by Colin

McFarlane's Sports Picks is proud to unveil the sequel to last summer's wildly successful College Football series. Series 2 is due in stores this July, and features seven of the finest professional football players captured in their collegiate glory, when fans first learned their names and NFL teams started taking notes. This series is seven players deep, and includes:

DREW BREES -- Purdue University: Before taking the Saints to their first-ever NFL championship, Brees was turning around a different program. After a 28-0-1 career as a high school quarterback in Texas, Brees landed at Purdue University. During his Boilermaker career, he set Big 10 Conference records for passing yardage, touchdown passes, total yardage, completions and attempts. Brees led Purdue to the 2001 Rose Bowl (their first postseason Pasadena appearance since 1967) while earning the Maxwell Award (for the nation's outstanding player) and being named the Academic All-America Player of the Year. And you thought he just won Super Bowls.

LARRY FITZGERALD -- University of Pittsburgh: Because he attended Valley Forge Military Academy before enrolling at the University of Pittsburgh, Fitzgerald was able to turn pro after just two collegiate seasons. That's not to say he didn't make the most of his time as a Pittsburgh Panther. In 26 collegiate games, he caught 161 passes for 2,677 yards and 34 touchdown receptions. Fitzgerald caught at least one touchdown pass in 18 consecutive games, a collegiate feat matched only by... no one. After his sophomore season, Fitzgerald won the Fred Biletnikoff Award (given to the top collegiate receiver) and narrowly finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting.

MARION BARBER III -- University of Minnesota: Being the son of an NFL running back brings a certain level of expectation, but following that same player's footsteps to college is a whole new ballgame. Marion Barber III picked up where his father left off collegiately, piling up yardage for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. His father was second on the Gophers' career rushing touchdown list (with 34), until he surpassed him with one final score (bringing him to 35 and dropping dear old Dad to third place).

TONY ROMO -- Eastern Illinois University: You might not be familiar with Eastern Illinois University, and if that's true you probably don't know the Dallas Cowboys' starting quarterback has "Antonio Ramiro Romo" printed on his driver's license. Following his senior year, Romo became the first Eastern Illinois Panther (and also first player in Ohio Valley Conference history) to win the Walter Payton award, essentially the Heisman Trophy for the NCAA's Division I-AA level. He finished his career as the school and conference all-time leader with 85 touchdown passes. During homecoming week in 2009, the school retired Romo's #17 -- making it the first-ever retired jersey in Eastern Illinois history.

ELI MANNING -- University of Mississippi: Long before making a draft day stand that sent him to New York, Eli Manning had faced adversity and wrestled it to the ground. So your old man holds every school passing record, and the guy they really wanted was your older brother who headed for the hills instead? No pressure kid! Four years later, Archie's kid and Peyton's little brother had set or tied 45 single-game, season, or career passing records for Ole Miss. His career stats as a Rebel (in the hyper-competitive SEC) place him fifth in conference passing yards and third in conference touchdown passes. After his senior year, Manning won the Maxwell Award, as well as the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and was also named SEC Player of The Year. On Draft Day 2004, Manning helped engineer a trade from the San Diego Chargers to the New York Giants. Why trade surf for subways? That's where his University of Mississippi marketing degree comes in handy.

MATT RYAN -- Boston College: Hard to believe it took a future NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year a season and a half to win Boston College's starting quarterback job, but once Matt Ryan emerged for the Eagles there was no turning back. He put together a 25-7 record in 32 collegiate starts, winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm and Manning Awards, as well as being named ACC Player of the Year following his senior season.

JASON WITTEN -- University of Tennessee: Ever heard of Chris Witten, the defensive end prospect from Elizabethton? Me neither. It's probably a good thing he went by his middle name (Jason) and that the coaching staff at the University of Tennessee convinced him to leave the defense behind and concentrate on his abilities as a tight end. Witten spent three seasons playing for the Vols and left Tennessee with single-season records for receptions and receiving yards by a tight end.

College Football Series 2 is scheduled to arrive in stores this July. Until then, you'll just have to enjoy the photography. After that, you can sing "Rocky Top" while you wait...

Due: July 2010

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