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Published: June 17, 2015 at 12:04 p.m.
Updated: June 17, 2015 at 12:55 p.m.

15 for '15: College football's scariest players

» Complete 15 for '15 series

CFB 24/7's "15 for '15" series continues with a look at the 15 scariest players in college football. Some are scary because of the carnage that ensues when they have the ball in their hands. Others are scary because of the havoc they can wreak as defenders. All can cause nightmares for opposing coaches and players.

Related:
» NFL's scariest players

15 Photos Total

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-foot-7, 290 pounds, senior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> He is a big man. A very big man. And he moves well, too. Buckner smartly decided to return for his senior season; while he had a strong junior campaign (81 total tackles, 35 more than fellow Ducks lineman Arik Armstead, who <a href="http://www.nfl.com/draft/2015/tracker?icampaign=draft-sub_nav_bar-drafteventpage-tracker#dt-tabs:dt-by-round/dt-by-round-input:1" target="new">was drafted in the first round</a>), Buckner knows he can become a better-rounded lineman this fall. In particular, he can become a better pass rusher. Still, his sheer size and athleticism make him a fearsome figure. 15

    Rick Scuteri

    15. DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

    The particulars: 6-foot-7, 290 pounds, senior
    The skinny: He is a big man. A very big man. And he moves well, too. Buckner smartly decided to return for his senior season; while he had a strong junior campaign (81 total tackles, 35 more than fellow Ducks lineman Arik Armstead, who was drafted in the first round), Buckner knows he can become a better-rounded lineman this fall. In particular, he can become a better pass rusher. Still, his sheer size and athleticism make him a fearsome figure.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 5-11, 198, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> True shutdown corners scare opposing quarterbacks, receivers and offensive coordinators, and Hargreaves could very well be the top shutdown corner in the college ranks this fall. Hargreaves is a consistent low-4.4 guy in the 40, and his vertical jump reportedly has been measured at 41 inches. While he is willing and productive in run support, his coverage skills stand out. Shutdown corners definitely can have an effect on opposing offenses, which tend to shy away from one side of the field because of the presence of that shutdown corner. That means Florida's other cornerbacks are going to be busy this fall. 14

    John Raoux

    14. Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Florida

    The particulars: 5-11, 198, junior
    The skinny: True shutdown corners scare opposing quarterbacks, receivers and offensive coordinators, and Hargreaves could very well be the top shutdown corner in the college ranks this fall. Hargreaves is a consistent low-4.4 guy in the 40, and his vertical jump reportedly has been measured at 41 inches. While he is willing and productive in run support, his coverage skills stand out. Shutdown corners definitely can have an effect on opposing offenses, which tend to shy away from one side of the field because of the presence of that shutdown corner. That means Florida's other cornerbacks are going to be busy this fall.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-1, 230, sophomore<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> Fournette is both physical and fast; that combo was in full view when he returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score early in the second quarter of <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000452090/article/malik-zaire-leads-notre-dame-past-lsu-in-music-city-bowl" target="new">LSU's Music City Bowl loss to Notre Dame</a> last season. Even if you're a Notre Dame fan, you had to marvel at the sight of a man this big getting to full speed so quickly. Fournette has the speed to turn the corner, but almost seems to relish running between the tackles and dishing out some punishment. 13

    Jonathan Bachman

    13. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

    The particulars: 6-1, 230, sophomore
    The skinny: Fournette is both physical and fast; that combo was in full view when he returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score early in the second quarter of LSU's Music City Bowl loss to Notre Dame last season. Even if you're a Notre Dame fan, you had to marvel at the sight of a man this big getting to full speed so quickly. Fournette has the speed to turn the corner, but almost seems to relish running between the tackles and dishing out some punishment.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 5-10, 220, sophomore<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> Truth be told, 5-10 running backs are a dime a dozen. But 5-10, 220-pound running backs with Chubb's speed and power are rare. He had five games with single-digit carries and another with just 13 last season. But he still rushed for 1,547 yards and tied for the SEC lead in rushing TDs with 14. Georgia frequently uses the I-formation, which means Chubb lines up behind a battering-ram fullback and gets to blast off. Woe to those defenders who are supposed to get in his way. 12

    David Stephenson

    12. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia

    The particulars: 5-10, 220, sophomore
    The skinny: Truth be told, 5-10 running backs are a dime a dozen. But 5-10, 220-pound running backs with Chubb's speed and power are rare. He had five games with single-digit carries and another with just 13 last season. But he still rushed for 1,547 yards and tied for the SEC lead in rushing TDs with 14. Georgia frequently uses the I-formation, which means Chubb lines up behind a battering-ram fullback and gets to blast off. Woe to those defenders who are supposed to get in his way.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-4, 296, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> Nkemdiche runs the 40 in about 4.7 seconds. He has a 34-inch vertical jump. He has a broad jump of 9-foot-8. He squats 500 pounds. And he has just 10 percent body fat. Quite simply, the guy's a physical freak, so what sane offensive lineman looks forward to blocking him on Saturdays? 11

    Rogelio V. Solis

    11. Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss

    The particulars: 6-4, 296, junior
    The skinny: Nkemdiche runs the 40 in about 4.7 seconds. He has a 34-inch vertical jump. He has a broad jump of 9-foot-8. He squats 500 pounds. And he has just 10 percent body fat. Quite simply, the guy's a physical freak, so what sane offensive lineman looks forward to blocking him on Saturdays?

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-5, 255, sophomore<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> He had 11.5 sacks last season as a true freshman. Forget technique: He simply blew by opposing blockers. He should be even better this season with a year of seasoning <i>and</i> with the arrival of new coordinator John Chavis, who knows something about getting guys in mismatches so they can attack opposing quarterbacks. Chavis has a lot to work with here: Garrett was clocked in the high 4.4s in the 40 this spring and also had a vertical jump of 40 inches. Think about that: A guy pushing 260 pounds with that kind of speed and jumping ability. Forgive some opposing tackles and quarterbacks if they want no part of Garrett. 10

    Aaron M. Sprecher

    10. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

    The particulars: 6-5, 255, sophomore
    The skinny: He had 11.5 sacks last season as a true freshman. Forget technique: He simply blew by opposing blockers. He should be even better this season with a year of seasoning and with the arrival of new coordinator John Chavis, who knows something about getting guys in mismatches so they can attack opposing quarterbacks. Chavis has a lot to work with here: Garrett was clocked in the high 4.4s in the 40 this spring and also had a vertical jump of 40 inches. Think about that: A guy pushing 260 pounds with that kind of speed and jumping ability. Forgive some opposing tackles and quarterbacks if they want no part of Garrett.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-3, 242, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> The guy was nicknamed "The Yulee Mule" in high school because he basically carried his Yulee (Fla.) High team on his back. He has a heck of a lot more help in Tuscaloosa, but he remains a load to handle. And when this 242-pounder gets lathered up and runs downhill? That's a scary proposition for a defensive back. And trying to stop him at the line of scrimmage is a scary proposition for defensive linemen and linebackers. 9

    Rogelio V. Solis

    9. Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama

    The particulars: 6-3, 242, junior
    The skinny: The guy was nicknamed "The Yulee Mule" in high school because he basically carried his Yulee (Fla.) High team on his back. He has a heck of a lot more help in Tuscaloosa, but he remains a load to handle. And when this 242-pounder gets lathered up and runs downhill? That's a scary proposition for a defensive back. And trying to stop him at the line of scrimmage is a scary proposition for defensive linemen and linebackers.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-2, 205, senior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> Dual-threat quarterbacks with good speed are tough to deal with. And that describes Boykin. In 2013, he simply was a good athlete playing quarterback, and he didn't really scare anybody. But he emerged as a big-time quarterback last season, and now he scares everybody. He has a nice arm, the aforementioned good speed and a thorough understanding of TCU's version of the spread. He accounted for 4,608 yards of total offense and 41 TDs last season; legit goals this season are 5,000 and 45. 8

    Tony Gutierrez

    8. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU

    The particulars: 6-2, 205, senior
    The skinny: Dual-threat quarterbacks with good speed are tough to deal with. And that describes Boykin. In 2013, he simply was a good athlete playing quarterback, and he didn't really scare anybody. But he emerged as a big-time quarterback last season, and now he scares everybody. He has a nice arm, the aforementioned good speed and a thorough understanding of TCU's version of the spread. He accounted for 4,608 yards of total offense and 41 TDs last season; legit goals this season are 5,000 and 45.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-0, 225, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> He showed off his vast array of talents in Ohio State's three-game march to the national title last season; he rushed for 220 yards in the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin, 230 against Alabama in a national semifinal and 246 in the national championship game against Oregon. That's 9.2 yards per carry in three incredibly pressure-packed games. That figure should scare every defender who will attempt to tackle Elliott this season. 7

    Brynn Anderson

    7. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

    The particulars: 6-0, 225, junior
    The skinny: He showed off his vast array of talents in Ohio State's three-game march to the national title last season; he rushed for 220 yards in the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin, 230 against Alabama in a national semifinal and 246 in the national championship game against Oregon. That's 9.2 yards per carry in three incredibly pressure-packed games. That figure should scare every defender who will attempt to tackle Elliott this season.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-2, 250, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> A 250-pound running back who never seems to wear down? Yeah, opposing defenses love tackling guys like that. Conner doesn't have elite speed, but he is a punishing runner who doesn't mind delivering a blow. He carried 298 times last season, which means that a lot of linemen, linebackers and defensive backs endured punishment. 6

    Keith Srakocic

    6. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh

    The particulars: 6-2, 250, junior
    The skinny: A 250-pound running back who never seems to wear down? Yeah, opposing defenses love tackling guys like that. Conner doesn't have elite speed, but he is a punishing runner who doesn't mind delivering a blow. He carried 298 times last season, which means that a lot of linemen, linebackers and defensive backs endured punishment.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-2, 230, senior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> Prescott narrowly missed becoming just the seventh quarterback in FBS history with 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards last season; he finished with 3,449 and 986, respectively, and was responsible for 41 touchdowns. He obviously can hurt opposing defenses with his arm and his legs, and his physical running style wears down opposing defenders. 5

    Rogelio V. Solis

    5. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State

    The particulars: 6-2, 230, senior
    The skinny: Prescott narrowly missed becoming just the seventh quarterback in FBS history with 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards last season; he finished with 3,449 and 986, respectively, and was responsible for 41 touchdowns. He obviously can hurt opposing defenses with his arm and his legs, and his physical running style wears down opposing defenders.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 5-11, 197, senior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> If you're an opposing quarterback, you're not particularly worried if you see Joseph in coverage; he can be exploited in those situations. But as an opposing quarterback, you want to make sure you know where he is because <a href="http://www.nfl.com/photoessays/0ap3000000495904/15-for-15-college-footballs-most-physical-players" target="new">he is the biggest hitter in college football</a> and you sure don't want him coming in on a blitz. As for opposing running backs, receivers and tight ends, forgive them if they're uneasy: Joseph brings the wood. A whole lumberyard, actually. So forgive them if they hear footsteps. 4

    Mark Humphrey

    4. Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia

    The particulars: 5-11, 197, senior
    The skinny: If you're an opposing quarterback, you're not particularly worried if you see Joseph in coverage; he can be exploited in those situations. But as an opposing quarterback, you want to make sure you know where he is because he is the biggest hitter in college football and you sure don't want him coming in on a blitz. As for opposing running backs, receivers and tight ends, forgive them if they're uneasy: Joseph brings the wood. A whole lumberyard, actually. So forgive them if they hear footsteps.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-9, 280, senior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> He <a href="http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/iqs0bhqpdtz8xx8cy9la.jpg" target="new">definitely looks like</a> the most intimidating player in college football. He's absolutely huge and he runs well. But his physical gifts don't always manifest themselves in his play. (That is a nice way of saying he's inconsistent.) When it all clicks, though, he can be dominant. And when he is dominant, he is scary. 3

    Jerry Larson

    3. Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor

    The particulars: 6-9, 280, senior
    The skinny: He definitely looks like the most intimidating player in college football. He's absolutely huge and he runs well. But his physical gifts don't always manifest themselves in his play. (That is a nice way of saying he's inconsistent.) When it all clicks, though, he can be dominant. And when he is dominant, he is scary.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-1, 246, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> The man is a big-play machine. Wright had 14 sacks, 29 tackles for loss and six forced fumbles last season. What offensive player in his right mind wants to see Wright on the other side of the ball? Plus, he's nicknamed "Scooby," and any football player willing to be nicknamed "Scooby" <I>has</i> to be a tough guy. 2

    Rick Scuteri

    2. Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona

    The particulars: 6-1, 246, junior
    The skinny: The man is a big-play machine. Wright had 14 sacks, 29 tackles for loss and six forced fumbles last season. What offensive player in his right mind wants to see Wright on the other side of the ball? Plus, he's nicknamed "Scooby," and any football player willing to be nicknamed "Scooby" has to be a tough guy.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-6, 275, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> If I'm a quarterback, the college defensive end I absolutely do not want to see on the other side of the line of scrimmage is Mr. Bosa. (And, yes, I would call him "Mr. Bosa," as there's no reason to upset the dude.) Bosa is extremely athletic and extremely physical. He had 13.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss last season -- and the thought here is both those numbers increase this fall. 1

    Ric Tapia

    1. Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

    The particulars: 6-6, 275, junior
    The skinny: If I'm a quarterback, the college defensive end I absolutely do not want to see on the other side of the line of scrimmage is Mr. Bosa. (And, yes, I would call him "Mr. Bosa," as there's no reason to upset the dude.) Bosa is extremely athletic and extremely physical. He had 13.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss last season -- and the thought here is both those numbers increase this fall.

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