10 Sooners we would have loved to use but couldn’t during the EA Sports NCAA Football hiatus

One of the most popular franchises of all-time looks to be making a return to your video game consoles in 2023; EA Sports NCAA Football.

The game that’s been on the proverbial shelf since its last release in 2013 is making a return in the new era of college football that provides opportunities for players to earn through name, image, and likeness.

While they haven’t come out with a new title in nearly a decade, NCAA Football 2014 is still incredibly popular among sports gamers who have been able to continue playing online through Playstation consoles.

Rumor has it that nearly 120 teams are currently on board and EA Sports is working with them to get authentic sounds and crowd noises for its gameplay.

As NIL has come to the forefront of college athletics, gamers will likely get a chance to play with some of their favorite players moving forward as EA will attempt to create an even more realistic gaming experience. In years past, the company went with computer-generated names or simply numbers to identify players, but now that athletes can be compensated for their likeness, you’ll more than likely get to take control of Oklahoma’s offense with Nick Evers or Jackson Arnold at the helm when the game releases next year.

With the game’s absence, we missed out on opportunities to use some of our favorite Sooners. Let’s take a look at 10 players that would have been the most fun to use that didn’t get to grace EA Sports’ NCAA Football.

Kyler Murray, QB

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If there is a player over the last decade that best reflects a “cheat code” from the Oklahoma Sooners, it’s Kyler Murray. Murray could literally score from anywhere on the field. He had a great deep ball and was a precision passer as well. His running ability, elusiveness, and his speed made him a terror in the open field.

In Madden and NCAA Football, there are times when the change of direction physics haven’t been all that realistic. But Kyler Murray changes that. His ability to cut and change direction often defied logic. While he might not be the most celebrated quarterback from the last decade, he’d certainly be the most fun.

This run against West Virginia certainly showed off his running ability.

Marquise “Hollywood” Brown

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Next up on the list is Kyler Murray’s new teammate with the Arizona Cardinals, Marquise Brown.

With a speed rating that would definitely be 99, Brown would be a force. His ability to get behind the defense would create opportunities for big plays nearly every time a go or post route was called. And why would you call anything different. With Baker Mayfield or Kyler Murray as his quarterback, the deep ball would be a steady play call in NCAA Football.

Baker Mayfield, QB

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Can you imagine the celebrations EA Sports could program for Baker Mayfield? That would be too fun. From the windmill sprint down the field to the intensity in the pregame, Mayfield would be a fantastic character to control in the game. Oh and then there’s the ability on the field that made him one of the most prolific passers in NCAA history.

Perhaps EA Sports will help us get over the Rose Bowl loss against Georgia by giving us the reigns so we can let Mayfield throw it at least once in overtime.

Samaje Perine, RB

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Samaje Perine put up video game numbers when he broke the single-game rushing record against Kansas. Utilizing the truck stick would put opponents on their rear end more often than not as Perine rumbles his way to big gains and lots of touchdowns. And let’s not forget his underrated ability as a pass-catcher as well.

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, EDGE

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I’ve always been a sucker for EDGE play in video games. Let me control an edge rusher and I’ll put up four and five sack games. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was one of the best pass rushers in the country during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. In those two years, he totaled 17 sacks and 29 tackles for loss. His quickness and closing speed made life incredibly difficult for offensive tackles and quarterbacks to deal with. While offense usually gets all the love in video games, a great defender like Ogbo would be incredibly fun to use.

Joe Mixon, RB

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2016 vs. Texas Tech is the game that springs to mind for why Joe Mixon would be fun to use. Mixon put up 263 yards rushing and 114 receiving yards with five total touchdowns. He averaged 10.77 yards per touch and looked as if he was playing against a high school defense.

Mixon’s ability to do damage as a runner, receiver, and returner makes him the perfect running back to control in NCAA Football. He’s got the size to take on a substantial workload and the ability to turn any touch into a big play.

Dede Westbrook, WR

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Like Mixon, Dede Westbrook had a great game in that 2016 matchup vs. Texas Tech. Of course, most of the offense did as well. Westbrook was such a well-rounded wide receiver, you could win with him in every situation. Need a big play and you can send him deep. Need a possession receiver, send Westbrook to the first down marker and he’ll convert.

The former Sooner finished fourth in the Heisman voting in 2016 when he averaged 19.1 yards per reception and scored 17 touchdowns.

CeeDee Lamb, WR

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2019 CeeDee Lamb was one of my favorite players to watch in recent history. No longer getting the benefit of Mark Andrews or Marquise Brown in the passing game, and in an offense that ran the ball more with Jalen Hurts at quarterback than it did in previous seasons, so he didn’t see much of a bump in targets even with Brown and Andrews off to the NFL.

From 2018 to 2019, Lamb saw one fewer target and had three fewer receptions, but made the most of his opportunities with nearly 200 more yards, averaging 21.4 yards per reception.

This play against Texas tells you everything you need to know about Lamb’s stellar 2019 season.

Jalen Hurts, QB

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Get a couple of copies of the game and you could use Jalen Hurts in both Alabama and Oklahoma Crimson.

The best version of Jalen came in his lone season at OU where he put on a dominant performance and finished second in the Heisman voting. In 2019, Hurts completed nearly 70% of his passes for 3,851 yards and 32 touchdowns. If you remove sack yards from the equation (which the NCAA needs to for official stat keeping), Hurts ran for 1,422 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Though he did a ton of damage with his legs, let’s not forget the arm that he displayed during his time with the Sooners.

Rhamondre Stevenson, RB

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Rhamondre Stevenson may not have had the biggest career for the Oklahoma Sooners, but when he did get on the field, he was a ton of fun to watch. His ability to combine power and agility was a rare treat to watch on Saturdays. The impact he made on the offense after returning from suspension during the 2020 season can’t be understated.

Oklahoma’s offense struggled for the first half of the season, but when Stevenson came back against Texas Tech, it seemed to open everything up for the offense.

Oh and let’s not forget the speed to break away from the defense.

Others worth mentioning

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There have been a host of great players to roll grace Owen Field since 2014, it’s hard to narrow it all down. A case could be made for Sterling Shepard or Kennedy Brooks. It would have been great to play a full career with Rodney Anderson at running back. Putting Mark Andrews or Kenneth Murray’s athleticism to work would be a ton of fun as well.

When the game comes out, hopefully, they create historical teams and give gamers the opportunity to go back and use some of the great teams from the years without NCAA Football.