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These 5 College Football Stars Remind Us Of …


Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Colin Kaepernick-Getty ImagesWith the 2014 College Football season just hours away, it’s time for a quick refresher course on some of the superstars you’re going to be seeing in the coming weeks — and the NFL players they remind us of.

These players will no doubt lead the highlights each week, as we talk about their Heisman Trophy chances, and we’ll start thinking about them from a Fantasy Football perspective for 2015!

So check out this year’s preseason stars – and the NFL stars they most play like.

2014 College Football Stars That Remind Us Of …

Making a comparison of a college player to an NFL player is always tricky, considering we always compare stars to stars. It’s not like we’re going to look at a superstar college player and say, “Yeah, he reminds me of Bruce Gradkowski.” We compare star college players with star NFL players because it makes sense, but there are just so many busts that happen every year that tell us different.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon = Colin Kaepernick

Several people have made this comparison, including ESPN NFL Draft Insider Todd McShay, but we’re going with CBSSports.com’s Rob Rang, who compared the two QBs last October.

”The 6-foot-4, 212-pound Mariota is the physical prototype for today’s up-tempo offenses,” Rang said. “Possessing a combination of agility, straight line speed and a rocket of a right arm, Mariota has earned comparisons from scouts to San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick. Frankly, the Oregon signal-caller is further along than Kaepernick was at a similar point in his collegiate career at Nevada.”

Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA = Ryan Tannehill

It seems odd to hear a player get compared to a non-star, but Matt Miller of AthlonSports.com makes an interesting point. Remember that Tannehill was a wide receiver in college before converting to quarterback under Mike Sherman.

”Comparisons for Hundley have ranged from Donovan McNabb to Cam Newton, but when I watch the big UCLA quarterback I see a Ryan Tannehill-like athlete,” said Miller. “Hundley does seem much further ahead in terms of vision and pocket presence than Tannehill ever was at Texas A&M, but the two passers share a style.”

Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin = Eddie George

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema coached previously at Wisconsin, where he recruited Gordon, James White and Montee Ball. He talked about Gordon, who measures out at 6-foot-1 and 216 lbs., in ESPN The Magazine’s College Football Preview.

”What people don’t understand is that Melvin will test out of this world,” Bielema said. “He has great speed and is so athletic and powerful, such a long strider. He reminds me a bit of Eddie George. I still remember out strength coach telling me when we signed him, ‘Coach, this is the biggest freak we’ve ever signed.’”

Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia = Marshawn Lynch

Don’t let the name fool you – there’s nothing girly about this bulldozing running back.

ESPN NFL Draft insider Todd McShay remarked on Gurley’s 230 pounds and how he’s such a big load to bring down.

”He’d be a perfect fit in a power-based rushing attack,” said McShay, “and he compares favorably to Marshawn Lynch in that regard. But what separates Gurley from a lot of other big, punishing runners is his very good top-end speed.”

Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama = Reggie Wayne

Cooper led the Crimson Tide in catches and receiving yards last season, and new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is expected to really ramp up his usage.

“He is silky smooth on the football field,” said ESPN’s Alex Scarborough. “But don’t let that fool you; he’s got all the moves. At 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, he can run in the 4.3-second range. He can go get the ball in traffic and has come up big in clutch situations. With his nifty footwork, he’ll remind some of Colts wideout Reggie Wayne.

Those are some pretty lofty comparisons! Will they be able to live up to them? Let’s hope so. I wonder who we’ll compare next year’s stars to from this group.



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