Top 25 players we missed playing with in EA Sports College Football video game


The wait is nearly over!

It’s been 11 years since EA Sports released the last NCAA College Football video game, which featured former Michigan standout Denard Robinson on the cover. Since that time, college football dynasties were born and passed, rules have changed, and records have been broken. But what we all missed during that span was the opportunity to play the video game with some of the all-time great players over the years. 

Think about the dual-threat ability of Lamar Jackson, the downhill power running of Derrick Henry and the elite-level speed of Jaylen Waddle.

Well, there is no time like the present to look at the top players the game has missed over the years. 

Below is a list of the top 25 players we would have loved to have seen in EA Sports’ College Football video game. 

Only players who played between 2014-2023 are eligible to be on the list.

[Everything we know about ‘College Football 25’: Details on Dynasty Mode, gameplay emerge]

25. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Top Season: 2019
Stats: 320 carries, 2,003 rush yards, 21 rush TDs, 252 rec yards, 5 rec TDs

The true definition of a workhorse back, Taylor was an Iron Man for the Badgers in 2019, collecting over 2,000 rushing yards. He also showed elite-level pass-catching ability during his time at Wisconsin, standing as the only player to run for 2,000 yards and record 250 receiving yards during the 2019 season. He also ran for an FBS-high 97 first downs and 26 totaled touchdowns. If you are a fan of running the ball and controlling the clock in the game, Taylor is your guy to play with.

24. Adoree Jackson, USC

Top Season: 2016
Stats: 55 tackles, 2 TFL, 5 INT, 2 FR, 1 FF; 2 return TDs; 76 rec yards, 1 rec TD

Jackson did it all for the Trojans, playing all over the field and delivering big-time performances in big games. He was one of just five players to have at least five interceptions with two or more fumble recoveries during the 2016 campaign. Jackson also displayed his elusiveness with his pass-catching and return abilities, hauling in a receiving touchdown and returning two kickoffs and two punts for touchdowns.

23. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State

Top season: 2015
Stats: 289 carries, 1,821 rush yards, 23 TDs

Elliott was the definition of a game-breaker for the Buckeyes. In 2015, he had six rushes go for 50 yards or more, tied for the lead among all FBS players. On top of that, his 23 rushing touchdowns were third-most among all players in 2015. If you need further evidence of his ability to be a game-breaker, look back at his game against Indiana in 2015, when he had three separate runs of 50 or more yards. Playing the video game with Elliott, rocking the crop-top and breaking big runs, would be a blast.

22. Trevone Boykin, TCU

Top season: 2014
Stats: 3,901 pass yards, 33 TDs, 707 rush yards, 8 rush TDs

One of the forgotten names when discussing elite-level players during the 2010s is Boykin. The former TCU dual-threat QB was a nightmare for defenses to game plan against. Boykin was one of only two QBs to pass for more than 30 touchdowns and rush for 700 or more yards in 2014, joining Ohio State QB JT Barrett. That dynamic ability to keep plays alive led TCU to a 12-1 record. Running the option or designed QB runs with Boykin in the video game would have been a dream.

21. Deshaun Watson, Clemson

Top season: 2016
Stats: 4,593 pass yards, 41 TDs, 629 rush yards, 9 rush TDs

Watson was a dominant dual-threat QB during his time at Clemson. He was the only player to have 40 passing touchdowns with 500 rushing yards during the 2016 college football season. He led the Tigers to a spot in the national championship game, where they would beat the Crimson Tide and capture the title. Watson also completed 119 passes of 15 yards or more, driving a high-powered Clemson offense.

20. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

Top season: 2019
Stats: 3,851 pass yards, 32 TDs, 1,298 rush yards, 20 rush TDs

After transferring from Alabama, Hurts took off as a passer, but he also delivered on the ground. Hurts led the nation with 17 rushing touchdowns in the red zone, while proving his skill as a passer with 32 passing touchdowns and a near 70% completion percentage. Playing with Hurts and CeeDee Lamb in the video game would have been, simply put, amazing!

Watch Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts’ TDs vs. West Virginia & his postgame comments

19. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

Top season: 2019
Stats: 3,665 pass yards, 36 TDs, 563 rush yards, 9 rush TDs

Lawrence showcased his incredible dual-threat ability in 2019, becoming the only QB that season to accumulate 35 passing touchdowns and 500 rushing yards, besting names like Joe Burrow, Justin Fields and Sam Howell in the process. Lawrence added eight red-zone rushing touchdowns as well that season, providing a glimpse of his raw talent.

18. Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

Top season: 2016
Stats: 66 tackles, 13 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 INT; 167 rush yards, 3 rush TDs

A true jack-of-all-trades, Peppers would have been a blast to have in the video game. The star defender notched three sacks to go along with his three rushing touchdowns in 2016, making him the only FBS player with three of each that season. He added to his lengthy résumé with 66 tackles and 167 rushing yards in 2016.

17. Chase Young, Ohio State

Top season: 2019
Stats: 46 tackles, 21 FL, 16.5 sacks, 3 PD, 7 FF

Perhaps the most feared edge rusher in recent memory, Young led the FBS with 16.5 sacks in 2019, and delivered six forced fumbles. Those six forced fumbles were good for second among all players in Division I. His best performance came against top competition when he tortured Wisconsin to the tune of four sacks and two forced fumbles.

16. Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

Top season: 2015
Stats: 59 tackles, 19.5 TFL, 12.5 sacks, 1 INT, 2 PD, 5 FF

Garrett was a force in 2015. He was one of just two players in college football to have 12 or more sacks, five forced fumbles AND at least one interception. The man could not be stopped, as evidenced by leading the SEC in sacks, tackles for loss and forced fumbles.

15. Justin Fields, Ohio State

Top season: 2019
Stats: 3,273 pass yards, 41 TDs, 484 rush yards, 10 rush TDs

Burrow got all the accolades in 2019, but Fields displayed an elite ability to put up points and avoid turnovers. In 2019, Fields was the only player with 40 passing touchdowns and fewer than five interceptions in college football. Fields paired that with 10 rushing touchdowns, which would make him near-unstoppable in the video game.

14. Marvin Harrison Jr, Ohio State

Top season: 2023
Stats: 67 receptions, 1,211 receiving yards, 14 TDs

A truly electric wide receiver, Harrison delivered on his name and then some, finishing as the only player with at least 14 receiving touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in 2013. Every time Harrison caught the ball, it felt like he might take it to the house, as evidenced by his 18.07 yards per reception average, which was the most by a player with more than 10 touchdowns.

Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. registers 163 yards and a TD in win vs. Maryland

13. Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State

Top season: 2021
Stats: 263 carries, 1,636 rush yards, 18 TD

One of the biggest surprises of the 2021 season, Walker displayed a knack for making big plays during his one season at Michigan State. He led the country in both 15-yard rushes and 25-yard rushes, while finishing second in overall rushing yards with 1,636. One area that stood out was his breakaway ability, piling up four rushes of 50 or more yards, tied for the second-most in the country. It’s not hard to envision starting a dynasty in the video game with Michigan State and running the table with Walker as your star running back.

12. Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech

Top season: 2016
Stats: 5,052 pass yards, 41 TDs, 285 rush yards, 12 rush TDs

Before Mahomes was the player we know today, he dominated at the college level. Mahomes was the only Division I player to pass for 5,000 yards in 2016, throwing for nearly 500 yards more than Watson did. However, his impact wasn’t just through the air, as he scampered for another 12 rushing touchdowns, totaling 53 touchdowns on the season.

11. Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

Top season: 2018
Stats: 45 receptions, 848 yards, 7 TD

Waddle didn’t put together the most eye-popping stats in college, but his speed was jaw-dropping. The dynamic receiver ran a lightning-quick 4.37 40-yard dash and produced chunk plays when on the field, even returning a punt for a touchdown in 2018. When fully healthy, Waddle was a game-breaking star who would have been fun to play with in the video game.

10. Ja’Marr Chase, LSU

Top season: 2019
Stats: 1,780 rec yards, 20 TDs

The top playmaker in college football during the 2019 season was LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase. He led the nation with 20 receiving touchdowns, but, more impressively, also led the FBS with 18 receptions of 30 yards or more, meaning he averaged more than one 30-plus-yard reception per game. Chase also had nine receptions of 50 or more yards, a bonkers stat for a guy playing in the SEC.

9. Marcus Mariota, Oregon

Top season: 2014
Stats: 4,454 pass yards, 42 TDs, 770 rush yards, 15 rush TDs, 1 rec TD

A true dual-threat option, Mariota was responsible for an FBS-leading 58 touchdowns in 2014. His decision-making truly stood out though, with just four interceptions against 42 touchdown passes. Pair that with his 770 rushing yards, and he was the only QB in the FBS to reach 4,000 passing yards and 700 rushing yards in 2014. Mariota was simply unstoppable. 

8. DeVonta Smith, Alabama

Top season: 2020
Stats: 117 rec, 1,856 rec yards, 23 TDs, 1 rush TD

Dominant is an understatement when talking about Smith. The former Heisman Trophy winner posted over 1,800 receiving yards in 2020, more than 400 yards than the next player on that list! He also delivered 23 receiving touchdowns, by far the most of any player that season. Playing the video game with an offense that also featured Mac Jones, Najee Harris and Waddle would be a dream come true.

7. Joe Burrow, LSU

Top season: 2019
Stats: 5,671 pass yards, 60 TDs, 369 rush yards, 5 rush TDs

LSU and Burrow obliterated their opponents in 2019, finishing a perfect 15-0 en route to a national championship. Burrow threw for 5,671 yards and a whopping 60 touchdowns in 2019, both leading the nation. Moreover, the offense lit up the scoreboard to the tune of 726 points, nearly 70 points more than Clemson, who had the second-most.

Joe Burrow’s Heisman-esque performance leads No. 5 LSU past No. 7 Florida in Death Valley

6. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

Top season: 2017
Stats: 4,627 pass yards, 43 TDs, 311 rush yards, 5 rush TDs

One of the most impressive college QBs in recent memory, Mayfield put together over 4,500 passing yards and more than 300 rushing yards to pace the Sooner offense in 2017. He was the only player in the nation to achieve both of those benchmarks. Mayfield made some head-turning plays but also took care of the ball as he was the only signal-caller to throw 40 touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions that season.

5. Derrick Henry, Alabama

Top season: 2015
Stats: 395 carries, 2,219 rush yards, 28 TDs

Henry put together a season for the ages in 2015, leading the nation with 2,219 rushing yards as well as 28 rushing touchdowns. If that wasn’t enough, he also delivered 109 first downs on the ground when no other player had more than 88. His raw power was a sight, leading the nation with 19 red-zone touchdowns that year. Playing with Alabama in the 2015 video game would have been a delight with Henry in the backfield.

4. Saquon Barkley, Penn State

Top season: 2017
Stats: 217 carries, 1,271 rush yards, 18 rush TDs, 632 rec yards, 3 rec TDs

There weren’t many backs like Barkley during his time at Penn State. The do-it-all runner was the only player in the FBS that season to have 1,200 rushing yards and at least 50 receptions. He was the focal point for that Penn State team, putting up an eye-popping 21 total touchdowns for the year. 

3. Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

Top season: 2015
Stats: 337 carries, 2,019 rush yards, 17 TDs, 645 rec yards, 5 rec TDs

McCaffrey didn’t win the Heisman Trophy in 2015, but his game-breaking ability was well-known. The lightning-quick halfback led all FBS players with 2,664 scrimmage yards, over 350 yards more than anyone else. He tied for the lead with 29 plays of 20 yards or more, making him one of the most dangerous players with the ball in his hands. The thought of playing with McCaffery in the video game, and utilizing his speed and juke moves in the game, is something that probably keeps gamers up at night, thinking “what if?”

2. Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

Top season: 2018
Stats: 4,361 pass yards, 42 TDs, 1,001 rush yards, 12 rush TDs

Murray is the runner-up on this list, claiming the Heisman Trophy in 2018 during an unforgettable season at Oklahoma. The do-it-all signal caller had three games that season where he totaled 300 passing yards and 100 rushing yards, leading the FBS in that department. Moreover, he was under center for an offense that averaged 570.3 yards per game, nearly 32 yards per game more than the next-best team. Playing the game with Murray and that 2018 Oklahoma offense would be unfair.

1. Lamar Jackson, Louisville

Top season: 2016
Stats: 3,543 pass yards, 30 TDs, 1,571 rush yards, 21 rush TDs

The clear No. 1 on the list is QB Lamar Jackson. Jackson displayed a dazzling skill set at Louisville, ultimately earning the 2016 Heisman Trophy after he was responsible for over 5,000 yards of offense that season. His unmatched ability to run and throw was mesmerizing and would have led to non-stop arguments among gamers for the right to play with Jackson and Louisville. There was nothing he couldn’t do.

Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals soar over the Purdue Boilermakers 35-28

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