One of the beautiful things about college football is how short-lived it is. The players are around for four, maybe five years if they redshirt, and then they're gone. They have to give everything they have for those years.
Sadly, that means there will be plenty of great players taking the field for the last time in college. From well-known quarterbacks like Matt Barkley and Collin Klein to offensive stars like Montee Ball to defensive studs like Manti Te'o, enjoy these guys while they last.
These players will take the field one last time. Then, they'll be gone. Enjoy them one last time.
Matt Barkley, QB USC
The much-maligned Trojan quarterback is the victim of a spoiled fanbase. Most fanbases would love to have a quarterback with 116 career touchdown passes. Even though Barkley never delivered a national championship, he remains one of the best quarterbacks in the nation.
Barkley's legacy is hard to determine, considering his and his team's struggles this season. Still, Barkley has contributed a great deal to this organization. At the very least, Marqise Lee will miss the talented signal-caller.
You can catch Barkley take on Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl at 2 p.m. on Monday, December 31.
Collin Klein, QB Kansas State
He might not have the passing stats of his peers, but Collin Klein is every bit as brilliant as any quarterback in the nation.
The past two seasons have seen Klein contribute 77 total touchdowns to the Kansas State offense, with 49 of those on the ground. Klein led the Wildcats back to national prominence, and his leadership cannot be overstated.
Check out Klein one last time as he takes on the Oregon Ducks in the Fiesta Bowl. Game time is at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 3.
Landry Jones, QB Oklahoma
Like Barkley, Landry Jones' legacy is limited somewhat by a lack of a signature win. That having been said, Jones is the prototypical quarterback, and his stats are phenomenal.
Jones has racked up 16,368 passing yards over his career, with 122 passing touchdowns to boot. Also worth mentioning: Jones has only lost seven games over the last three years. He might not be a champion, but he's still a star.
Watch Jones take the field for the last time in the Cotton Bowl against Texas A&M. The game is at 8 p.m. on Friday, January 4.
Montee Ball, RB Wisconsin
Montee Ball has had one of the greatest careers of any running back, with an astounding 5,040 career rushing yards and a record 82 touchdowns.
The Badgers have ridden Ball to three straight Rose Bowls, and he has established himself as the best back in the nation. Ball has ended his career on a serious tear, rushing for 702 yards over the past four games.
Ball will ride that hot streak into the Rose Bowl, where he will take on the Stanford Cardinals on Tuesday, January 1 at 5 p.m.
Denard Robinson, QB/RB/? Michigan
Nobody quite knows what position Robinson will play in his final game as a Wolverine, but we do know that we will miss seeing Robinson suit up in Maize and Blue.
Robinson was a transformative force in Michigan football. Robinson's freshman year saw the Wolverines go 5-7 and miss out on a bowl. The next, they turned it around and made it to the postseason, finishing 7-6. 2011 saw Robinson lead Michigan to a BCS bowl win and an 11-2 season.
Though Michigan fell off a bit in 2012, it remains a national power, with thanks going in no small part to Robinson. You can catch him one last time in the Outback Bowl against South Carolina on Tuesday, January 1 at 1 p.m.
Manti Te'o, LB Notre Dame
Manti Te'o was already regarded as a great linebacker and a high draft pick before this season. Now, he's a legend and perhaps the one of the greatest linebackers in NCAA history.
Only a truly special linebacker could define a team the way Te'o has. Notre Dame feeds off his emotion, and his play reflects that.
Catch Te'o for the last time in the most important game of his career. He and the Irish will take on Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game on Monday, January 7 at 8:30 p.m.
Am I missing anybody? Pay tribute to your favorite seniors in the comments below.
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