FOX Sports National College Football Analyst
The progeny of prodigies will always attract our attention. We cannot avoid looking at those who have the DNA of an elite athlete. It’s like they’ve been given super serum, had adamantium grafted onto their bones, been bitten by a rogue Alchemax spider, and drank the heart-shaped herb.
When someone reaches the tall, athletic water mark set by one or both of their birth parents, I don’t think there’s much we love more.
Combine nepotism with natural ability, access to an environment built for the scion to rise up in, and enough work ethic and desire to be great, and you’ve got a special talent.
Here are nine current college football standouts who are following in their parents’ footsteps.
Marvin Harrison Jr.WR, ohio state
How do you tell me that you are WR1 without telling me that you are WR1? You say, “My name is Marvin Harrison.”
Harrison Jr. is the best wide receiver in college football and is expected to be a top five pick in next year’s NFL draft. The talented pass catcher from Buckeye caught 77 passes for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns while leading Ohio State to the College Football Playoff last season.
His father, former Indianapolis Colts standout Marvin Harrison Sr., is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He played 13 NFL seasons, all with the Colts, and caught 1,102 passes for 14,580 receiving yards and 128 receiving touchdowns. He led the NFL in receiving yards and touchdowns during the 2002 season, and was a First or Second Team All-Pro selection eight separate times. Harrison ranks fifth all-time in receptions.
shedeur sandersQuarterback, Colorado
His dad is Prime. If that doesn’t put his brisket in trouble, he’s on the wrong grill.
It’s not said enough: Shedeur was born in Tyler, Texas. Nothing smooth comes out of Tyler, Texas.
In two seasons at Jackson State, Sanders passed for 6,963 yards and 70 touchdowns while completing 68.4% of his passes. He is the only player in sports history to win the Jerry Rice Award as FCS’s most outstanding freshman, the first player from an HBCU to win the award, and the Deacon Jones Trophy, awarded to the top player in the league. country HBCUs. .
Sons of NFL greats leaving their mark on CFB
FOX Sports’ RJ Young takes a look at college football standouts who are following in their fathers’ footsteps.
Frank Gore Jr.RB, south lady
Frank Gore Sr. was a 2001 national champion with the Miami Hurricanes. He enjoyed a dominant 16-year NFL career that included five Pro Bowl selections.
Meanwhile, his son, Frank Gore, Jr., led Southern Miss in rushing yards for the second straight year with 801 yards on 179 carries averaging 4.5 yards per clip. He has amassed 2,891 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns in three seasons at Southern Miss.
Brenden RiceWR, USC
His dad is Jerry Rice. If that doesn’t cook your ramen, son, you’re in the wrong soup kitchen.
In three years, two at Colorado and one at USC, Brenden caught 66 passes for 1,030 yards (15.6 avg.) with nine TDs. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound pass catcher had a breakout season last year for the Trojans, totaling 39 receptions for 611 yards and four touchdowns.
With Caleb Williams back at center stage, expect an even bigger season for Brennan in 2023.
christian driverATH, state of pennsylvania
He is the son of Super Bowl champion and five-time Pro Bowl selection Donald Driver.
Cristian’s current head coach at Penn State, James Franklin, was Donald’s wide receivers coach at Green Bay in 2005. The older driver played college football at Alcorn State, and until Shaq Leonard entered the league in 2018 , Donald was carrying the HBCU football on his back. .
Christian, who redshirted in 2022, played high school for Jason Witten at Liberty Christian in Flower Mound, Texas, where he went both ways and won the Association of Private and Parochial Schools long jump state title of Texas (TAPPS) in Division 6A.
Antonio Gates Jr.WR, michigan state
Antonio Gates Sr. was a three-time first-team All-Pro. Before Baker Mayfield went from walk-on to Heisman, Gates Sr. went from Joe to Pro, being an undrafted free agent from Kent State who became an All-Pro. The former Chargers standout caught more TDs than any other tight end in NFL history with 116.
His son, Antonio Gates Jr., meanwhile, redshirted in 2022. Coming out of Fordson High in Detroit, Gates Jr. caught 55 passes for 925 yards and 16 touchdowns, scored two INTs, including one returned for a touchdown, and nine interrupted passes. on defense as a senior.
Gates Jr. is expected to play a bigger role for the Spartans this season, especially with the departure of Keon Coleman.
mason taylorTEA, LSU
He is the son of 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and three-time first-team All-Pro Jason Taylor, and the nephew of Zach Thomas and Joy Taylor.
Mason is expected to play a big role in LSU’s offense in 2023 after catching 38 passes for 414 yards with three touchdowns in 14 games last season. He caught the game-winning two-point conversion in LSU’s win against Alabama last year as a true freshman.
christian harrisonDB, Tennessee
Harrison’s father is two-time Super Bowl champion and two-time Pro Bowl selection Rodney Harrison. The former New England Patriots great has the most sacks by a safety in NFL history with 30.5, and holds the record for tackles made in Super Bowl history with 33.
Coming out of Woodward Academy in Atlanta, Christian was one of the top 50 players in the state. He collected five passes and forced two fumbles as a senior.
E. J. SmithRB, stanford
EJ Smith is the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer RB Emmitt Smith, who is considered one of the greatest running backs in NFL history. Emmitt played 15 NFL seasons, mostly with the Dallas Cowboys, and is atop the NFL’s all-time rushing list with 18,355 yards and 164 rushing touchdowns.
EJ’s first carry of the 2022 season was an 87-yard TD run. He appeared to be on track for a big season before suffering a season-ending injury in Stanford’s second game of the season last year. He rushed for 206 yards and three touchdowns in two games before getting hurt.
RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast “The number one college football show.Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Young and Subscribe to “The Number One College Football Show” on YouTube.
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