Most Devastating Injuries in CFB History

Jonathan McDanalContributor IIIMay 7, 2013

Most Devastating Injuries in CFB History

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    The most devastating injuries in college football are the ones that take everyone's focus off the game and strictly onto the downed player.

    All injuries do that to a point, but the ones that qualify as devastating are the ones like Marcus Lattimore's during the 2012 South Carolina vs. Tennessee match.

    Here are the most devastating injuries in college football history; viewer discretion is advised.

    *Most videos contain gruesome footage that may be unsuitable for the faint-at-heart.

9. Ryan Powdrell, USC Trojans

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    Ryan Powdrell suffered a college-career-ending injury against Nebraska. He hurt his leg such that his foot was facing 90-degrees askew from his shin.

    Powdrell would make a recovery and play football in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks before becoming a free agent again.

8. Willis McGahee, Miami Hurricanes

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    Willis McGahee was injured and taken out of the 2003 Fiesta Bowl (at the end of the 2002 season). He went on to the NFL via the 2003 draft, and he has been doing quite well for himself there.

    McGahee's injury is one of the worst-looking ones on the list, and he would have been tied with Marcus Lattimore on this list were it not for the tiebreaker: number of games missed in college.

    McGahee has crossed the 1,000-yard barrier in four separate seasons in the NFL, and he's only about 1,900-yards short of the career 10,000 mark.

7. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina Gamecocks

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    Marcus Lattimore lost use of his second knee in two seasons against Tennessee in 2012. He has made a remarkable recovery since then, and was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers as the 131st pick of the 2013 cycle.

    Lattimore should have a good career in the NFL, barring further injury of course. That in itself is a testament to his grit and determination.

    The injury tried to end his career, but he simply refused to let it take more than college.

    Willis McGahee and Lattimore had eerily similar injuries. McGahee missed the remainder of one bowl game, and Lattimore missed four complete games. That is why Lattimore appears one spot higher than McGahee on this list.

6. Tyrone Prothro, Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Prothro broke his leg in the fourth quarter of the Florida-Alabama game in 2005, and that was the end of his football career.

    While he lost the future he once dreamed of, he also continued on and led a fairly normal life. As of 2011, he was a bank teller and was still having surgeries to repair the leg.

    He said he could run on it in that interview, but that's a far cry from playing football on it.

5. Dante Love, Ball State Cardinals

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    Dante Love fractured his cervical spine back in 2008, and he certainly did not play football again. He did make a great recovery, even earning a job with Ball State as a graduate assistant coaching receivers.

    He still didn't make a full return-to-football recovery, though. Love was Ball State's best wide receiver at the time, and his injury was a big blow to the entire Ball State community.

4. Devon Walker, Tulane Green Wave

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    Devon Walker broke his neck against Tulsa during the 2012 season. The recovery process is slow, but he has regained light-touch feeling and minor movement as of Feb 1, 2013.

    Walker's injury was devastating in every sense of the word, but it still wasn't the worst in history. Hopefully his recovery continues on its current trajectory. If so, he'll be up and around on his own before bowl season in 2013.

3. Chris Norton, Luther College

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    Chris Norton made a tackle on Oct 16, 2010. He was given a three-percent chance of ever walking again at the time. So far, his recovery has been slow and steady. He has gone from standing on his own for short periods of time to walking without human assistance in roughly two years.

    Norton suffered one of the worst injuries possible that day, but he has rebounded miraculously. From a three-percent chance to walking without human assistance is nothing short of intense personal strength.

    Someone can have the world cheering him on, but the strength to do what Norton has done has to come from within.

2. Eric LeGrand, Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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    Eric LeGrand is already an inspiration to many, but he is a quadriplegic. Football took his body away from him, but it could not take his spirit.

    His story is amazing, but his injury was one of the most devastating injuries in all sports, not just college football. Whether he walks again or not, hist story is already a shining star of hope for those who come into contact with him.

1. Roy Lee "Chuckie" Mullins, Ole Miss Rebels

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    Chuckie Mullins made his final tackle for Ole Miss on Oct 28, 1989. He injured his spinal cord on that play, and he would not recover.

    His football days ended in that moment, but complications from the injury claimed his life just two years later. Mullins' name is attached to the courage award given every season at Ole Miss.

    The video explains that the number 38 jersey is the on-field prize for the award winner. The requirements to wear the threads extend far beyond the football field.

    Mullins may have gone out in the most devastating manner in history, but his legacy is still very much alive at Ole Miss.