert Quinn BUZZ: Austin was highly touted out of high school and generally has lived up to the hype. He's a man in the middle of the line and had 42 tackles and four sacks last season. Quinn is an incredibly inspirational story. He had a brain tumor as a high school senior and for a while, whether he would walk again -- much less play football -- was in the balance. He possesses a big-time motor and is relentless off the edge. Look for him to amass 12-plus sacks this season.
LINEBACKERS DUO: North Carolina, with Bruce Carter and Quan Sturdivant BUZZ: Look at this -- another Tar Heels duo. As with Austin and Quinn, both these guys could be first-round picks. Carter is a big-play guy for the Heels. He was a special-teams demon before becoming a solid every-down 'backer. He has great size (6-3/230) and can fly. Sturdivant, meanwhile, might be the most productive defender for the Heels. He has made a combined 201 tackles the past two seasons and had 12 tackles for loss last season. Sturdivant can play in the middle and on the outside, giving UNC coaches a lot of freedom to mix their alignments.
CORNERBACKS DUO: Texas, with Curtis Brown and Aaron Williams BUZZ: Williams has big-time size (6-1/192), can run and should be one of the nation's best corners this season. He had three picks and eight pass breakups last season as a sophomore, his first season as a starter. Brown, whose nickname is "Turkey," is a senior who also is heading into his second season as a full-time starter. He is solid in run support (53 tackles) and also has good ball skills (15 pass breakups). He also might be Texas' best special teams performer.
SAFETIES DUO: Florida, with FS Will Hill and SS Ahmad Black BUZZ: Black is a bit undersized for the spot (5-9/189), but he has great instincts and a nose for the ball (eight interceptions and 10 pass breakups in the past two seasons). He also is a solid tackler. Hill, a junior, will be a full-time starter for the first time, but he has seen a ton of action the past two seasons for one of the better defenses in the nation. He has good size (6-1/204), great speed and delivers a blow (90 total tackles the past two seasons). Florida's free safety last season was Major Wright, who was a third-round pick of the Chicago Bears. Hill has a much higher ceiling, and if all goes well, he should contend for All-America honors.
KICKER/PUNTER DUO: UCLA, with K Kai Forbath and P Jeff Locke BUZZ: Forbath has a cannon for a leg. He led UCLA with 108 points last season, 72 more than any teammate. He was 28-of-31 on field-goal attempts, and all three misses were from beyond 50 yards. He has hit nine field goals from at least 50 in his career, the most of any active kicker. Locke isn't as good as Forbath, but he's still one of the best six or seven punters in the nation. He averaged 43.6 yards per boot last season and dropped 20 of his 70 inside the opponents' 20.