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Published: Aug. 20, 2014 at 05:46 p.m.

14 for '14: Most versatile players in college football

» Complete 14 for '14 series

Versatility in football comes in all shapes and sizes, from the little guys who return kicks, to the big ones who can handle multiple spots on the line of scrimmage, to the quarterbacks who double as dangerous rushers. CFB 24/7's "14 for 14" series continues with a look at some of the nation's most versatile talents.

14 Photos Total

  • 14. Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington 14

    Alex Gallardo/Associated Pres

    14. Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington

    Particulars: 6-1, 228, junior
    Buzz: Thompson is one of the brightest young talents in the Pac-12, and has been outstanding at two positions in two seasons with the Huskies. He started as a nickel back as a freshman in 2012, making 74 tackles, 8.5 for losses, and three interceptions. Last year he moved to linebacker and was just as effective, ranking second on the team with 78 stops. This year, Thompson returns with yet another role in the works: running back. Though primarily a linebacker, Thompson is expected to pitch in for the Huskies in the offensive backfield. Watch out, Myles Jack -- you have company.

  • 13. Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State 13

    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    13. Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State

    Particulars: 6-6, 302, senior
    Buzz: Potentially one of the first offensive tackles chosen in the 2015 draft, the FSU senior spent his first two years in the program on defense. In 2011, Erving made 20 tackles for the Seminoles' defense, 2.5 for losses, and a sack. The following year, he started 14 games at left tackle and developed into one of the nation's elite talents as a pass protector. That's no easy switch. As for versatility on the offensive line, Erving hasn't seen playing time at guard. But if he can play defensive tackle, you can bet guard would be no problem.

  • 12. Nelson Agholor, WR, USC 12

    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    12. Nelson Agholor, WR, USC

    Particulars: 6-0, 185, junior
    Buzz: When injuries beset Marqise Lee's final season at USC, Agholor emerged as an exciting option in the passing game. But more than that, he broke the school record for single-season punt-return average (19.1 yards) on 18 returns. He also returned kickoffs, though the junior is a much bigger threat on punt returns. As a receiver, he made 56 catches for 918 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 16.4 yards per catch.

  • 11. Devin Funchess, TE, Michigan 11

    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    11. Devin Funchess, TE, Michigan

    Particulars: 6-4, 230, junior
    Buzz: The Michigan standout is making a transition from tight end to wide receiver this fall, and few doubt he can be equally or more productive on the perimeter. He has a "tweener" build, small for a tight end but imposing as a receiver. He caught 49 passes last year at tight end, for 748 yards and six touchdowns. Funchess will be a junior this fall and could have a tough early-entry decision if his production takes another step forward.

  • 10. Jamison Crowder, WR, Duke 10

    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    10. Jamison Crowder, WR, Duke

    Particulars: 5-9, 175, senior
    Buzz: The Duke dynamo blistered defenses for 1,360 receiving yards last year on 108 catches, threw in 71 rushing yards on eight carries, and averaged 16.0 yards per punt return (fourth-best in school history). He returns as a senior this fall as one of the ACC's most exciting threats, aiming for a third consecutive season of more than 1,000 receiving yards. Crowder needs 433 punt-return yards this fall to break the Duke career record (1,021).

  • 9. Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn 9

    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    9. Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn

    Particulars: 6-1, 210, senior
    Buzz: Marshall was recruited by Georgia as a cornerback and spent a season at that position, and playing special teams, before returning to the quarterback spot at a JuCo. A year after that, Marshall led Auburn to a BCS National Championship Game appearance with nearly identical rushing numbers as Ohio State's Braxton Miller: 1,068 yards and 12 scores. He improved steadily as a quarterback, eventually pushing his TD-INT ratio to 14-6 as Gus Malzahn increased pass attempts later in the year. Georgia coach Mark Richt, by the way, said he still believes Marshall could play corner at a high level. If his passing doesn't continue to arc upward, don't be surprised when NFL scouts begin suggesting Marshall's best NFL chance is on defense.

  • 8. Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford 8

    Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

    8. Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford

    Particulars: 6-2, 215, senior
    Buzz: The Stanford wide receiver is not only one of the Pac-12's biggest offensive threats, he is the league's premier kickoff returner, as well. He averaged 30.3 yards on kickoff returns last year, ranking No. 2 in the nation, and was the only return man in the country to average 30-plus yards with at least 30 returns (36). He has excellent size and caught 61 passes for 958 yards and 10 touchdowns, and even rushed 13 times for 159 yards.

  • 7. Leonard Williams, DT/DE, USC 7

    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    7. Leonard Williams, DT/DE, USC

    Particulars: 6-5, 290, junior
    Buzz: Defensive linemen might not get their hands on the ball much, but that doesn't mean they can't play various spots effectively. Williams has proven capable of playing at a high level, in one of the nation's top conferences, at both defensive tackle and defensive end. As a freshman tackle in 2012, he made 64 stops (13.5 for losses), with eight sacks. Last year he moved outside and delivered very similar numbers (74-13.5-6). He enters the year as a strong preseason All-America candidate.

  • 6. Robert Nkemdiche, DE/DT, Ole Miss 6

    Thomas Graning/Associated Press

    6. Robert Nkemdiche, DE/DT, Ole Miss

    Particulars: 6-4, 277, sophomore
    Buzz: Did anyone else in the country see time on both the defensive line and at running back last year? Show of hands? Nkemdiche can make the claim, although he just got five totes in the backfield, for 32 yards. Short-yardage rushing aside, it's at defensive tackle where Nkemdiche is expected to dominate for the Rebels as a sophomore this fall. He played some end last year, as well, but tackle appears to be his home after making eight tackles for loss among 34 stops last year. But we won't be surprised if he gets a few more third-and-1 carries this fall.

  • 5. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska 5

    Nati Harnik/Associated Press

    5. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska

    Particulars: 5-9, 195, senior
    Buzz: The Nebraska star is more than one of the nation's top rushers. He's also got as soft a pair of hands as any back in the country, and ranked third on the team in receptions last year with 26 catches. His quickness is a dangerous thing when it comes to screen passes and dump-offs into the flat, where his open-field skills are exceptional. Although he only returned four kickoffs last year, he proved himself as a dynamic return specialist early in his career, averaging 29.1 yards on kickoffs as a freshman, and 13.1 on punts as a sophomore.

  • 4. Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia 4

    John Raoux/Associated Press

    4. Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia

    Particulars: 6-1, 190, junior
    Buzz: The Georgia star who is coming off ACL surgery showed two-way ability in his last full season (2012). He made a dozen tackles and broke up three passes in four games at cornerback before flipping to wide receiver, where he caught 40 passes from Aaron Murray. He also led the team with 11 punt returns and 16 kickoff returns. His cornerback days appear to be done, but two-way experience in the SEC speaks for itself. Last year, he was done for the season early in Georgia's season-opener against Clemson with a knee injury. If the SEC East is fortunate, his return to the league as a junior this fall won't include kick returns. However, the arthroscopic knee surgery he underwent on July 31 has put his status for the season opener in doubt.

  • 3. Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M 3

    Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL

    3. Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M

    Particulars: 6-5, 300, senior
    Buzz: The Texas A&M offensive lineman will be starting at his third position in three years for the Aggies this fall, having moved from right guard (sophomore) to right tackle (junior), and now to left tackle (senior) to fill in for first-round pick Jake Matthews. He's excelled at both guard and right tackle to date, and few doubt he'll make the left-side transition a smooth one in his final year. Ogbuehi has said he received a first-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board last year as a right tackle, but opted to stay in school for his final year.

  • 2. Jameon Lewis, WR, Mississippi State 2

    Rainier Ehrhardt/Associated Press

    2. Jameon Lewis, WR, Mississippi State

    Particulars: 5-9, 183, senior
    Buzz: Nobody at the FBS level helps his team in more different ways. Last year against Troy, Lewis rushed, passed and received for a touchdown each. For the year, he led the team in receiving (64 for 923), rushed for 117 yards on 13 carries, and threw three passes resulting in three touchdowns. And -- oh yeah -- he led the team in punt returns and kickoff returns, too. If his rushing role expands a bit in 2014, he should get 100 offensive touches, not even counting special teams.

  • 1. Myles Jack, LB, UCLA 1

    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    1. Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

    Particulars: 6-1, 230, sophomore
    Buzz: Playing multiple positions is one thing. Playing multiple positions on opposite sides of the ball is another. Nobody did that better or at a higher level last year than the Bruins' outstanding freshman, who amassed 75 tackles and a team-high 11 pass breakups at linebacker, and 267 rushing yards in a late-season move to running back. His 7.0 yards-per-carry average was a team-best, and ended up garnering both Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Freshman of the Year honors. This fall, he'll be back at linebacker -- unless ...

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