Top 5 Iowa Hawkeyes to use in EA Sports NCAA Football who never got a game:

Almost a decade to the date since the best video game of all-time was released, college football fans will soon be rejoicing as the momentum towards a new EA Sports NCAA Football game is full steam ahead.

NCAA Football ’14 released on July 9, 2013, and is still played to this day by many avid fans as it was the final college football game released amidst conversations of compensating players in the game for use of their likenesses.

Fast forward to now, it appears that EA Sports will be bringing back NCAA Football in July of 2023. The 10-year wait for fans of all ages is almost at an end.

It has been rumored that EA Sports already has 120 FBS schools on board with the game and have started working with them to get realistic stadium noises, music, and even chants. These schools will be paid out on a tiered basis depending on their top-25 finishes.

All of that said, there was an era from 2014-2021 that saw no NCAA Football games released. There is a large group of big time players that never saw themselves in a game. Joe Burrow from LSU’s title run in 2019, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray in Norman, Okla., Christian McCaffrey at Stanford, and many more.

The Iowa Hawkeyes also had some guys who were like real life video game characters. Who would be the five most fun Hawkeyes to play with in NCAA Football that never got a game over the past decade? Let’s discuss!

Noah Fant and TJ Hockenson TE duo:

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports:

Noah Fant at Iowa: 78 receptions, 1,083 yards, 19 touchdowns:

TJ Hockenson at Iowa: 73 receptions, 1,080 yards, 9 touchdowns:

Noah Fant and TJ Hockenson on the field together in real life was good enough to warrant them each as first-round NFL draft picks. Now, imagine lining up in a two tight end set with each of them on either side of you.

Better yet, imagine going to a spread passing set with Fant and Hockenson as each of the slot receivers. This NCAA world would see the Iowa Hawkeyes averaging 300-plus passing yards per game with each of them realistically hauling in 100-plus receiving yards per game.

Ihmir Smith-Marsette as a speedster:

Bryon Houlgrave / The Register via Imagn Content Services, LLC:

Ihmir Smith-Marsette at Iowa: 110 receptions, 1,615 receiving yards, 14 receiving touchdowns; 34 rushes, 274 rushing yards, 4 rushing touchdowns; 29 yards per kickoff return, two kickoff return touchdowns:

Any time a player has that long of a list of statistics consisting of multiple categories, it is usually fair to say that they are a special talent. Ihmir Smith-Marsette was just that at Iowa.

He was an acrobatic pass catcher with his size and athleticism, his burst made him a gadget player in the run game, and his speed in the open field made him a burner on kickoff returns. This was encapsulated in the 2019 Holiday Bowl when he had a rushing, receiving, and return touchdown in a USC rout.

In a video game, Smith-Marsette could handle the passing attack, get fed the ball on jet sweeps, and own the return game.

Entire 2021 Iowa Hawkeyes secondary:

Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports:

Iowa Hawkeyes 2021 Secondary: 20 interceptions, fumble recovery, two touchdowns, 313 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss:

The 2021 Iowa Hawkeyes secondary is probably still seen in nightmares of opposing quarterbacks. Dane Belton, Matt Hankins, and Jack Koerner went to the NFL. Riley Moss put up an All-American season.

They constantly found a way to flip games upside down. In this case, it is you and your buddy playing NCAA football. He starts trying to run the spread passing attack as everyone does in the video game. Look up, it’s the second quarter, and Iowa’s secondary already has three interceptions. This would be a nightmare to play against in a video game.

CJ Beathard and George Kittle tandem:

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports:

CJ Beathard at Iowa: 5,562 passing yards, 40 passing touchdowns, 10 rushing touchdowns:

George Kittle at Iowa: 48 receptions, 737 yards, 10 touchdowns:

Before Kittle and Beathard joined the San Francisco 49ers in the 2017 NFL Draft, the two donned Iowa’s black and gold. While they each have stuck around the NFL and had great careers, their time at Iowa was still good.

It was a little more mild than some others, but this pick is out of nostalgia. You see the two of them connect on a touchdown on an NFL Sunday and go pop in NCAA Football to start a season mode. Kittle is your No. 1 target, Beathard lights up the stat sheet, Iowa wins more games.

Tyler Goodson as the do-it-all back:

Bryon Houlgrave / The Register via Imagn Content Services, LLC:

Tyler Goodson at Iowa: 2,551 rushing yards, 18 rushing touchdowns, 70 receptions, 565 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Tyler Goodson did it all at Iowa when toting the rock, catching it, and even being a great pass blocker picking up blitzes. In an NCAA Football game, Goodson’s type of skillset could let him be used as Iowa’s Christian McCaffrey, feeding him the ball in every way.

Goodson has the speed for some tosses outside, he can take a screen pass the distance, and good luck if someone tries to have a video game linebacker cover him in space.

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