College Football's 9 Best Spring Game Moments of 2014
Even if you think spring games are useless, it’s still live-action football that can result in clips worthy of a highlight reel.
And since all we’ve got left to watch is the NBA playoffs, the race to the Stanley Cup and regular-season baseball—it’s must-see TV.
If nothing else, this montage will leave you desperate for Thursday, Aug. 28, when the 2014 college football season officially gets underway.
Florida State: Ramsey Picks Winston
Though Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston went 12-of-15 for 205 yards and two touchdowns in the Seminoles’ spring game, he also managed to throw a thrilling interception.
The play came when Winston made a questionable decision to throw the ball downfield into double coverage. After a collision between two defenders and a receiver, the ball was tipped, and defensive back Jalen Ramsey managed to come up with the pick from flat on his back.
Ramsey came to FSU as a 5-star recruit in 2013 and recorded one interception, a fumble return for a touchdown, 37 tackles (two for a loss) and two sacks as a freshman last season.
Miami (Fla.): Perryman Shuts Down Edwards
Check out Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman stopping running back Gus Edwards in his tracks in the Hurricanes’ spring game.
Edwards had about eight yards of momentum before Perryman blew him up, knocking him clean off of his feet.
Perryman came to Miami as a 3-star with the class of 2011 and had 69 tackles (five for a loss), one-and-a-half sacks and one forced fumble as a junior last season.
South Carolina: Mike Davis Puts a Spin on Defenders
After leading the Gamecocks with 1,183 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns on 203 carries as a sophomore last season, running back Mike Davis is primed for a stellar junior year.
Check out Davis’ moves in South Carolina’s spring game (the first play featured on the video) when he takes a handoff, rotates away from defenders and picks up 12 impressive yards.
Ohio State: Here Comes Frazier
One takeaway from Ohio State’s spring game was the offensive line’s struggle to protect the two guys battling for the backup quarterback job.
Leading the way for the Buckeye defense was defensive lineman Rashad Frazier, who registered two sacks on the day.
Check out Frazier (the first play on the video) as he evades an offensive lineman and rounds the corner to blindside quarterback J.T. Barrett, stripping the ball and ultimately landing on it in the end zone.
Frazier transferred to Ohio State from Purdue in 2012 and is set to make his debut for the Buckeyes this season.
Texas Tech: Grant Gains Four the Hard Way
In a game that featured plenty of offense, junior Jakeem Grant was the top receiver in Texas Tech’s spring game, catching five passes for 105 yards.
None were tougher than the four net yards he earned on a screen pass during the opening series of the game, featured at the 29-second mark of the video.
Grant lost 10 yards on the play but evaded at least five would-be tacklers, staying on his feet to earn not only yards but also style points for gritty play.
Grant was the Red Raiders’ No. 3 receiver last season as a sophomore, with 796 yards and seven scores on 65 catches. He also led the team in kickoff-return yards with 400 on 19 attempts.
UCF: Worton Is Not Afraid
With quarterback Blake Bortles off to the draft, the Central Florida receiving corps will have to do their part to help transition to the Knights’ new starter under center.
Quarterback candidate Pete DiNovo got a little help in the spring game from wide receiver J.J. Worton. Check out the video at the 1:09 mark to see Worton make a fabulous two-handed grab, bounce off a defender and score a touchdown.
Worton was the Knights’ No. 3 receiver as a junior last season, hauling in 46 catches for 721 yards and seven touchdowns.
Oklahoma: The New Kid Gets a Block
With the two top rushers from a year ago gone, the Sooners are looking for new blood at the running back position.
Sophomore running back Daniel Brooks made as good of a case for himself as anyone in the spring game, leading the pack with 67 yards on eight carries, including this 40-yard gem featured at the 51-second mark on the video.
Brooks came to Oklahoma as a 3-star athlete prospect in 2012, was listed as a defensive back in 2013 and is expected to get a shot to play as a sophomore this season.
Notre Dame: The Other Kind of Offense
Though most of the talk about Notre Dame’s spring game involved the developing quarterback battle between Everett Golson and Malik Zaire, another youngster was equally impressive on offense.
Incoming sophomore running back Greg Bryant rushed for 105 yards on 12 carries, including the 51-yard scamper featured at the 1:05 mark of this game-highlight reel.
Bryant came to Notre Dame as a 5-star in 2013 and had three touches as a freshman last season before suffering an injury. He is expected to make a name for himself as a part of the stellar Irish rushing corps in 2014.
Kansas State: Best Play of Spring Ball
A strong candidate for the best moment in college football in 2014, check out nine-year old Kaiden Schroeder, who is fighting acute lymphocytic leukemia, running for a 30-yard touchdown in Kansas State’s spring game.
According to Sean Keeler of Fox Sports Kansas City, Wildcats defensive end Ryan Mueller befriended Schroeder and his family, arranging for the young K-State fan to make his collegiate debut.