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Ranking The Best Campus Heroes On Madden 17

Madden NFL 17 has invoked nostalgia with 'Campus Legends' cards. Here are the ones you need to have.

I'll be honest -- I wasn't a huge fan of Madden Ultimate Team when the mode was first introduced as DLC for Madden NFL 10. The concept is interesting and I do love the nostalgia of seeing older players, but I was just more of a franchise player.

What eventually drew me in was how the mode handled older players. Ultimate Team was one of the first modes in any sports games that did nostalgia right, especially when it came to their throwback players and Campus Legends.

For some NFL players, you can get versions of them where their skillset matches up not with how they've played under Roger Goodell, but how they were back in college. Currently, there are 21 players (from Todd Gurley to A.J. McCarron) who have Campus Legend cards in Madden Ultimate Team.

Today, we're going to look at some of those players who, even for a bit of a high price, will give you a great bang for your buck. 

Before we start, I want to stress that, like with franchise and offline, having a higher overall rating doesn't always mean they're the best. This list is designed to not only show you the best players that you can get cheap, but to inform you of why they're potentially good fits for your team.

Keep in mind that this is a subjective but general list, and I will not be addressing 'advanced' topics like schemes or what plays are best for these players down ten points at the start of the fourth quarter against a 4-3 defense. I could bore educate you with that information, but I'd think getting to business before the cards go off the market is probably a safer bet.

Besides, how you build your team is your own decision. There are Campus Legend versions of quarterbacks who are best in certain schemes -- and with all of the great Ultimate Team cards out there, is it really worth paying a boatload on a college version of a quarterback who may not fit that scheme?

One final note: all ratings and prices are from MUTHead, though the price could vary depending on who you try to buy from. 

Jake Long, OT

92 overall, 179,000 coins

[Photo by Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images]

The first overall pick by the Miami Dolphins way back in 2008, former Michigan Wolverine Jake Long is the second-highest rated offensive lineman among Campus Legends and the lone center. Show some more love to the big uglies, EA.

When you land Long, you'll have nothing but love for him as well. With 93 strength, 88 run block, and a 91 pass block, Long is worth the high amount of coins most people will be asking for. That's if you can live with him having played at Michigan, of course.

Corey Linsley

91 overall and 210,000 coins

[Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images]

It wouldn't be right for me to show Michigan some love but leave Ohio State off the list. It'd be even harder for me to do that when, after double-checking the stats to make sure I wasn't going crazy, Linsley actually may be a better option than Long.

See what I meant about overall not meaning everything in the end? The former Ohio State center has a 99 in run blocking and a 91 in pass blocking, as well as a 99 bulldozer trait. That's not just scary, that's flat out terrifying -- regardless of what offensive style you run. 

Now, you can see why he's worth more than Long on the open market. It has nothing to do with Ohio State being better than Michigan!

Shaq Lawson, DE

91 overall; 85,000 coins

[Photo by USA Today]

Another player at a crowded position with players who will fetch much more on the open market, snatching a Campus Legend of former Clemson star Shaq Lawson is a bet you'll want to take. (Unless you'd rather pay 300,000 more coins for a legend version of Howie Long, that is.)

Lawson's strength and power has always jumped out to people and EA replicates that well, giving this card an 89 and 90 in those two categories respectively. I also like that 92 block shedding rating, which you'll need against those players who like to stack up on insanely-rated offensive linemen.

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR

90 overall; 70,000 coins

[Photo by Billy Weeks/Nooga.com]

I'll let you decide whether or not former Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was a smart pick by the Minnesota Vikings (to be fair, there were a lot of skill players in that draft class who teams reached on). But when it comes to his Campus Legend skills, it's hard to pass this kid up. 

With a 90 vertical threat and an 89 jump ball rating, Patterson is a player made for quarterbacks who just lob the ball up in hopes of making something happen (Aaron Rodgers, hint hint). There's also an insane 93 speed and 98 run after catch rating, which is perfect for plays like screens and drag routes. 

There's also his electricity at kick returning, but we already knew about that.

Shaq Thompson, LB

89 overall; 45,000 coins

[Photo by SportsMockery.com]

For only 45,000 coins, you can get a player that's a 95 overall in a 4-3 scheme. I know I said I wouldn't really talk about schemes and such, but a 95 overall player for just that price? 

With an 87 range and an 84 pass rush rating, you may not be wowed by Thompson the way you might with other linebackers. But with a 94 coverage rating and 91 tackle, this is a guy you can turn into the face of your MUT defense for a reasonable price. 

Now, all we need is an Alfred Morris Campus Legends card from the Florida Atlantic days...

Which Campus Legends do you have on your team? Make sure to let us know in the comment section below!

[Featured image via USA Today]

Published Jan. 10th 2017

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