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KABOOM! MAGAZINE.COM 14 BREAKOUT ATHLETES OF 2014

KABOOM! MAGAZINE.COM 14 BREAKOUT ATHLETES OF 2014
Kaboom! Magazine.com 14 Breakout Athletes of 2014! In 2013, we got to witness the rise of superstar athletes like Paul George, Jameis Winston, Stephen Curry, and Colin Kaepernick. Now with 2013 forever in history, sports fans are wondering what new faces will rise to the top in 2014. This year is looking very promising for some of sports biggest up and coming stars, and while we don’t know which players will flush or bust, we would like to put fans ahead of the learning curve by introducing to shine 14 athletes that no one is talking about right now, but will shine bright like a diamond in 2014. NBA Draft Prospects, Rising WWE Superstars, UFC Heavy Hitters, and other young amazing athletes headline Kaboom! Magazine.com 14 Breakout Athletes of 2014. 101813-Lattimore 14. Marcus Lattimore (San Francisco 49ers) Instagram: @marcuslattimore38 Twitter: @marcuslattimore We start this list off with a player that everyone has probably all but forgotten about which is a very big NO-NO. Last time anyone saw Marcus Lattimore on a football field, he suffered one of the most horrible injuries that college football had ever seen. The 6’2” 220 lbs running back fell from being a Top 5 NFL draft prospect to being selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the 4th round. Many experts seeing this as a blessing in disguise, Lattimore has got to spend most of the year getting the right knee back to full strength and learning from one of the best RBs corps in the game in Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Anthony Dixon, and LaMichael James. Reports out of SF have been very good and in 2014 Marcus Lattimore could show everyone why they shouldn’t call his return to the field a comeback. UCLA vs. Arizona 13. Aaron Gordon (NCAA Basketball Player) Instagram: N/A Twitter: N/A Before the 2013 college basketball season started, all you would hear about was Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins and Duke’s Jabri Parker, but their was kid out on the west coast that’s is having NBA experts looking him a possible No. 1 overall draft pick. As a freshman at the University of Arizona in 2013-14, Aaron Gordon has started in all 17 games to help the Wildcats begin the season with a 17-0 record, and he is averaging 12.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks and a No.1 ranking. With March quickly approaching, Gordon has the Wildcats thinking a No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament and a possible National Championship. Carmelo Anthony did it, so did Anthony Davis,….could Aaron Gordon be the next freshman to lead his team to a title? ko-lydia-04907318 12. Lydia Ko (LPGA Golfer) Instagram: @Lydsko Twitter: @Lko242 Born in South Korea and raised in New Zealand, Lydia Ko is already No. 4. Ko became the youngest in history to win the New Zealand Women’s Open. She also won her first event as a professional at the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters in December 2013. Prior to turning pro, Ko was the top-ranked women’s amateur golfer in the world for 130 weeks. Did we forget to mention that Ko is only 16 years old? 071613_Jose-Fernandez_600 11. Jose Fernandez (Miami Marlins) Instagram: @josedfez16 Twitter: @josefernandez77 Pitching most of the 2013 season as a 20-year-old, Jose Fernandez earned an All-Star selection and improved his stats every pitch after pitch. Since June 1, 2013 he hasn’t surrendered more than three runs in any game. He boasts an incredible 1.52 earned run average in that span with four double-digit strikeout performances, and the Marlins won 12 of those 15 starts. Expected to be the 2014 opening day starter for the Marlins, Fernandez is hoping to have another all-star season and a Cy Young Award that usually comes with it. Big-E-Langston 10. Big E Langston (WWE Superstar) Instagram: @BigELangston Twitter: @BigELangston The current WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston is probably the strongest man in the business. Langston is a former college football defensive linemen and national powerlifting champion who has set multiple national and state records in the raw division. He is also a former NXT champion before getting called up to the main roster in late 2012. Every Big E does in the ring is with straight power which fans love to see. I would like to make an early prediction and say that Big E Langston will be the 2014 Money in the Bank match winner. Marcus-Smart-November-2013 9. Marcus Smart (NCAA Basketball Player) Instagram: @Mr_OSU33 Twitter: @Smart_MS3 In a year where everyone is focusing on all of the freshmen playing college basketball this season, no one is talking about arguably the best college basketball player for the past two years. Marcus Smart could have been the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, but he chose to return to Oklahoma State to take one more shot at a national championship. In 2013, Smart averaged 15.4 PPG on 40.4% shooting, including a mark of 29% from three-point range. He also hauled in 5.8 RPG and dished out 4.2 APG. He was also named Consensus 2nd Team All-American, Freshman of the Year, and Big 12 Player of the Year. Smart is looking to atleast lead Oklahoma State to a Final Four appearance, but he also expected to be a Top 3 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft…..if he comes out. 130412140202-cat-zingano-t1b-single-image-cut 8. Cat Zingano (UFC Fighter) Instagram: @CatZingano Twitter: @CatZingano Cat Zingano rose to prominence on the strength of a perfect 7-0 regional record before exploding onto the global scene with a brutal TKO victory over Miesha Tate in April 2013. The victory earned Cat Zingano a UFC title shot and coaching spot opposite Ronda Rousey on TUF 18, however she ultimately forfeited both prizes due to a serious of devastating knee injuries. With the knee almost 100%, Zingano seems poised to regain her No. 1 contender status and become the first woman to beat “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. roman-620x350 7. Roman Reigns (WWE Superstar) Instagram: N/A Twitter: @WWERomanReigns When you look at Roman Reigns you can see that he the next in line for WWE greatness. He comes from a great line of Samoan wrestlers (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson his cousin), a truly legendary family, and himself is an accomplished athlete already. Reigns showed flashes of his greatness when he was the “Lone Survivor” at the 2013 Survivor Series PPV, and if the headlines are any indication, WWE has big plans for him in 2014. Roman Reigns days as a member of “The Shield” may be numbered, but his days as a main event superstar are just beginning. derek-carr 6. Derek Carr (NFL Prospect) Instagram: @derekcarrqb Twitter: @derekcarrqb Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr is one of the most physically gifted quarterback prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft class. Carr possesses good size for the position at 6’3″, 218 lbs. In his final season at Fresno State, Carr completed 454 of 659 pass attempts for 5,083 yards, 50 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. Carr possesses excellent arm strength that will allow him to make all of the necessary throws at the next level. This means that his offensive coordinator will not be restricted in what plays he can put in the game plan and opposing defenses will be forced to cover the entire field against him. trey-burke 5. Trey Burke (Utah Jazz) Instagram: @ tr3yburke Twitter: @Trey_Burke3 Trey Burke missed the first six weeks of his rookie season with an injury, but when he returned…he made up for lost time. Burke is 2nd among rookies in points and assists only behind Michael Carter-Williams and the Utah Jazz. Since Burke has returned to the Jazz starting lineup, they have went 12-15, which is great since they had only won 1 game without him in the lineup. Burke is currently a leading candidate for Rookie of the Year honors. Burke also has Jazz fans thinking that they have found the next John Stockton. This shouldn’t come as such of a surprise, as in college Burke was named 2013 National Player of the Year and he lead Michigan to the National Championship Game that same year. South Carolina Football 4. Sammy Watkins (NFL Prospect) Instagram: @SammyWatkins2 Twitter: @SammyWatkins7 Watkins finished 2013 with 101 receptions for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns all Clemson school records. He saved his best game for last destroying Ohio State for 16 catches, 227 yards, and a pair of highlight-reel touchdowns in the 2013 Orange Bowl. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Watkins is universally expected to be one of the first receivers off the board at the 2014 NFL Draft. Danny-‘Swift’-Garcia 3. Danny “Swift” Garcia (U.S. Boxer) Instagram: @dannyswiftgarcia Twitter: @DannySwift Danny Garcia is the 25 year-old and the reigning WBC, WBA (Super), and Ring Magazine Light Welterweight Champion. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is best pound for pound fighter on the planet, but Danny Garcia is quickly giving Floyd a run for his money. Fighting on the same card as Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Sept. Garcia looked just as impressive in his bout with Lucas Matthysse, as Mayweather did against Canelo Alvarez. Garcia is 27-0 and has defeated former champions Erik Morales (Twice), Zab Judah, and Amir Khan in his last 5 fights. Garcia is set to Golden Boy promotions next big PPV star in 2014 and in talks to defend his titles two times this year. toby gerhart 001 2. Toby Gerhart (NFL Player) Instagram: #TobyGerhart Twitter: @Toby_Gerhart Coming out of college in 2009, Toby Gerhart was a Heisman Trophy runner-up and Doak Walker winner. In a year where running backs weren’t a main priority for NFL teams, Gerhart ended up falling to the 2nd rd. in the 2010 NFL Draft and was selected by the Minnesota Vikings. Since 2010, Gerhart has been a reliable back-up running back for record-setting rusher Adrian Peterson, rushing for 531 yards in 109 carries in 2011. In 2014, Gerhart ran for 91 yards on 8 carries against the Green Bay Packers averaging an amazing 11.4 yards a carry. That same season, Gerhart also had a 9.6 rushing yards average against the Seattle Seahawks (No. 1 defense in the league) and a 5.9 rushing average against the Baltimore Ravens. Toby is set to become a free-agent during the 2014 NFL off-season and he has made it known that he is ready to be on a team that will make him the starting running back. Many NFL experts feel that Gerhart has what it takes to get out of Peterson’s shadow and become a Pro Bowl running back. UFC 168 Weidman vs Silva 2 1. Chris Weidman (UFC Fighter) Instagram: @ChrisWeidmanUFC Twitter: @ChrisWeidmanUFC It may not have been the “Passing of the Torch” that he may have been hoping for, but now UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman has gone from the hunter to the hunted. In 2013, Weidman defeated arguably the greatest UFC fighter of all-time in Anderson Silva twice. Even though both victories over Silva were deemed “What If Victories,” Weidman still proved that Silva was no match for him in both fights and that he is the rightful champion at 185 lbs. Weidman is already set for a huge 2014 with a upcoming title defense against No. 1 contender Vitor Belfort. If he can win against Belfort, this will be the start to a very successful run as middleweight champion for Chris Weidman…..maybe even better than Anderson Silva. WHO DO YOU FEEL WILL BREAKOUT IN 2014? LET US KNOW RIGHT NOW BY LEAVING A COMMENT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.