EA Sports College Football 25: Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray Highlight Top Players We Missed Out On

    EA Sports College Football 25 launches in under two months, but which players did we miss out on in the video game franchise's 11-year hiatus?

    There hasn’t been a new addition to the EA Sports College Football franchise in 11 years, but the drought is nearly over. With the game releasing on July 19, 2024, let’s look back on the best players fans have missed out on since 2013.

    College Football 25: Best Players We Missed Since 2013

    We already dove into the best overall teams we missed out on, including LSU’s 2019 squad that featured Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Justin Jefferson. So, we left them off this list in order to shine a light on other players who would’ve been elite in an EA College Football game.

    10) Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford Cardinal

    Versatility and explosiveness are key attributes of fun factor, and Christian McCaffrey had them in spades at Stanford.

    As one of the deadliest pass-catching backs in the nation, CMC generated over 5,000 yards from scrimmage and 31 total touchdowns in his three years with the Cardinal, and that’s not including his nearly 2,000 yards and two scores on special teams. His spin and juke moves would’ve threatened friendships in 1 vs. 1 duals.

    9) Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State Nittany Lions

    Another 5,000+ yard collegiate back, Saquon Barkley won Big Ten Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017 before the New York Giants selected him with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry and scored 51 total TDs, serving as Penn State’s one-man wrecking crew.

    With Barkley alongside dual-threat QB Trace McSorley in the backfield and WR Chris Godwin and TE Mike Gesicki catching passes, the 2016 Nittany Lions would’ve been an explosive offense for users to take advantage of.

    8) Malcolm Perry, QB, Navy Midshipmen

    The Navy Midshipmen likely don’t come to mind when thinking about teams or players we couldn’t play as in the last decade-plus, but don’t sleep on Malcolm Perry.

    He started in the triple-option offense’s “slotback” role as a sophomore and junior, taking 310 carries for 2,215 yards and 18 TDs. However, what college football video game fans were really robbed of was Perry’s senior campaign.

    Perry moved to quarterback in 2019 and quite literally ran over opposing defenses, setting an FBS record for most rushing yards by a QB in a single season (2,017), scoring 21 times to boot.

    Yet, he wasn’t just a runner, though his legs were the primary threat. Perry completed 56% of his passes for 1,084 yards and seven TDs to three INTs, making him a premier dual-threat fans never got the chance to play as.

    7) Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma Sooners

    After leaving Texas Tech in 2013 and sitting out 2014 as a transfer to Oklahoma, Baker Mayfield finally donned a Sooner jersey in 2015, beginning his three-year reign of terror.

    Mayfield torched defenses to the tune of 12,292 yards, 119 touchdowns, and just 21 picks, completing nearly 70% of his passing. He even added 893 rushing yards and 18 scores for good measure, culminating in a Heisman win in 2017 following two seasons of flirting with the award.

    Mayfield’s bravado and mid-game antics may have rubbed some the wrong way, but he certainly brought eyes to every contest he played and would’ve been one of the highest-rated signal-callers in the game.

    6) Greg Ward Jr., QB, Houston Cougars

    Greg Ward Jr. was never the best pure passer, which is why he ultimately switched positions in the NFL, but he was deadly for the Cougars. In his best season (2015), Houston went 13-1, won the Peach Bowl, and finished at No. 8 in the final AP poll.

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    That year, Ward completed 67% of his passes for just under 3,000 yards, 17 TDs, and only six INTs. But where he made his most significant impact was on the ground, as he ran for 1,117 yards and 21 scores.

    5) Lynn Bowden Jr., WR, Kentucky Wildcats

    What can’t Lynn Bowden Jr. do? He did it all in high school, even serving as his team’s punter. Things didn’t change much at Kentucky, as he began his tenure as a reserve WR and primary kick returner. However, Bowden led the team in receiving yards as a sophomore (745) before moving to … quarterback?

    Due to injury and poor play, LBJ took over under center in 2019, and although his passing numbers were as you’d expect from a WR, he averaged 7.9 yards per carry en route to 1,468 yards and 13 TDs on the ground. Imagine what fans could’ve done with him in NCAA19?!

    4) Zach Wilson, QB, BYU Cougars

    On the tail of an 11-TD, nine-INT season, no one expected much from Zach Wilson and BYU in 2020. Despite the pandemic wreaking havoc across the globe, Wilson brought light to those in the Utah area and college football fans in general, leading his Cougars to an 11-1 campaign. He connected on over 73% of his passes for 3,692 yards, tossing 33 TDs to just three INTs.

    Like all of the players on this list, Wilson made video game-esque plays routinely, escaping the pocket and unleashing heat-seeking missiles downfield. In fact, he parlayed his breakout season into the No. 2 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. Although the pick didn’t quite work out for the New York Jets, no one can take away from Wilson’s exhilarating 2020 season.

    3) Caleb Williams, QB, USC Trojans

    Recency bias is a real phenomenon, but put on Caleb Williams’ highlight reel, and you’ll believe you are watching gameplay for EA Sports College Football 25.

    In only three seasons (two and a half as the full-time starter), he generated over 10,000 passing yards and a 93:14 TD-to-INT ratio. And while Williams wasn’t used as much as a rusher as he could’ve been, he still ran into the end zone 10+ times in each of the last two years.

    2) Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma Sooners

    Say what you will about Kyler Murray as an NFL QB, but he obliterated defenses in college and would’ve been one of the best players to use in a college football video game. In his lone full season as a starter (2018), Murray threw for 4,361 yards, 42 TDs, and seven INTs, rushing for another 1,001 yards and 12 scores on the ground en route to the Heisman ceremony.

    Of course, having CeeDee Lamb and Marquise Brown on the outside certainly helped, but Murray’s legs made him a game-breaking weapon on offense, putting defenses in a blender.

    1) Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville Cardinals

    Lamar Jackson’s viral high school touchdown foreshadowed the dominance that would soon hit the collegiate landscape. Among his many accolades from his play at Louisville, he won the 2016 Heisman Trophy, entered the program’s Ring of Honor, and had his No. 8 jersey retired by the school.

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    Across three seasons with the Cardinals, Jackson three for 9,043 yards and 69 TDs to 27 INTs while rushing for another 4,132 yards and 50 scores. With his brand of athleticism and arm talent, Jackson was and still is a cheat code on the field.

    Honorable Mentions

    • Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas (2020-22)
    • Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama (2018-20)
    • Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (2018-20)
    • Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue (2018-20)
    • Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado (2017-19)
    • Jalen Hurts, QB, Alabama/Oklahoma (2016-19)
    • Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona (2016-19)
    • Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (2014-16)
    • Jabrill Peppers, DB, Michigan (2014-16)
    • Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC (2014-16)

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

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