Greatest college players

Published 9:33 pm Wednesday, October 28, 2009

By By Chandler Myers
Who is the greatest player to ever grace a college football field?
There have been tons of amazing players throughout the history of college football.
Some I have seen such as Vince Young, Reggie Bush, Charles Woodson, Peyton Manning and the list goes on and on. Others I never had the chance to witness when they were in college. That list includes, Jim Thorpe, Herschel Walker, Archie Griffin, Dick Butkus and Jim Brown.
This question always brings out a great debate, but is hard to answer because of the different styles of play and how different the athletes are today.
Each decade brings something new to college football whether it be larger linemen or faster running backs. Still the question remains though. Who is the best colllege football player of all time?
One list has Jim Thorpe at the top with Herschel Walker, Red Grange, Sammy Baugh and Vince Young rounding out the Top 5.
The one thing common in alot of the lists compiled by different Web sites is that the old school players get a lot of recognition as they should. They paved the way for the game of today.
The one named for the game of today that is constantly mentioned is that of Vince Young.
Young is possibly the best player of the 2000s. He led Texas to the BCS Championship following the 2005-06 season and came up short on winning the Heisman although he probably should have won over Reggie Bush.
All of these questions and debates leads me to my next question and for the sake of the argument let’s simplify it. Who do you think are the Top 5 college football players of the last 50 years?
My Top 5 is:
1. Herschel Walker. Walker won the 1982 Heisman and led the Georgia Bulldogs to the 1980 National Championship as a freshman.
2. Jim Thorpe. Thorpe played several different positions for Carlisle. He led his team to a National Championship in 1912. Will always be one of the greatest. He is also the namesake for the Thorpe Award.
3. Derrick Thomas. Thomas is one of the best linebackers to ever play football whether in college or the NFL. The late Crimson Tide player won the Butkus Award in 1988 after recording 27 sacks.
4. Ricky Williams. Williams won the 1998 Heisman Trophy. He also set a short-lived rushing record running for 6,279 yards in his college career.
5. Peyton Manning. Manning is Tennessee’s all-time passing leader with 11, 201 yards. His senior season he won numerous awards and finished as the Heisman Tropy runner-up.
What’s your list look like? Log on to and leave a comment listing your Top 5 or feel free to email me. I look forward to seeing all the different names listed.
Chandler Myers is sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123 or by e-mail at

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