There are a lot of unique features to like about college football uniforms. There’s the classic get-ups from schools like Notre Dame and Alabama, and the stylish, ever-changing equipment put out by programs like Oregon.
But one minor detail that often gets overlooked nowadays are the helmet decals featured by teams like Ohio State and Florida State. It uses a reward system to honor players who have special performances or made impact plays with a sticker to put on one’s helmet. The more plays you make, the more stickers you accumulate.
This season, NCAA.com will install the same system. Every Sunday, we will choose three standout players from the weekend to earn “stickers” for their team. Let’s see who has the most decorated helmet at the end of the season.
Mississippi State – Nick Fitzgerald (quarterback)
Dak Prescott continues to impress for the Cowboys in the NFL but his Bulldogs successor isn't doing too shabby himself.
Mississippi State freshman quarterback Nick Fitzgerald made program history Saturday, becoming the first Bulldogs quarterback to reach 1,000 rushing yards in a single season behind a single-game record 258 rushing yards in a 55-20 Egg Bowl rout over in-state rival Ole Miss.
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Fitzgerald's final stat line included those 258 rushing yards, 109 passing yards and five total touchdowns. His longest play of the game came on a 70-yard touchdown run. He also added a 61-yard score and ultimately averaged more than 18 yards per rush.
That performance earned praise from the Bulldogs' former signal caller.
While Jalen Hurts and Joshua Dobbs claim most of the SEC's national attention at quarterback, especially for their dual-threat abilities, it's Fitzgerald who leads the conference with 14 rushing touchdowns this season. He's also now third in single-season SEC history in rushing yards behind Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel.
If Fitzgerald's freshman season is any indication, the Bulldogs' future is bright.
USC – Adoree’ Jackson (defensive back)
The Trojans’ top cover guy, Adoree' Jackson, earned his second helmet sticker in three weeks for what he did in all phases of the game this past Saturday against Notre Dame.
The do-it-all Jackson notched three touchdowns in USC’s 45-27 win on a 52-yard reception on offense, a 55-yard score on a punt return and a 97-yard kick return. Along with a 12-yard run, that adds up to a whopping 279 all-purpose yards for the junior All-American candidate.
Jackson first made his presence felt on the punt return as he fielded the kick on two bounces at midfield and exploded right through a sea of Irish defenders who failed to get a hand on him as he opened up a 17-7 Trojans lead with under two minutes left in the first half. From that point on, USC would hold a two-possession lead for the rest of the game.
Jackson then recorded his sixth career touchdown reception where he lined up in the backfield, took the short pass behind the line of scrimmage and raced down the left sideline untouched. Six minutes later, following a Notre Dame touchdown, Jackson capped his day with a couple of broken tackles and perfect cuts en route to his 97-yard return touchdown.
In his normal role at cornerback, it was a relatively quiet but just as effective day for Jackson, who finished with two tackles and two pass breakups.
USC ended its regular season with eight straight wins. Along with the emergence of freshman quarterback Sam Darnold, it’s been Jackson’s contributions all over the field that fueled the run.
Florida State – Dalvin Cook (running back)
The Seminoles have run the state of Florida when it comes to college football the past four years and it’s no surprise that this dominance comes on the coattails of star running back Dalvin Cook.
Florida State completed its sweep of Florida and Miami (Fla.) for the fourth straight season and Cook rushed for his third-straight 100-yard outing against the Gators in the Seminoles’ 31-13 win over the SEC East champs in Week 13.
In possibly his final game in Tallahassee, the junior finished with 153 rushing yards and a touchdown against the sixth-ranked total defense in the FBS. Cook added three receptions for 26 yards as well.
Cook set the tone early with his lone rushing touchdown coming with five minutes left in the opening quarter to give the Seminoles a 7-0 lead. FSU only allowed two first half field goals to the Gators and carried a 17-6 advantage into the halftime break.
His 17-yard score in the first quarter put Cook in the Seminoles history books, marking his program-leading 45th career rushing touchdown in three seasons.
2016 helmet sticker leaders: Washington (3), Alabama (2), Clemson (2), Florida State (2), Louisville (2), Mississippi State (2), Oklahoma (2), Stanford (2), USC (2), Arizona State (1), Arkansas (1), Colorado (1), Florida (1), Georgia (1), Houston (1), Iowa (1), LSU (1), Louisiana Tech (1), Michigan (1), North Carolina (1), North Carolina State (1), Ohio State (1), Penn State (1), Pittsburgh (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (1), Texas A&M (1), Western Michigan (1), Wisconsin (1)