10 Biggest Bullies in College Football
"Bully" might be a bit of a stretch, but it will work for the purposes of this list.
The players found here are the most physically dominant, and they repeatedly demonstrated it with superior performances against whatever opponent is placed in front of them.
Take South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, for instance.
Clowney posted a ridiculous 23.5 tackles for loss and made offensive linemen look ridiculous on a regular basis throughout the course of the 2013 season.
His physical tools and skills make him better than the players opposing him, to the point that he is one of the most dominant players in recent memory.
So it is with the others on this list, as well.
While none of these players have quite reached Darth Vader status as a bully, each has his own particular skill set, and each uses those skills to "bully" opponents on a regular basis.
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Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin: 104 total tackles last season, will anchor a defense that will be better than expected.
Jordan Jenkins, LB, Georgia: Steps into a huge gap left by Jarvis Jones and has the potential to be nearly as good.
Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford: Senior leadership on a very stingy defense. Also, great Rose Bowl haircut.
C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama: Leader of the most dominant defense in football, posted 107 total tackles.
10. Venric Mark, RB, Northwestern
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Mark does not get near the hype that he deserves.
Check out his stats from 2012.
He finished the season with over 1,300 yards rushing, an average of 19.81 yards per kickoff return and an incredible average of 18.67 yards per punt return, to go with two punt return touchdowns.
While Mark is an excellent running backs, averaging over six yards per attempt and contributing 12 rushing touchdowns in 2012, where he does his real damage is in the return game.
He has the speed and ability to read blocks that make him a threat to score on every return, and his return yardage is ridiculous.
9. Marqise Lee, WR, USC
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Best receiver in the nation. That's all Lee has going for him.
He won the 2012 Biletnikoff Award, after a season that saw him gain nearly 1,700 yards receiving and set Pac-12 single game records for receiving yards and return yardage. In 2012, Lee was also a unanimous All-American pick.
There is not a cornerback in the nation that has the physical tools to shut down Lee, given his blazing speed and the strength he demonstrates after contact.
Even with a new quarterback under center, expect to see Lee dominating defenders and putting up monster numbers again in 2013.
8. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
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Marcus Mariota seems to get swallowed by the shadow cast by Johnny Manziel, despite his incredible performance as a redshirt freshman in 2012.
Mariota put up huge numbers for the Ducks, throwing 32 touchdown passes and rushing for five more, while averaging over seven yards per carry.
The Ducks will be looking to re-establish their dominance atop the Pac-12, after a season that saw them fall from that perch to the powerful Stanford Cardinal.
With Mariota at the helm, the Ducks have the ideal quarterback to run the spread option, with the arm needed to make all the throws, as well as the ability to make a huge difference with his legs.
He's a tough guy to chase down.
7. Tennessee Offensive Line
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For all the recent struggles the Tennessee Volunteers have had to deal with, including five straight seasons with at least six losses, there is one unit that is clearly stronger than the rest of the team.
The Volunteer offensive line is a force, routinely knocking back defenders and wreaking havoc on defensive front sevens in the best conference in the nation.
Jadeveon Clowney was contained for the majority of the Vols' game against SC last season, and Tennessee finished third in the nation in sacks allowed, with only eight given up on the season.
While much of the press went to quarterback Tyler Bray and wide receiver Justin Hunter, this offensive line is the real reason the UT offense goes.
Expect more dominant play in the upcoming season.
6.Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
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Watch out, Johnny Football, Todd Gurley is gunning for your Heisman.
The SEC has seen a player from the conference win the trophy in four of the past six seasons and three of the last four.
It's Georgia's turn.
Gurley, at 6'1", 218 pounds, is a load coming through the line, and he has the speed to pull away from defenders once he hits the second level of the defense.
He is physical, big and fast, and he used his skills to maximum effect last season as a freshman, rushing for 1,385 yards, while averaging over six yards per carry.
The Dawgs are going to use him—and often—in 2013, resulting in more hard-earned yardage for the stud running back.
5. Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU
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BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy had a bowl game for the ages this past season, putting up a stat line of eight tackles, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an interception and two defensive touchdowns.
That's when most football fans heard about him and took notice of his incredible performance.
But Van Noy was consistent all season, putting up 22 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, six forced fumbles and blocking two kicks while leading a very stingy front seven.
The BYU defense was third in the nation, allowing just 266.1 yards per game, and Van Noy was a key part of that success.
He is returning for the 2013 season, and with his ability to drop back in coverage, or show his versatility by putting pressure on the quarterback, he will again put up huge numbers.
He checks in early in our list of biggest bullies in college football.
4. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
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What would this list be without "Johnny Football."
Texas A&M's quarterback became the first freshman football player to win the Heisman Trophy last season after an incredible season.
And he did this in the best conference in the nation.
Manziel's ability to elude tacklers and turn broken plays into something positive is a trait that one does not see in every college quarterback.
In the open field, there are few tacklers that can bring down Manziel, given his ability to change direction and move laterally, as well as his elite level speed.
Couple that with the ability to make all the throws needed to move the Aggies down the field and put points on the board, and you have a player who will take advantage of defenses on a regular basis.
3. Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State
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Will Sutton is going to be a monster in 2013, as long as he can stay healthy.
Sutton finished last season with 23.5 tackles for loss from his defensive tackle position, finishing second by one to Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, despite the fact that Sutton missed two games during the 2012 campaign.
The huge number of tackles for loss would indicate that the man simply overpowers offensive linemen, using his unique combination of strength and speed to knife into the backfield and make a huge play.
Look for him early next season when the Sun Devils face off against Wisconsin's rushing attack.
He's hard to miss, and he will be making plays in opponents' backfields all season long.
2. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
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Braxton Miller's ability to make people look stupid on the football field is second to none.
His lateral movement and ability to shift gears is just ridiculous, results in more jaw-dropping plays from a quarterback than anyone in the game right now, including Johnny Manziel.
Once he makes that first cut, he's gone, and nobody is going to catch up to him.
He is so elusive, routinely making tacklers miss, and finding ways to turn plays that look negative into positive gains.
One on one in open space, it's just not fair.
1. Jadeveon Clowney, DL, South Carolina
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How could this list not include Jadeveon Clowney?
The stud South Carolina defensive end is currently out for the spring due to "back pain" and a "slight concussion" according to ESPN.
Even so, the man has already demonstrated that he is one of the biggest, baddest dudes on the gridiron.
Playing in the SEC, the best conference on the planet, Clowney dominated, posting 23.5 tackles for loss in 2012.
He's just faster and stronger than just about every blocker that tries to slow him down, and he spends much of his time on the field mauling quarterbacks and crushing running backs.
It will be a major upset if he doesn't finish in the top three in the nation in tackles for loss in 2013.