Photo Essays  

 

Published: July 3, 2015 at 11:26 a.m.
Updated: July 3, 2015 at 12:58 p.m.

15 for '15: College football's most explosive athletes

» Complete 15 for '15 series

CFB 24/7's "15 for '15" series continues with -- appropriately enough for July Fourth weekend -- the nation's most explosive players. Explosive players cause butterflies: When the guy is on your team, you can't wait to see him make a big play, but if he is on the other team, you dread what he can do. All long-play stats are from cfbstats.com.

14 Photos Total

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-foot-0, 196 pounds, sophomore<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> Lewis burst on the scene in a big way as a true freshman last season, being named first-team All-MAC after catching 73 passes for 1,093 yards and seven TDs. Eleven of his receptions went for at least 30 yards, with nine going for at least 40, five at least 50 and three at least 60. His seven TD receptions averaged 46 yards, and two were game-winners in the final minute. 14

    Carlos Osorio / AP

    15. Roger Lewis, WR, Bowling Green

    The particulars: 6-foot-0, 196 pounds, sophomore
    The skinny: Lewis burst on the scene in a big way as a true freshman last season, being named first-team All-MAC after catching 73 passes for 1,093 yards and seven TDs. Eleven of his receptions went for at least 30 yards, with nine going for at least 40, five at least 50 and three at least 60. His seven TD receptions averaged 46 yards, and two were game-winners in the final minute.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 5-10, 220, sophomore<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> Chubb averaged 7.1 yards per carry in rushing for 1,547 yards and 14 TDs as a true freshman last fall. Almost 20 percent of his carries (41 of 219) covered at least 10 yards, and he had four 50-yarders and three 60-yarders. Eight of his TD runs covered at least 10 yards, with six covering at least 30 and three at least 40. 13

    John Bazemore / AP

    14. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia

    The particulars: 5-10, 220, sophomore
    The skinny: Chubb averaged 7.1 yards per carry in rushing for 1,547 yards and 14 TDs as a true freshman last fall. Almost 20 percent of his carries (41 of 219) covered at least 10 yards, and he had four 50-yarders and three 60-yarders. Eight of his TD runs covered at least 10 yards, with six covering at least 30 and three at least 40.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-0, 225, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> Elliott showed off both his speed and power in the Buckeyes' three-game run to the national title. He averaged 6.9 yards per carry last season, but that figure was an astounding 9.2 in wins over Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon to close the season. He scored eight TDs in those three games, and his average scoring run was 29 yards, including two of at least 81 yards. For the season, he had seven runs of at least 40 yards, five of at least 50 and four of at least 60. 12

    Ric Tapia / TAPIR

    13. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

    The particulars: 6-0, 225, junior
    The skinny: Elliott showed off both his speed and power in the Buckeyes' three-game run to the national title. He averaged 6.9 yards per carry last season, but that figure was an astounding 9.2 in wins over Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon to close the season. He scored eight TDs in those three games, and his average scoring run was 29 yards, including two of at least 81 yards. For the season, he had seven runs of at least 40 yards, five of at least 50 and four of at least 60.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 5-11, 208, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> He had nine TD receptions, two scoring runs and also threw two TD passes last season, and was -- by far -- the Gamecocks' most dangerous offensive player. He averaged 16.5 yards per catch on his 69 receptions and had four plays of at least 70 yards (three receptions and one run). Almost 30 percent of his receptions (20 of 69) went for at least 20 yards. 11

    Richard Shiro / FR159523 AP

    12. Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina

    The particulars: 5-11, 208, junior
    The skinny: He had nine TD receptions, two scoring runs and also threw two TD passes last season, and was -- by far -- the Gamecocks' most dangerous offensive player. He averaged 16.5 yards per catch on his 69 receptions and had four plays of at least 70 yards (three receptions and one run). Almost 30 percent of his receptions (20 of 69) went for at least 20 yards.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 5-11, 215, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> Hunt missed three games last season with an ankle injury, but still rushed for 1,631 yards and 16 TDs in 10 games. He hit the 100-yard plateau in all 10 of his games, including outings of 265 and 271 yards late in the season. Hunt had 11 runs of at least 20 yards (second-most in the nation, behind only Melvin Gordon) and averaged 7.96 yards on his 205 attempts. He also had 11 runs of at least 30 yards and seven of at least 40. 10

    David Richard / FR25496 AP

    11. Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo

    The particulars: 5-11, 215, junior
    The skinny: Hunt missed three games last season with an ankle injury, but still rushed for 1,631 yards and 16 TDs in 10 games. He hit the 100-yard plateau in all 10 of his games, including outings of 265 and 271 yards late in the season. Hunt had 11 runs of at least 20 yards (second-most in the nation, behind only Melvin Gordon) and averaged 7.96 yards on his 205 attempts. He also had 11 runs of at least 30 yards and seven of at least 40.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-1, 205, senior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> Carroo is big and fast (he has been clocked in the high 4.3s in the 40). He was seventh in the Big Ten in receptions last season (55) but second in receiving yards (1,086) and third in TD receptions (10). Carroo, who averaged 19.8 yards per catch in 2014, has 83 receptions in the past two seasons -- and 19 have gone for TDs. He had 11 receptions of at least 30 yards and two of at least 70 yards last season, and his 10 TD receptions averaged 35 yards. 9

    Mel Evans / AP

    10. Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers

    The particulars: 6-1, 205, senior
    The skinny: Carroo is big and fast (he has been clocked in the high 4.3s in the 40). He was seventh in the Big Ten in receptions last season (55) but second in receiving yards (1,086) and third in TD receptions (10). Carroo, who averaged 19.8 yards per catch in 2014, has 83 receptions in the past two seasons -- and 19 have gone for TDs. He had 11 receptions of at least 30 yards and two of at least 70 yards last season, and his 10 TD receptions averaged 35 yards.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-1, 243, senior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> The man nicknamed "Rockhead" rushed for 1,767 yards and 17 TDs last season in his first year at tailback (he had been a tight end). He had 19 runs of at least 20 yards (tied for fourth-most nationally with, among others, Tevin Coleman and Duke Johnson), 14 of at least 30 yards, 10 of at least 40, seven of at least 50 and five of at least 60. He averaged 8.6 yards per carry on his 206 attempts. 8

    John Amis / FR69715 AP

    9. Devon Johnson, RB, Marshall

    The particulars: 6-1, 243, senior
    The skinny: The man nicknamed "Rockhead" rushed for 1,767 yards and 17 TDs last season in his first year at tailback (he had been a tight end). He had 19 runs of at least 20 yards (tied for fourth-most nationally with, among others, Tevin Coleman and Duke Johnson), 14 of at least 30 yards, 10 of at least 40, seven of at least 50 and five of at least 60. He averaged 8.6 yards per carry on his 206 attempts.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-3, 205, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> Davis had at least one TD grab in 11 of the 12 games he played last season. He lacks blazing speed, but still ranked third nationally with 23 receptions of at least 20 yards and third with 14 receptions of at least 30 yards last season. Davis also had nine receptions of at least 40 yards, six of at least 50 and three of at least 60. He averaged 18.1 yards on his 78 receptions and scored 15 TDs. 7

    Stew Milne / FR56276 AP

    8. Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

    The particulars: 6-3, 205, junior
    The skinny: Davis had at least one TD grab in 11 of the 12 games he played last season. He lacks blazing speed, but still ranked third nationally with 23 receptions of at least 20 yards and third with 14 receptions of at least 30 yards last season. Davis also had nine receptions of at least 40 yards, six of at least 50 and three of at least 60. He averaged 18.1 yards on his 78 receptions and scored 15 TDs.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 5-10, 200, senior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> New Mexico wasn't good last season, finishing 4-8, but Pressley made sure opposing defenses took notice of him. He rushed for 1,083 yards and 12 TDs on just 114 carries; that's a 9.5 yards per carry, meaning, on average, he basically produced a first down every time he ran the ball. Pressley led the nation in yards per carry among players with at least 50 carries. He had eight rushes of at least 40 yards, six of at least 50 and five of at least 60, and his 12 TD runs covered an average of 36 yards, including three of at least 69. 6

    Victor Calzada / FR39270 AP

    7. Jhurell Pressley, RB, New Mexico

    The particulars: 5-10, 200, senior
    The skinny: New Mexico wasn't good last season, finishing 4-8, but Pressley made sure opposing defenses took notice of him. He rushed for 1,083 yards and 12 TDs on just 114 carries; that's a 9.5 yards per carry, meaning, on average, he basically produced a first down every time he ran the ball. Pressley led the nation in yards per carry among players with at least 50 carries. He had eight rushes of at least 40 yards, six of at least 50 and five of at least 60, and his 12 TD runs covered an average of 36 yards, including three of at least 69.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 5-10, 185, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> Not all that much was expected of Georgia Southern last season, its first in the FBS ranks. But Breida, <a target="_blank" href=" http://www.tampabay.com/hometeam/blog/star-nature-coast-rb-matt-breidas-biggest-role-long-awaited-loving-son/15395/">who has an inspirational back story,</a> helped the Eagles go 9-3. He rushed for 1,485 yards and 17 TDs and averaged 8.7 yards per carry, a figure that led the nation among the backs with at least 115 carries. Breida had 14 runs of at least 30 yards, 10 of at least 40, eight of at least 50, six of at least 60 and two of at least 70. He is the nation's returning leader (or tied for the lead) at each of those distances. His 17 TD runs averaged 34 yards, with seven of them covering at least 56 yards, six at least 61 and two at least 75. 5

    Victor Calzada

    6. Matt Breida, RB, Georgia Southern

    The particulars: 5-10, 185, junior
    The skinny: Not all that much was expected of Georgia Southern last season, its first in the FBS ranks. But Breida, who has an inspirational back story, helped the Eagles go 9-3. He rushed for 1,485 yards and 17 TDs and averaged 8.7 yards per carry, a figure that led the nation among the backs with at least 115 carries. Breida had 14 runs of at least 30 yards, 10 of at least 40, eight of at least 50, six of at least 60 and two of at least 70. He is the nation's returning leader (or tied for the lead) at each of those distances. His 17 TD runs averaged 34 yards, with seven of them covering at least 56 yards, six at least 61 and two at least 75.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-1, 246, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> It might be a somewhat-goofy nickname -- come on, a grown man nicknamed "Scooby"? -- but there is nothing goofy about Wright on the football field. The man wreaks havoc. Wright had 14 sacks, 29 tackles for loss and six forced fumbles last season; he ranked in the top four nationally in each category and led the nation in TFLs and was tied for the lead in forced fumbles. 4

    Dean Hare

    5. Scooby Wright III, LB, Arizona

    The particulars: 6-1, 246, junior
    The skinny: It might be a somewhat-goofy nickname -- come on, a grown man nicknamed "Scooby"? -- but there is nothing goofy about Wright on the football field. The man wreaks havoc. Wright had 14 sacks, 29 tackles for loss and six forced fumbles last season; he ranked in the top four nationally in each category and led the nation in TFLs and was tied for the lead in forced fumbles.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-2, 188, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> He led the nation with 1,750 receiving yards and with 17 TD receptions, and he averaged 18.2 yards per reception (the highest average in the nation for the 48 players with more than 65 receptions; only one other receiver with 65 receptions -- the aforementioned Corey Davis -- averaged even 16.5 yards). Higgins led the nation in receptions of at least 20 yards (30), 30 yards (20), 40 yards (12) and 50 yards (seven). He also had three of at least 60 yards and two of at least 70. His TD receptions averaged 31 yards, with four covering at least 51 yards. 3

    Cathleen Allison

    4. Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State

    The particulars: 6-2, 188, junior
    The skinny: He led the nation with 1,750 receiving yards and with 17 TD receptions, and he averaged 18.2 yards per reception (the highest average in the nation for the 48 players with more than 65 receptions; only one other receiver with 65 receptions -- the aforementioned Corey Davis -- averaged even 16.5 yards). Higgins led the nation in receptions of at least 20 yards (30), 30 yards (20), 40 yards (12) and 50 yards (seven). He also had three of at least 60 yards and two of at least 70. His TD receptions averaged 31 yards, with four covering at least 51 yards.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> 6-6, 275, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> Watch any Ohio State game on TV, and you will be startled once or twice each time you watch by how quickly Bosa gets into the backfield. Well, if it startles you while you're watching on TV, imagine the poor quarterback who bears the brunt of Bosa's wrath. Bosa had 13.5 sacks, 21 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles last season. He is both athletic and powerful, and might be the best player in the nation regardless of position. 2

    Ric Tapia

    3. Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

    The particulars: 6-6, 275, junior
    The skinny: Watch any Ohio State game on TV, and you will be startled once or twice each time you watch by how quickly Bosa gets into the backfield. Well, if it startles you while you're watching on TV, imagine the poor quarterback who bears the brunt of Bosa's wrath. Bosa had 13.5 sacks, 21 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles last season. He is both athletic and powerful, and might be the best player in the nation regardless of position.

  • <b>The particulars:</b> Cannon: 6-0, 175, sophomore/Coleman: 5-11, 190, junior<br />
<b>The skinny:</b> Together, the two Bears caught 122 passes for 2,149 yards (17.6 yards per reception) and 19 touchdowns. They combined for 24 receptions of at least 30 yards, 19 of at least 40, eight of at least 50, five of at least 60 and four of at least 60. And get this: Of their combined 19 TD receptions, 18 covered at least 25 yards, with eight covering at least 50. Coleman's 11 TD receptions averaged 37 yards. But that's nothing compared with Cannon: His eight TD receptions <i>averaged</i> 62 yards. Again, that was the <i>average</i>. Each of his eight covered at least 42 yards and three were at least 74 yards. 1

    Associated Press

    T-1. KD Cannon and Corey Coleman, WRs, Baylor

    The particulars: Cannon: 6-0, 175, sophomore/Coleman: 5-11, 190, junior
    The skinny: Together, the two Bears caught 122 passes for 2,149 yards (17.6 yards per reception) and 19 touchdowns. They combined for 24 receptions of at least 30 yards, 19 of at least 40, eight of at least 50, five of at least 60 and four of at least 60. And get this: Of their combined 19 TD receptions, 18 covered at least 25 yards, with eight covering at least 50. Coleman's 11 TD receptions averaged 37 yards. But that's nothing compared with Cannon: His eight TD receptions averaged 62 yards. Again, that was the average. Each of his eight covered at least 42 yards and three were at least 74 yards.