Custom 2018 Ohio State EA Sports NCAA14 Roster & Superlatives About the Series

By Kevin Harrish and Andrew Ellis on July 11, 2017 at 10:20 am
Rated G for GOAT.

Andrew Ellis – The first 14 years of the new millennium truly were the earth’s glory days. The EA Sports’ NCAA Football franchise still existed and, in turn, our lives were infinitely better than they are today.

Whether it be the mailing of memory cards to some random dude in Washington to get the rosters or the signing of 20 five-star players in Dynasty mode, this franchise probably was a big part of many of our childhoods.

I remember certain battles more vividly than I do many of the other poignant, non-virtual moments of my life. Getting an insanely high “greatness” or “instant classic” score was something my friends and I talked about constantly, even when we were at different schools across the state during our college days.

Before I start crying, here are a few superlatives from my many years playing the game:

NCAA Football Superlatives

Favorite NCAA Moment

The 2003 version (that’s the Carson Palmer one for those of you who remember things based on cover art) was a significant one. It was the final game in which my friends and I allowed one another to play as Ohio State. The reason we came up with the “anyone-but-OSU” rule was for good reason.

One of my good friends (whose name may or may not be Kyle) nearly ended our friendship over an Ohio State vs. Ohio State matchup. Chris Gamble turned into one of the best players on the team that season, and I found it absurd that his speed rating was something like 80. I did what any rational person would do: edited my roster and boosted his speed to 98.

During our matchup, I trailed by a field goal with just seconds left. I ran a fly route with Chris Gamble and he toasted Dustin Fox, who at the time was the fastest player on the team. Touchdown. Game Over. I win.

My friend was furious. “How does Fox get outran by Gamble?” He then checks the rosters and discovers my shenanigans. I casually placed my memory card into one of the slots thus allowing my rosters to be used. I was then kicked out of his home and subsequently thought our decade-long friendship was over.

A half hour later he drove to my house and dropped off a hat that I had left behind. He apologized. We are still friends.

Best Version:

NCAA 2005 (Larry Fitzgerald)

The introduction of home-field advantage and “toughest places to play” were very nice touches. I was a sophomore in college at the time and this game was the reason I failed Accounting 102.

Best Buckeye:

Ted Ginn Jr. His speed rating (99) should have been higher.

Best Non-Buckeye:

Close call between Vince Young and Roy Williams. We played with fatigue off, so I played Williams at safety and the man intercepted practically every deep pass in the 2004 version. I’ll give the edge to Vince Young though. Used him in 2003 when he was a true freshman despite a bad throwing accuracy rating. His powers were simply absurd after his inaugural season.

Go-to Team:

Texas. For the above reasons + Cedric Benson.

Best Team:

Miami Hurricanes, NCAA 2003. You couldn’t throw the ball against their defense. Pretty sure we outlawed that team at one point too.

Best Commentary Phrase:

“This guy’s one of the most athletic players I’ve seen all year. Do you realize in high school he was all-state in football, basketball, AND baseball? He’s been making big plays his whole life.”

Most Hated Feature:

“Impact Players” was an awful addition. It was too gimmicky and I hated it. A player has a pulsating icon so that automatically means he breaks six tackles on a given play? Get out of here.

Most Annoying Team:

The Florida Gators during Urban Meyer’s reign of terror.

NCAA 2018 Ohio State Player Ratings

Kevin Harrish – EA Sports hasn't made an NCAA video game in four years now, but since they graciously gave us the ability to edit rosters, the fun can live on.

Since today would be release day of NCAA18, I decided to take my shot at creating an accurate roster for this year's Ohio State team.

I didn't do every player as that would be tedious. I just did the top players at each position, plus a few more just for fun. Also, I didn't list every single rating on the chart below, just the most applicable ones for each position.

Let me know how you think I did and what you would change.

Name Speed Strength Agility Acceleration Elusiveness Awareness Throw Power Throw Accuracy Overall
J.T. Barrett 85 72 78 85 80 95 83 90 94
Joe Burrow 82 65 79 82 77 84 84 82 85
Dwayne Haskins 75 75 68 72 70 72 90 83 83
Tate Martell 90 62 87 93 86 70 78 80 80

J.T. Barrett either runs the fastest 4.9 ever, or the slowest 4.5. No matter what I put for his speed and acceleration, it felt wrong, but I felt 85 was safe. As far as his arm goes, it's not a weenie arm, but it's much more accurate than it is powerful.

Joe Burrow and Dwayne Haskins are comparable passers with Haskins getting the edge, especially in power. Burrow, however, is a much better runner.

Tate Martell, as we all know, is the best runner of the group and at this stage in his college career, probably the least effective passer.

Running Backs
Name Speed Strength Agility Acceleration Elusiveness Break Tackle Trucking Stiff Arm Spin Move Vision Juke Carrying Overall
Mike Weber 90 85 82 93 80 87 85 79 76 84 80 84 90
J.K. Dobbins 92 80 86 90 82 80 78 75 78 82 80 80 85
Demario McCall 95 65 92 95 90 74 67 68 85 75 88 70 84

Had I done this without seeing Ohio State's top 40-yard dash times posted a few weeks ago, I certainly would have had Mike Weber as a much slower power running back. If those numbers are even close to correct, he's probably even better than these ratings indicate. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt while still being realistic.

As far as J.K. Dobbins, he's a little quicker than Weber, but a good bit smaller and less experienced. Give him reps and some time in the weight room and he should be a monster.

Then of course we have Demario McCall. His more physical attributes keep his overall rating relatively low, but if you get him in space it's over.

Wide Receivers
Name Speed Strength Agility Acceleration Elusiveness Spin Move Vision Juke Catching Catch in Traffic Route Running Jumping Overall
Paris Campbell 96 67 90 93 80 76 78 79 80 72 70 79 85
K.J. Hill 90 66 92 94 70 65 69 68 83 77 76 83 84
Binjimen Victor 88 65 85 90 66 70 60 63 86 84 73 89 83
Johnnie Dixon 95 62 89 93 78 66 72 70 78 72 71 78 83

Paris Campbell has been talked up quite a bit this offseason and he's the frontrunner to earn the starting spot at the h-back position, which was Ohio State's most productive receiver position last season. He's the fastest of the group and is the best after the catch.

K.J. Hill and Binjimen Victor each showed flashes last season and appear to have promising 2017 seasons ahead of them. Hill is more of a speedy, quick guy while Victor is more of a tall, possession receiver.

Johnnie Dixon also cracks the top four due in no small part to his spring game performance. If he can stay healthy, he could be headed for a big season. However, that's proven to be a big if.

Tight Ends
Name Speed Strength Agility Acceleration Catching Catch in Traffic Route Running Jumping Pass Block Run Block Overall
Marcus Baugh 85 80 82 83 83 80 80 80 83 82 89
Luke Farrell 78 78 62 70 70 66 76 63 82 88 83
Jake Hausmann 74 75 63 70 70 66 75 79 80 85 78

Marcus Baugh was one of Ohio State's most reliable receivers last season and with the addition of tight end's coach and offensive coordinator, he could be headed for a big year.

With A.J. Alexander's injury, it's anybody's guess what the tight end depth chart will really look like come fall, but Luke Farrell will likely be near the top of it after showing flashes in the spring. Jake Hausmann could see time as well depending on how things shake out.

Offensive Line
Name Position Strength Awareness Pass Block Run Block Impact Blocking Overall
Jamarco Jones LT 94 93 97 93 90 97
Billy Price C 98 90 90 93 88 96
Michael Jordan LG 88 85 87 90 85 86
Isaiah Prince RT 90 81 85 86 82 83
Matthew Burrell RG 86 77 82 84 81 79
Demetrius Knox RG 86 77 83 84 80 79

Jamarco Jones is the highest-rated player on my roster. That's not an accident. He was quietly one of the best offensive linemen in the country last season and he's going to have one more year to assert his dominance.

Billy Price isn't far behind Jones and is the strongest Buckeye on the roster. Then we have Michael Jordan and Isaiah Prince, who will likely both be improved entering their second seasons starting.

The one starting spot not sealed up is right guard, and that seems to be a race between Matthew Burrell and Demetrius Knox, though another candidate could sneak in there as well, such as Wyatt Davis or Malcolm Pridgeon.

Defensive Line
Name Position Strength Speed Acceleration Tackle Hit Power Power Moves Finnesse Moves Block Shedding Pursuit Play Recognition Overall
Tyquan Lewis LE 82 80 92 90 83 84 88 85 88 82 95
Sam Hubbard RE 90 85 86 89 82 88 85 85 86 86 93
Jalyn Holmes RE 88 80 83 86 80 84 88 89 88 85 91
Nick Bosa LE 85 80 81 83 82 85 87 87 84 80 88
Dre'Mont Jones DT 85 78 78 86 86 82 74 83 74 77 88
Michael Hill DT 86 73 77 91 86 79 79 80 78 77 87
Tracy Sprinkle DT 93 72 74 87 79 82 69 86 71 72 87

Ohio State's best unit is the defensive line, so I made that clear in the ratings with seven players on the defensive line rated 87 or above. Tyquan Lewis is the top dawg, as he was named the Big Ten's top linebacker after last season and he has the most experience at the position, but there's not a steep drop off after any of these players.

Name Position Strength Speed Acceleration Tackle Hit Power Play Recognition Man Coverage Zone Coverage Overall
Dante Booker LOLB 80 88 86 86 83 82 69 72 85
Chris Worley MLB 78 82 73 95 92 94 64 68 89
Jerome Baker ROLB 80 90 89 93 93 88 72 78 92

Dante Booker is hard to accurately rate because while he's been talked up and was supposed to start over Jerome Baker last season (which should raise your eyebrows), nobody outside of the program has really seen him healthy and at his best.

Chris Worley has the most experience of the group and is a tackle machine, but Jerome Baker is arguably the most physically gifted player on the entire roster.

Defensive Backs
Name Position Speed Acceleration Tackle Hit Power Play recognition Man Coverage Zone Coverage Press Overall
Denzel Ward CB 98 96 83 77 90 96 88 93 91
Damon Arnette CB 87 86 78 67 85 92 88 90 86
Kendall Sheffield CB 97 95 86 80 84 88 86 86 87
Damon Webb FS 90 89 85 72 87 89 89 87 91
Erick Smith SS 93 78 83 77 73 70 87 73 81
Jordan Fuller SS 89 82 80 73 75 78 86 79 81

Denzel Ward is the top cornerback on the team after he was essentially a starter last season and he is also probably the fastest Buckeye on the roster. Kendall Sheffield is not far behind in speed and will battle with Damon Arnette for the No. 2 cornerback spot, though in reality it will likely be a three-man rotation anyway.

At safety, Damon Webb has one spot all-but locked up and was praised heavily all spring. He seems to be on the verge of a huge season. At the other spot, Erick Smith and Jordan Fuller are battling for the starter role, but it will likely be a rotation anyway.

Name Position Kick Power Kick Accuracy Overall
Sean Nuernberger K 93 84 88
Drue Chrisman P 88 80 84

Sean Nuernberger showed off his big leg this week by drilling a 60-yard field goal, so his Kick Power rating reflects that. Drue Chrisman's ratings are, to be completely honest, a total guess since I've only seen him in very limited action.

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