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NCAA Football

The 10 Biggest Freak Athletes of College Football in 2014

The 10 Biggest Freak Athletes of College Football in 2014

Jadeveon Clowney NFL Combine
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Last year South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney used his amazing physical gifts to become the first overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. Clowney was one of the most physically dominant players in college football history. These 10 players are all players to watch in 2014 for nothing if not the feats of athleticism they can pull off. They all deserve the title of “freak athlete”.

10. WR Devon Allen, Oregon

Devon Allen Oregon Ducks
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

10. WR Devon Allen, Oregon

Devon Allen Oregon Ducks
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Marcus Mariota might grab all of the headlines, and deservedly so, but Allen could make a name for himself on Oregon’s explosive offense in 2014. Entering his redshirt freshman season, Allen will already be one of the fastest players in the country. A standout on the Ducks’ track team, Allen set state records in the hurdles at his Arizona high school. He should be next in line in Oregon’s tradition of speed freaks.

9. RB Venric Mark, Northwestern

Venric Mark Northwestern Wildcats
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9. RB Venric Mark, Northwestern

Venric Mark Northwestern Wildcats
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

At a school best known for its mental gifts, Mark has made his mark as a supreme physical talent. Mark missed most of 2013 to injury and will return for a fifth season. Those issues shouldn’t keep him from contributing in a Reggie Bush-like role for the Wildcats as a runner, receiver and returner. Despite standing only 5-foot-8, Mark runs the 40-yard dash in the low 4.3’s -- something NFL teams like to see.

8. DE Mario Edwards, Florida St.

Mario Edwards Discover Orange Bowl - Northern Illinois v Florida State
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8. DE Mario Edwards, Florida St.

Mario Edwards Discover Orange Bowl - Northern Illinois v Florida State
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Edwards came out of high school as the top recruit in the country, displaying the type of athleticism that would make an NFL player jealous. Even on the best team in the country Edwards stands out on a regular basis. He can run the 40 in the 4.7’s at almost 300 pounds, incredible for a player that size. Combine that with excellent strength and you have one of the most naturally talented players in the country.

7. DE Alvin Dupree, Kentucky

Alvin Dupree Kentucky Wildcats
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7. DE Alvin Dupree, Kentucky

Alvin Dupree Kentucky Wildcats
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Dupree has made a name for himself despite playing on a pretty mediocre Kentucky team that gets consistently dominated by its rivals in the SEC. A defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid, Dupree blows by offensive linemen with his amazing speed and agility. Dupree also has incredible jumping abilities, with a vertical leap measured at 40 inches.

6. LB Cameron Lynch, Syracuse

Cameron Lynch Syracuse Orange
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6. LB Cameron Lynch, Syracuse

Cameron Lynch Syracuse Orange
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Lynch stands only 5-foot-11 and 226 pounds -- quite undersized for a linebacker. But when you see him play, you begin to see what all the fuss is about. Lynch is a very fast runner despite his stocky frame. He also possesses great strength for a man of his size, bench pressing 225 pounds an impressive 36 times. There aren’t a lot of reasons to watch the Orange, but Lynch is a pretty good one.

5. QB Nick Marshall, Auburn

Nick Marhsall Auburn Tigers
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5. QB Nick Marshall, Auburn

Nick Marshall Auburn Tigers
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Marshall is never going to be the prototypical passing QB, and many believe that his future in the NFL could be as a WR. But at the college level, those gifts make Marshall one of the most difficult matchups in the country. His 40-yard dash is usually under 4.4 seconds and as a former basketball standout, he possesses incredible leaping abilities. Coming off of a breakout season, Marshall should once again lead Auburn to big things in 2014.

4. WR DeVante Parker, Louisville

DeVante Parker Louisville Cardinals
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4. WR DeVante Parker, Louisville

DeVante Parker Louisville Cardinals
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Teddy Bridgewater may be gone, but the Cardinals still boast one of the most talented players in the country in Parker. Parker has everything you’re looking for in a big-time receiver: size, speed, strength and the ability to make jaw-dropping catches. His quarterback play might not be at the level it used to be, but Parker should make up for it with his ability to go up and get any ball thrown his way.

3. RB Todd Gurley

Todd Gurley Georgia Bulldogs
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3. RB Todd Gurley, Georgia

Todd Gurley Georgia Bulldogs
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Gurley enters the season as a leading Heisman Trophy candidate as well as a possible first-round pick in next year’s NFL Draft. Gurley’s 4.43-second 40-yard dash time might not seem that impressive to some people. But considering he ran that time at around 230 pounds, you begin to understand what a special player Gurley is. Running backs with Gurley’s combination of size and speed don’t come around too often.

2. DE Randy Gregory, Nebraska

Randy Gregory Michigan State v Nebraska
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2. DE Randy Gregory, Nebraska

Randy Gregory Michigan State v Nebraska
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Gregory’s journey to becoming one of the best pass-rushers in the nation is quite impressive, as he came in from the junior college ranks and immediately became the Cornhuskers’ best player. At 6-foot-6, Gregory’s length is simply too much for offensive linemen to handle and he is also remarkably quick for his height. If he can add a bit more bulk, Gregory could become one of the very best players in college football.

1. OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa

Brandon Scherff Iowa Hawkeyes
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

1. OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa

Brandon Scherff Iowa Hawkeyes
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not often that you see an offensive lineman who is worth the price of admission, but Scherff fits the bill. There might not be a stronger player in the country, as Scherff’s weight room exploits have already made him a mini-sensation on YouTube. But Scherff isn’t just muscle. He can run the 40 in under 5 seconds and was actually a quarterback in high school for a few years. If you want to see some old-school football, Scherff is your guy.