Clutch players in college football are part of what makes this sport so great. When a game is on the line, having a go-to player on your team you can count on to make a play can help make or break a given season.
As we look ahead to the 2023 season, there are plenty of players returning that can be described as "clutch." Although there are some very talented players returning in 2023, some of the bigger names didn't have to play in too many close games last season, so we kept the focus on players that demonstrated big plays in crucial moments of games.
For this list, we'll take a look at some clutch moments these guys had last season, and try to predict which games might be most important for their season next year.
Let's try to predict college football's most clutch performers in 2023.
Alabama K Will Reichard
Alabama has to replace quarterback Bryce Young, running back Jahmyr Gibbs and tight end Cameron Latu this offseason. So getting placekicker Will Reichard back for a fifth season is huge for the Tide in 2023. Since 2019, Reichard has made 62 of his 75 field goal attempts, completing 82.7 percent of his attempts in his career. Last season he missed just four attempts, and completed 100 percent of his extra point attempts.
"He's very consistent in practice, he's very consistent in his routine," Tide head coach Nick Saban said of Reichard last season. "He's got the right mindset to not get sort of rattled in situations and he's very, very competitive. I absolutely just love the guy as a specialist. Sometimes, your specialists are a little different. He's just phenomenal."
Key 2023 games that could warrant clutch moments: vs. Texas, Sept. 9; vs. Ole Miss, Sept. 23; at Texas A&M, Oct. 7; vs. Tennessee, Oct. 21; vs. LSU, Nov. 4
Made game-winning 33-yard field goal vs. Texas
Made a 46-yard field goal with 21 seconds left to force overtime vs. LSU, his fourth field goal of the night
Made a 50-yard field goal vs. Texas A&M
Made two fourth-quarter field goals for 23 and 49 yards vs. Ole Miss
Florida State QB Jordan Travis
- 2022 statistics: 3,214 yards passing, 24 touchdowns with five interceptions, 417 yards rushing with seven touchdowns
2023 looks like it might finally be the year that Florida State can overtake Clemson inside the ACC Atlantic. The Noles rank first in ESPN's S&P returning production rankings, as FSU returns Travis and receivers Johnny Wilson and running back Trey Benson.
vs. Florida: Travis helped put together a game-winning drive to give his team a win over in-state rival Florida at the end of last season. With the game tied at 38 in the fourth quarter, FSU got the ball back at their own 35. Travis completed a 21-yard pass to Wilson, then rushed for seven yards on two carries to get to Florida's 33. His running back, Benson, capped it off with a 17-yard rushing touchdown.
vs. Oklahoma: The Noles trailed 25-18 early in the fourth quarter. But Travis put together consecutive scoring drives, one culminated with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Markeston Douglas to retake the lead 32-25. After Oklahoma responded with a touchdown to tie the game again, Travis found Wilson on a 58-yard bomb that put his offense inside Oklahoma's 15-yard line. Ryan Fitzgerald nailed the 32-yard field goal to give FSU the 35-32 victory.
Key 2023 games that could warrant clutch moments: vs. LSU, Sept. 3; at Clemson, Sept. 23; at Wake Forest, Oct. 28; at Florida, Nov. 25