Being called a "freak" in sports is actually a compliment. It means there's something about your game or body-type that is unique and borderline unprecedented. For example, there's a reason Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has proudly adopted his nickname "Greek Freak."

The popular subscription-based sports site The Athletic recently published their list of "College Football Freaks" for 2023. Their annual list looks at the players "whose athleticism blew the minds of folks inside their own college football programs." Since its inception, however, writer Bruce Feldman has expanded the list to include college football programs beyond FBS schools and take submissions from schools, coaches, teammates, parents, NFL scouts, and agents alike.

Colton DeJean of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Photo Credit: Matthew Holst, Getty Images
Colton DeJean of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Photo Credit: Matthew Holst, Getty Images
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Two of the 100 "College Football Freaks" are in fact Iowa Hawkeyes! One player is on the defensive side of the ball while the other is on the offensive side of the ball.

#14: Cooper DeJean (DB):

Iowa's ascending defensive back Cooper DeJean burst onto the Big Ten scene last season when he set an Iowa record for three pick sixes among his five interceptions. He was a ball-hungry defender, who also made 75 tackles and three tackles-for-loss (TFL). DeJean's story is made slightly more unique because he was a high school quarterback, who lettered three times in basketball, track, and baseball.

To say he's athletic and versatile is an understatement. NFL Combine trainer Jordan Luallen has been working with DeJean this offseason and had nothing but glowing remarks for the young prospect:

His acceleration is incredibly fluid and super powerful. He's the best athlete I've seen in person, pound for pound.

Look for #3 to leap off your TV screens for the black and gold this football season.

#52. Logan Jones (C):

Centers do not get a lot of love nor coverage, but on Feldman's list of college football freaks they do! Iowa's got a promising one in Logan Jones, a 6'3'', 290-pound former defensive lineman. For one thing, Jones can lift. He set an Iowa record for squatting 700 pounds, and is only behind former Hawkeye/current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Tristan Wirfs for hang-clean.

Jones looks to make an impact as the starting center for the Iowa Hawkeyes this season.

As a whole, the Hawkeyes are trying to rebound this season after a disappointing 2022 campaign that saw inconsistent quarterback/offensive production. With former Michigan Wolverine Cade McNamara under center for Iowa, their scoring should hopefully improve.

See Bruce Feldman's complete list of College Football Freaks for 2023 on The Athletic (subscription required).

Iowa Born Sports Stars

What do each of these stellar athletes have in common? They all hail from the Hawkeye State.

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