For college sports fans growing up in the 1990s and 2000s, there existed a simple game that combined two passions: NCAA Football and video gaming.
Yes, at the intersection of these two esteemed categories existed a game produced by Electronic Arts (EA), aptly titled, “NCAA Football.”
The game existed in all its glory from the aforementioned 1990s until its final release, “NCAA 14.” So just why was this masterpiece discontinued despite its enormous popularity across the States, you ask?
Simple: Name/Image/Likeness (NIL) debates became a massive issue.
As the NCAA games incorporated player likeness (i.e. college players in the game looked like the actual players from real life), collegiate athletes asserted that they were unjustly missing out on potential income opportunities.
Sadly, ever since NCAA 14, the game has been shut down. That is, until February 2, 2021.
However this announcement manifests itself logistically (i.e. how athletes are paid, etc.) is of course important, but news of the game coming back absolutely broke the internet.
Many would argue that this was destined to happen, for the sake of all that was good in this world. It had to happen.
After all…where else could one create, from the ground up, a virtual reality in which W&M football legend Lang Campbell can actually hand the ball off to…Jonathan Grimes? …how about Pinball Clemons?
Where else could W&M football legend Mark Kelso line up alongside fellow safety great DeAndre Houston-Carson?
Where else could players from the fabled W&M teams of the 1940s, players such as College Football Hall of Famer Buster Ramsey and NFL Hall of Famer Lou Creekmur, line up beside W&M legends Reggie White and Archie Harris on the offensive line?
To make this dream come true, we at the W&M Sports Blog quite literally resurrected and recreated legendary W&M football players dating as far back as the 1920s (looking at you, Art Matsu — pictured below).
Molding players to the very heights and weights they played at while attending W&M, to designing player likeness down to the very arm they wore sweat bands on, to the type of helmet cage they wore — yes, we did our research.
And yes, our player ratings actually reflect the true skills and abilities that these W&M football players displayed at the College.
In fact, after combing through hundreds of pages of W&M football research, we feel quite confident in our player rankings.
Maybe we’ll even include the player ranks in an upcoming article; that would be fun, wouldn’t it?
So without further ado, we’ve created, quite literally from the ground up, the William & Mary Legends roster in the NCAA 2006 video game (which was the last NCAA game that included FCS teams, before they went entirely FBS).
Ever wondered how a W&M Legends team led by Lang Campbell and Mark Kelso would fare against JaMarcus Russell‘s 2006 LSU Tigers in Death Valley?
Well, ladies and gentlemen, we present to you an NCAA 2006 game between the William & Mary Legends vs. the 2006 LSU Tigers.
The below video includes the best highlights from the entirely computer-simulated game (just over 10 exciting minutes of footage).
Below the video itself, you’ll find the full W&M Legends roster, which outlines who’s playing in the game — this way, you’ll know exactly which W&M players of old you’re looking at.
If you’d like to watch the entire contest between the W&M Legends and the 2006 LSU Tigers, the full 55-minute thriller can be found here.
William & Mary Roster (by number):
#1 Shawn Knight (QB)
#2 B.W. Webb (CB)
#3 Dominique Thompson (WR)
#4 Mike Tomlin (WR)
#5 Art Matsu (QB)
#6 Steve Christie (K)
#7 David Corley (QB)
#10 Jack Bruce (CB)
#11 DeVonte Dedmon (WR)
#12 Lang Campbell (QB)
#13 Glenn Bodnar (TE)
#17 Ed Weber (FB)
#20 Buster Ramsey (OG)
#21 Charlie Sumner (CB)
#23 Mark Kelso (S)
#24 Mike Leach (TE)
#25 Ron Harrison (CB)
#28 Vito Ragazzo (WR)
#34 Jonathan Grimes (RB)
#36 DeAndre Houston-Carson (S)
#37 Derek Cox (CB)
#44 Rich Musinski (WR)
#49 Jude Waddy (LB)
#50 Luke Rhodes (LB)
#55 Steve Shull (LB)
#56 Reggie White (OG)
#60 Jim Ryan (LB)
#61 Lou Creekmur (OT)
#72 Archie Harris (OT)
#75 John Cannon (DE)
#78 Jerry Ugokwe (OT/OG)
#87 David Miller (P)
#93 Sean Lissemore (DT)
#95 Mike Reilly (DE)
#96 Craig Staub (DT)
#97 Adrian Tracy (DE)
#98 Raheem Walker (DT)
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