Highest Rated Ohio State Football Players in “NCAA Football” Video Game History

The NCAA video game series has been a mainstay in many homes since 1998 and for some even before that in the days of “Bill Walsh College Football”. It was downright devastating when EA Sport stopped producing the game after “NCAA ’14”.

The game – or some version of it – should return in time for the 2023 season and I just can’t wait. This got me wondering who were the ten highest rated Ohio State football players in video game history. It’s important to remember that no names were used for the rosters, but we can make safe guesses that the No. 2 QB would have been Terrelle Pryor. This is part of the reason why EA Sports had to stop making the game.

Another thing to note is that it’s extremely difficult to find lists prior to the 2004 release, but I feel like I’ve exhausted my options and found the best results. I also want to note that the first game of “Bill Walsh College Football” didn’t even have Ohio State and instead had a weird copycat team named Columbus. There was no individual player ranking and therefore this game was not used. Oh, and don’t forget that NCAA games were labeled a year in advance, so the 2005 version of the game is actually for the 2004 season. Got it? No, maybe – sort of?

Let’s move forward anyway with the top ten Ohio State football players in the history of the “NCAA Football” video game franchise.

No. 5 (tie) – Brandon Joe, 96 overall (NCAA Football 2005)

What stands out

Brandon Joe was the highest rated player on Ohio State’s roster in “NCAA Football 2005” at 96 overall and he was actually the only Buckeye on the roster to even reach 90s territory. Strange as it may seem, Brandon Joe was an Ohio State guard from 2000 to 2004 and was the prototype guard for Ohio State.

No. 5 (tie) – Marcus Freeman, 96 overall (NCAA Football 2009)

22 November 2008; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Marcus Freeman (1) in action against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODay Sports

What stands out

Before Marcus Freeman became head coach of Notre Dame, he served as All-Big Ten linebacker twice, and in “NCAA Football 2009,” Freeman scored a fine 96 overall. To put into perspective how amazing this Ohio State team was in the video game, Freeman was tied for the third-highest rating on the team with two others.

No. 5 (tie) – Alex Boone, 96 overall (NCAA Football 2009)

September 6, 2008; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive tackle Alex Boone (75) blocks against Ohio Bobcats defensive end Kris Luchsinger (54) at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

What stands out

One of Freeman’s teammates on that legendary virtual roster was offensive lineman Alex Boone. He also received the overall rating of 96 in “NCAA Football 2009”. Boone was named All-Big Ten twice during his career at Columbus, Ohio.

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No. 5 (tie) – Malcolm Jenkins, 96 overall (2009 NCAA Football)

January 5, 2008; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) during warmup before the 2009 Fiesta Bowl against the Texas Longhorns at University of Phoenix Stadium. Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

What stands out

Malcolm Jenkins is one of the best defensive backs in Ohio State history and his 96 overall rating was honestly too low. Jenkins is actually one of the few Buckeyes to cross the 90 overall threshold twice, as he was 96 overall in “NCAA Football 2009” and 94 overall in “NCAA Football 2008”. Jenkins was named All-Big Ten three times, All-American twice, and won the Thorpe Award in 2008. I hear that was pretty good.

No. 5 (tie) – Terrelle Pryor, 96 overall (NCAA Football 2012)

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) throws a pass during the 1st quarter of the NCAA football game against Marshall at Ohio Stadium on September 2, 2010. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

What stands out

Terrelle Pryor is one of the best virtual quarterbacks of all time. He crossed the 90 overall threshold three times with an overall rating of 90 in “NCAA Football 2010”, a 94 overall in “NCAA Football 2011” and an even better 96 in “NCAA Football 2012”..” Pryor was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2008 and was the Rose Bowl MVP in 2010.

No. 5 (tie) – Braxton Miller, 96 overall (NCAA Football 2014)

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) loses to Michigan Wolverines defensive end Ryan Van Bergen (53) in the 3rd quarter during their NCAA college football game at Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan on 26 November 2011. (Sent photo by Kyle Robertson)

What stands out

Braxton Miller probably would have passed 90 times overall, but unfortunately he was in the last version of the game. Miller received an overall rating of 96 in “NCAA Football 2014,” and for good reason. He was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2011, twice named Big Ten MVP, twice named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, twice named Big Ten Quarterback of the Year and twice All-Big Ten performer. .

No. 3 (tie) – AJ Hawk, 97 overall (NCAA Football 2006)

January 2, 2006; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker (47) AJ Hawk talks to Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback (10) Brady Quinn after the Fiesta Bowl. Ohio State won 34-20. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports Copyright (c) 2006 Matt Cashore

What stands out

It’s hard to believe, but AJ Hawk was actually underrated at just 97 overall. Hawk finished his career as a national champion, two-time Fiesta Bowl MVP, two-time All-American, Lombardi Trophy winner, Jack Lambert Trophy winner and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

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No. 3 (tie) – Beanie Wells, 97 overall, (NCAA Football 2009)

January 5, 2009; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Chris Wells aka Beanie Wells (28) evades a tackle attempt by Texas Longhorns defensive end Bryan Orakpo (98) in the first half at the 2009 Fiesta Bowl at Los Angeles Stadium. ‘University of Phoenix. Texas beat Ohio State 24-21. Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

What stands out

Beanie Wells is another stallion on this “NCAA Football 2009” team. His 97 overall rating was well-deserved as he was named All-Big Ten and All-American during his career at Ohio State and went on to have a strong NFL career, mostly with the Green Bay Packers.

No. 1 (tie) – Chris Gamble, 99 overall (NCAA Football 2004)

TEMPE, ARIZONA – JANUARY 2: Chris Gamble, number 7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes, catches a pass during the game against the Kansas State Wildcats at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2004 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, in Arizona. Gamble announced after the game that he would not return to OSU for his senior season and would not enter the NFL Draft. The Buckeyes beat the Wildcats 35-28. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

What stands out

Chris Gamble is without a doubt one of the greatest players in Ohio State history and I’m glad he was able to earn some respect with a 99 overall rating. I’ve always thought he was underrated and underused in attack. The national champion and All-Big Ten representative played both sides of the ball for the Buckeyes – both particularly well and never seemed to tire.

No. 1 (tie) – James Laurinaitis, 99 overall (NCAA Football 2009)

22 November 2008; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker James Laurinaitis (33) in action against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

What stands out

James Laurinaitis is another great Buckeye and has been rated over 90 twice in his career with an overall rating of 95 in “NCAA Football 2008” and an overall rating of 99 in “NCAA Football 2009”..” These high marks are well deserved given that Laurinaitis is a Nagurski Trophy winner, three-time All-American, three-time All-Big Ten Representative, Butkus Award winner, two-time Lambert Award winner and two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the year, not to mention the winner of the Lott Trophy. That’s a lot of material.

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