Where would the players of Friday Night Lights go to college?

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Written by Brandon Weiss

There were a lot of unanswered questions at the end of Friday Night Lights, including where players could have/should have gone to college. Luckily, I’m here with a list of the best fits for all of the main players in the show.

Matt Saracen: Ohio Bobcats, QB

Why: Ohio has a short history of stringing together some W’s in the MAC, and Saracen is a winner. He’s not the most gifted athlete, not even close, but if Coach Taylor can’t get Saracen a shot at a MAC school, nobody can.

Landry Clarke: Northwestern, K

Why: Because Landry is a nerd, can go to a good school, and turned out to be a mediocre kicker. In the show he goes to Rice, but their football team is practically nonexistent anyway. Landry screams Northwestern all the way.

Brian “Smash” Williams: Ohio State, RB

I know, I know, he went to Texas A&M, but this was a bad decision. He’d transfer.


Ohio State.

Why: With Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes will be running an open spread system. Braxton Miller would be a good addition to what would be a highly athletic backfield for the scarlet and grey. Smash likes to be the man, and he’d get his shot in Columbus. Let’s just hope he pays for his tattoos. 

Tim Riggins: Tennessee, FB

Why: Nothing says “Texas forever” like singing “Rocky Top” after a victory. But the culture in Knoxville and Dillon is pretty similar, and Riggins just loves to hit. He’d relish the opportunity to go against SEC defenses week in and week out, and more importantly, he can have all the beer he wants in the Smoky Mountains because frankly, nobody cares.

Santiago: South Florida, LB

Why: Because he meets the entry requirements for USF (a stint in juvie) and can actually play. More importantly, with a name like Santiago he will fit in well in the Tampa Bay area.

Vince Howard: Auburn, QB

Why: “The money is just too much.” Two words: Cam Newton. Been there, done that. Vince is a similar talent with explosive speed and playmaking ability, and his dad already shopped him around. He is a leader and could wreck teams in the SEC. Kudos to Vince for kicking his dad out of the house, by the way.

Luke Cafferty: Army, FB

Why: Luke is a down-to-earth guy and needs discipline. He would fit in well with a triple-option offense and could thrive at West Point.

Dallas Tinker: Rutgers, LT

Why: Tink shows some talent throughout the show, and quite frankly, Rutgers isn’t very good. I’m sure the Scarlet Knights would love to have Tinker (and Merribelle) join their program.

Hastings Ruckel: Washington State, WR

Why: Ruckel is a bit of a hipster, and he likes to go against the norm. Nothing says going against the norm like blowing talent for the Cougars. But Mike Leach can recruit, and you know Ruckel would love him. Swing your sword, Hastings.

Buddy Garrity, Jr: Kent State, DT

Why: Buddy Jr. is very underrated with his skills, and as we saw in the Dillon game, Buddy can really lay the wood. He would make a decent lineman in college, but nothing special. Hence his place in the MAC.

Jamarcus Hall: Mississippi State, TE

Why: Because dude is a beast and he belongs in the SEC. He lit a girl’s hair on fire and didn’t get in trouble for it, which is a good precursor for SEC programs.

Ray “VooDoo” Tatum: West Virginia, QB

Why: Because he is undisciplined and likes to score a lot of points without a lot of coaching. Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers fit that perfectly. Tatum showed flashes of poor decision making and intelligence, so the relaxed admission policies at WVU would be ideal for someone like VooDoo.

J.D. McCoy: Notre Dame, QB

Why: Because JD thinks he’s god’s gift to Earth, and that fits the mold of an Irish passer. Brian Kelly would love JD’s arm, and they would get into some nice yelling matches on the sideline. Also, Notre Dame plays on NBC so the company could bring back one of their characters. 

Coach Taylor: Texas, Head Coach

Why: A once-proud program that has been pretty bad for two years now, Eric Taylor is the perfect man to turn the Longhorns around. He loves Texas. He loves football. And although it pains me to say it, there aren’t many better jobs out there than Texas. Sidenote: Buddy Garrity becomes one of UT’s biggest boosters upon hearing of Taylor being hired, and the two live happily ever after.


Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.