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It’s no shock that players like Brock Bowers, Will Shipley, and Blake Corum are having great starts to the season for highly rated teams. But what about these surprises…

QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington 

— If you told me he’d be the nation’s passing leader after week four I’d have told you that you’re crazy.

Sep 17, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) passes against the Michigan State Spartans during the first quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium.

Sep 17, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) passes against the Michigan State Spartans during the first quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium.

RB Israel Abanikanda, Pitt 

— Pitt has a more balanced attack this season and the talented back has benefitted.

Sep 24, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers running back Israel Abanikanda (2) runs on his way to scoring a twenty-four yard touchdown against the Rhode Island Rams during the third quarter at Acrisure Stadium.

Sep 24, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers running back Israel Abanikanda (2) runs on his way to scoring a twenty-four yard touchdown against the Rhode Island Rams during the third quarter at Acrisure Stadium.

WR Braydon Johnson, Oklahoma State

— There are bigger names at WR in the Big 12. But Johnson is averaging more than 20 yards a catch and no one knows him.

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Sep 1, 2022; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver Braydon Johnson (8) catches the ball over Central Michigan Chippewas defensive back Trey Jones (3) and defensive back Rolliann Sturkey (37) during the first quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium. Oklahoma State won 58-44.

Sep 1, 2022; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver Braydon Johnson (8) catches the ball over Central Michigan Chippewas defensive back Trey Jones (3) and defensive back Rolliann Sturkey (37) during the first quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium. Oklahoma State won 58-44.

LB Shane Lee, USC

— ASU transfer Eric Gentry gets a lot of press but the Alabama transfer has as many tackles and a pick six.

Sep 3, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans linebacker Shane Lee (53) scores a touchdown on an interception return against the Rice Owls in the second half at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Sep 3, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans linebacker Shane Lee (53) scores a touchdown on an interception return against the Rice Owls in the second half at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

LB Laiatu Latu, UCLA

— Very few UCLA players get national props but with 5 sacks already he’s one of the best pass rushers in the country.

Sep 24, 2022; Boulder, Colorado, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Laiatu Latu (15) and linebacker Devin Aupiu (41) celebrate a play in the first quarter against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field.

Sep 24, 2022; Boulder, Colorado, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Laiatu Latu (15) and linebacker Devin Aupiu (41) celebrate a play in the first quarter against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field.

CB Aydan White, NC State

— He has 3 pass breakups and two interceptions including one for a TD and not many know of the sophomore for the Pack.

Sep 17, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack defensive back Aydan White (3) and teammates celebrate his game-clinching interception during the second half against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Carter-Finley Stadium.

Sep 17, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack defensive back Aydan White (3) and teammates celebrate his game-clinching interception during the second half against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Carter-Finley Stadium.