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College football: Like Father, Like Son



Seeing second-generation players is not anything new, but it is always fun to see how they match up with their parents. Especially when you have LEGEND parents like Marvin Harrison Sr., Antonio Gates Sr., Jerry Rice, Frank Gore, Deion Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Jason Taylor, and Kurt Warner


Sanders Brothers

Everyone knows about Shedeur Sanders. He’s without a doubt the new starting QB for the Buffs. No, it’s not just because his daddy’s the head coach. Shedeur is an extremely talented football player and was a highly recruited 4-star player coming out of high school. Coming off a season where he was named the SWAC Offensive Player of the Year, it’s his time to shine in the Power 5.


However, everyone and their mother have been talking, both good and bad, about Shedeur Sanders. However, nobody really talks about “Neon” Deion’s other son.


Shilo Sanders (safety) followed his dad over to Colorado just like his brother. No surprise there… but Shilo is no scrub. He earned second-team all-SWAC honors in 2021. Now, he is competing for the starting job at safety, trying to beat out Jay Travis and Roderick Ward.


Marvin Harrison Jr.

Marvin Harrison Jr. put the college football world on notice after last season’s incredible performance with the Buckeyes. He helped lead Ohio State to the playoffs, where they failed to beat Georgia. Harrison Jr. suffered an injury during that game and was unable to finish.


There isn’t a single question mark in his game. When you look at him, you can tell he is a future NFL star.


Frank Gore Jr

Frank Gore Jr. gained exposure in the final game of the season last year when he broke the FBS bowl game rushing yards record against Rice in the LendingTree Bowl.


In case you didn’t know, Frank Gore Jr. is the starting running back for Southern Miss. Saying he can do it all is an understatement.


If you need him to run, he can do it with ease. Gore Jr. rushed for just shy of 1,400 yards last season.


If you need him to catch the ball, he can do that. Last season, Gore Jr. caught 19 passes for 219 yards.


Do you need him to throw it? Frank Gore Jr. can do that too! He threw for 3 touchdowns last season.

Luke McCaffrey

Luke McCaffrey has gotten no spotlight at all. His dad is Ed McCaffrey, and his brother is 49ers RB, Christian McCaffrey.


Luke started his career as a QB at Nebraska, but transferred to Rice and changed positions to WR. Last season, he caught 58 passes for 723 yards and 6 touchdowns. That was also his first season at WR, so there is a ton of room to develop.


This season, he has former 5-star recruit JT Daniels throwing him the rock, so keep your eyes on McCaffrey to be around that 1,000-yard mark this season. He’s an absolute PLAYMAKER.

Brendan Rice

Last season, Brendan Rice was a solid Wide Receiver for USC but was always second place to Jordan Addison. With Jordan Addison gone to the Minnesota Vikings, Brendan’s time is now.


He has the best QB in the nation, last year’s Heisman winner Caleb Williams, throwing him the rock. This duo can very well be top three in the nation. Look for USC to make a deep run in the playoffs.

EJ Smith

EJ Smith is amongst a small group on this list, as his dad is arguably the best RB to ever play the game. Therefore, he immediately had some huge shoes to fill.


EJ is the starting running back at Stanford. Though, his Stanford career has been short-lived, mainly due to injuries.


In 2020, he only saw the field in two games (UCLA and Cal).


In 2021, he actually played in seven games but never ran the ball more than seven times in one game.


In 2022, it was finally supposed to be his season. However, he went down in the second game of the season and was ruled out for the year.

Antonio Gates Jr.

Antonio Gates Jr. is a WR at Michigan State and is coming off of his redshirt season. Gates Jr. will be taking the field this season as the backup to Christian Fitzpatrick. His career is very young but watch for Antonio Gates Jr. over the next few seasons.

Mason Taylor

Mason Taylor is one of the few that did the complete opposite of his family. Instead of being like his dad and uncle as a tough defender, he plays on the offensive side of the ball.


During his freshman season last year, he racked up 38 catches, 414 yards, and 3 touchdowns for LSU. His five seconds of fame came when he caught the game-winning overtime 2-point conversion to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide.

EJ Warner

EJ Warner is a sophomore QB for the Temple Owls. In his freshman season last year, he threw for 3,028 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. That was good enough to win the AAC Rookie of the Year award.

Just like every second-generation athlete in any sport, everyone's eyes will be on these players. The expectations will be through the roof in hopes of having the next set of Hall Of Fame athletes.


However, the reality is these athletes are not their fathers. These athletes are building their own names and manifesting their own legacies.


It is unfair to compare these kids to their dads. Let them create a name for themselves instead of forcing them to live in the shadows of their parents.


All recruiting and transfer rankings came from 247Sports, On3, or Rivals.






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