What’s in a nickname?

In the old days, newspaper headlines often provided a player’s initial moniker that later became lore following an exciting individual play or peak performance.

Now, social media provides the spark, usually featuring a litany of pop culture references. Pittsburgh’s ‘Steel Curtain’ in the 1970s is a personal favorite but Broadway Joe, Sweetness, Ocho Cinco, Matty Ice and Beast Mode are awfully good.

The NFL does a fantastic job branding its players as individuals and college football’s trying to follow suit. Recently in the SEC, Honey Badger (LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu) edges out Johnny Football for most clever.

Current SEC nicknames

  • DeRunnya Wilson, Mississippi State, WR (Bear Force 1)
  • Isaiah McKenzie, Georgia, WR (The Human Joystick, Dante Hall shares this one)
  • Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee, QB (Astro)
  • Leonard Floyd, Georgia, LB (Railroad)
  • Alton Howard, Tennessee, WR (Pig)
  • Devante Noil, Texas A&M, WR (Speedy)
  • D’haquille Williams, Auburn, WR (Duke)
  • Stanley Williams, Kentucky, RB (Boom)
  • Vernon Hargreaves, Florida, CB (VH3)
  • Gus Malzahn & Will Muschamp (Boom Brothers)

Several other current SEC standouts are in need, so we’ve decided to come up with a few of our own. Have any other suggestions? Let us know.

Star players in need

Leonard Fournette, LSU, RB (Prototype 7) — Built to destroy defenses, Fournette’s mold was broken after this flawless ballcarrier was hatched. He’s the prototype of a next generation football player that the world isn’t ready for just yet.

Nick Chubb, Georgia, RB (Pay Day) — Paying homage to Adrian Peterson’s ‘All Day’ nickname, Chubb’s prowess for touchdowns (‘hitting paydirt’) as one of college football’s best running backs makes this one stick.

Myles Garrett, Texas A&M, DE (MG 15) — The MG 15 was a German anti-aircraft gun in the 1930s designed specifically to hold off the approaching enemy. One of the SEC’s best pass rushers is anti-quarterback with unlimited ammo.

Jalen Hurd, Tennessee, RB (The Shepherd) —  Equipped with a staff (in this case, stiff arm), what better way to guide his team to a division crown this season than wearing the cloak of a herdsman. The Shepherd will lead.

Dak Prescott, Mississippi State, QB (The Fortress) — This senior quarterback protects his team as an impenetrable force on offense capable of withstanding an opponent’s best shot. ‘The Raynemaker’ works as well, utilizing his first name that few of us know.

Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina, WR (King Touchdown) — Once you make the Egyptian connection, it’s too easy. Cooper already uses a variation on Twitter.

Reuben Foster, Alabama, LB (The Bone Collector) — With no regard for human life, this ravaging beast has the power of a freight train at linebacker, smashing opposing ballcarriers into a shallow grave.

Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss, WR (MegaQuon) — ‘Calvin Johnson Lite’ doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt, RB (Spiderman) — Elusive, quick and the Commodores’ last hope this season, Webb’s hoping to his showcase his best Peter Parker impression as a sophomore.