What makes the East/West College Bowl sketch on “Key & Peele” so funny is that it’s largely true. Some of the most outlandish names you’ve ever heard belong to college football players.
Case in point: former LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo. Before he ever played a down for the Bayou Bengals, the West Monroe, LA, native was already nationally known as the winner of the 2009 Name of the Year competition.
Who among this year’s recruits are worthy enough to follow in Mingo’s footsteps? We present to you the Top 10 Names in the 2013 College Football Recruiting Class in advance of National Signing Day on Wednesday.
T-10. LB Courtney Love (Nebraska) & ATH De’Niro Laster (Minnesota)
A pair of Big Ten programs add big names to their roster. Well, players who share their big names with well-known figures outside the football world.
The Huskers no doubt hope that Love can help shore up their defense and display a singular focus on the field (unlike the notoriously wild singer and former wife of Kurt Cobain). Meanwhile, can Laster have the same impact for the Gophers on the gridiron that the iconic actor had in The Godfather Part II, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter and other cinematic classics?
9. DE Ebenezer Ogundeko (Clemson)
For defensive coordinators, stinginess is an ideal trait to have in their players. In Ogundeko, the Tigers have a defensive end named after literature’s most notorious tight-wad. While preceded by former North Carolina and NFL defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban, Ogundeko’s got an awesomely imposing-sounding last name to go along with his first.
8. DB Will Likely (Maryland)
Coming off back-to-back losing seasons, the Terrapins have no room for players with down attitudes. Someone with a name that’s a double positive has to be an upbeat kind of player, right? It’s too bad Likely has already made up his mind for a college because the headline “Where Will Will Likely Likely Go?” is way too much fun.
7. DE Dee Liner (Alabama)
Disclaimer: The given first name of Rivals’ seventh-ranked defensive end is, in fact, Davion. But as the Muscle Shoals, AL, native explained to Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples in January, “[My family has] been calling me Dee since I was little. They called me Little Dee. Now they call me Big Dee.”
It’s not as if the Liners could have foreseen that Davion would grow up to be a defensive lineman and given him an all-too fitting nickname … we think.
6. RB Altee Tenpenny (Alabama)
Apparently Alabama is collecting awesome player names like national titles. Verne Lundquist has got to be thrilled that he’ll get to say this name during future Crimson Tide telecasts on CBS. The vaguely Dickens-sounding name is tailor-made to Lundquist’s easy-going, play-by-play style. “Touchdown Tenpenny, oh my goodness!”
5. RB Dreamius Smith (West Virginia)
For the Moutaineers, it would be a dream if Dreamius could step in and provide a presence in the running game amid Dana Holgorsen’s Air Raid offense. We can only hope Dreamius is enough of a force in Morgantown to earn the nickname “Nightmarius” among Big 12 foes.
4. DE Taco Charlton (Michigan)
No, the Wolverines signee isn’t actually named after a Mexican delicacy, although his given name of “Vidaunte” isn’t half-bad in the creativity department. We can only hope the Wolverines make at least one trip to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl with Taco on the roster.
3. OL Chongo Kondolo (Nebraska)
The new Cornhuskers lineman cuts an imposing figure at 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds. Add an epic-sounding name to a massive frame and opposing defenders will be quaking in their spikes in advance of facing “The Great Kondolo.”
2. DT DeAsian Richardson (Louisville)
“Did you hear that Charlie Strong got DeAsian to commit to the Cardinals?”
“Yeah, but which one?”
Thank you, we’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waitresses.
1. DB Chocolate Wilson (Marshall)
College football has seen its share of D’Andres (Wilson’s given name), but “Chocolate” is rare (if not unheard of).
“When I was born, I came out extra, extra dark,” the Thundering Herd signee told Andy Staples. “My dad said he was going to name me Chocolate. The name stuck. I have been called that my whole life. That is all I go by here. People don’t know D’Andre; they know Chocolate.”
We knew from the moment we saw his name that “Chocolate” would be our new favorite college football player.