Which school is Secondary/DB U?

You have probably heard the names Linebacker U or Tailback U associated with college football programs with perhaps more than one school proclaiming to be a position U. Which schools truly deserve that distinction?

I used the following criteria to determine which school is truly a position U:

  1. One can certainly debate how good a player was in college. However, when it comes to being named an All-American, there is no debate. If a player was named an All-American, he had to be very good. Rather than add to a school’s claim of being “position U” with players who weren’t All-Americans, and debate how good they were, such as the University of Miami’s quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Bernie Kosar or Auburn’s running backs William Andrews, Joe Cribbs, James Brooks, Lionel James, and Ronnie Brown, only 1st, 2nd and 3rd-team All-Americans factored into the selection and evaluation process.
  2. Only a player’s collegiate performance was taken into account and considered, and not what they accomplished as a professional. If a Heisman Trophy winner or an All-American was a bust in the NFL, that doesn’t diminish what they accomplished at the collegiate level. Their performance as a pro does not factor in or influence this selection process.

Also, occasionally a position change occurs for a player from his college to professional career so which position does the school get credit for? For example, should Terrelle Pryor count as a wide receiver for Ohio State?  That’s absurd. That’s why only their college career should count towards a being a position U.

In comparing each school’s All-Americans from the past 50 years, obviously some were greater than others. Past and recent greatness as well as consistency through the years are what constitute a school being chosen as a position U.

This is my look at the defensive secondaries in my series on which school should be known as Secondary/DB U.

When you think about the last line of defense and what makes a great secondary, it’s speed, speed, speed. It should come as no surprise then that three of the top five schools to be considered as Secondary/DB U are SEC schools.

LSU ranks fifth on the list for Secondary U with 17 All-Americans (nine cornerbacks and eight safeties) over the past 50 seasons. In 12 of the last 15 seasons, LSU had a safety or cornerback named All-American. Those players were: Covey Webster ’03 & ’04, LaRon Landry ’06, Chad Jones ’07, Craig Steltz ’07, Patrick Peterson ’09 & ’10, Morris Claiborne ’11, Tyrann Mathieu ’11, Eric Reid ’11 & ’12, Tre’Davious White ’14 & ’16, Jalen Mills ’15, Jamal Adams ’16, Donte Jackson ’17 and Andraez Williams in ’17 as well.

Peterson won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back in 2010 and Clairborne won it in 2011. One can see how in the past 15 seasons, LSU could possibly be Secondary U. However, prior to 2003, the Tigers only had defensive backs Tommy Casanova ’69-’71, Mike Williams ’74, James Britt ’82, and Greg Jackson ’88 be named to an All-America team.

Some might wonder why isn’t Miami or Texas in the top five for Secondary U. Neither Miami nor Texas have the numbers of All-American cornerbacks the past 50 seasons to make the top five. Miami had only five and Texas six which doesn’t measure up to LSU at number five with nine.

Number four on our list for Secondary U are the Florida State Seminoles. The Seminoles had 19 All-American defensive backs in the past 50 seasons (13 cornerbacks and six safeties with Jalen Ramsey counting as two since he was All-American at both positions).

The Seminoles defensive backs that have been All-American were: James Thomas ’72, Monk Bonasorte ’79 & ’80, Bobby Butler ’80, three-time All-American Deion Sanders ’86, ’87 & ’88, LeRoy Butler ’89, Terrell Buckley ’90 & ’91, Corey Sawyer ’92 & ’93, Clifton Abraham ’94, Tay Cody ’00, Chris Hope ’00, and Myron Rolle in 2008. Sanders and Buckley both won the Thorpe Award, Sanders in 1988 and Buckley in 1991.

For the past six seasons, the Seminoles had at least one defensive back named All-American. Those players were: Xavier Rhodes ’12, Terrence Brooks ’13, Lamarcus Joyner ’13, P.J. Williams ’14, Jalen Ramsey in 2014 as a safety and as a cornerback in 2015, Tarvarus McFadden ’16 and Derwin James in 2016 & 2017. Having only six safeties  named All-American keeps Florida State from being higher on the list. Florida State’s   six All-America safeties cannot match the 10 of our number three school as Secondary/DB U, the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes are number three as Cornerback U (https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/which-school-is-cornerback-u/) and number four as Safety U (https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/which-school-is-safety-u/) which adds up to make Ohio State number three on our countdown to Secondary/DB U. It’s that balance of 10 All-American safeties and 11 All-American cornerbacks that has the Buckeyes at number three and not that long ago at number one.

Those Ohio State All-American defensive backs were: Ted Provost ’69, Jack Tatum ’69 & ’70, Tim Anderson ’70, Mike Sensibaugh ’70, Neal Colzie ’74, Tim Fox ’75, Ray Griffin ’77, Shawn Springs ’96, Antoine Winfield ’97 & ’98, Damon Moore ’98, three-time All-American Mike Doss ’00, ’01 & ’02, Will Allen ’03, and Donte Whither in 2005.

In eight of the last 10 seasons, an Ohio State defensive back has been named All-American. Those Buckeyes are: Malcolm Jenkins ’08, Kurt Coleman ’09, Chimdi Chekwa ’10, Bradley Roby ’12 & ’13, Vonn Bell ’15, Malik Hooker ’16, Marshon Lattimore ’16, and Denzel Ward in 2017.

A pair of Buckeyes have won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back, Winfield in 1998 and Jenkins won it in 2008.

With a total of 22 All-American defensive backs in the past 50 seasons, the University of Florida is number two on our list as Secondary/DB U. Florida’s 10 All-American safeties earned Florida the number five spot as Safety U and their 13 All-American cornerbacks has them at number two for Cornerback U which added up to the number two spot as Secondary/DB U.

Florida’s 22 All-American defensive backs were: Steve Tannen ’69, Tony Lilly ’83, Adrian White ’86, Jarvis Williams ’86 & ’87, Louis Oliver ’87 & ’88, Richard Fain ’89 & ’90, Will White ’90, Lawrence Wright ’95, Antoine Lott ’96, Fred Weary ’97, Lilo Shepard ’00 & ’01, Kaiwan Ratliff ’03, Reggie Nelson ’06, and Ryan Smith in 2006.

Interestingly, Wright won the Jim Thorpe Award in 1996, a year he wasn’t named All-American.

In eight of the last nine seasons, the Gators have produced an All-American defensive back. Those players were: Joe Haden ’09, Ahmad Black ’10, Janoris Jenkins ’10, Matt Elam ’12, three-time All-American Vernon Hargreaves III ’13, ’14 & ’15, Jalen/Teez Tabor ’15 & ’16, Marcus Maye ’15 & ’16, and Duke Dawson in 2017.

One must consider the balance and combination of All-American cornerbacks and safeties, and by doing so the choice here for Secondary/DB U is Alabama. Over the past four decades plus, Alabama exemplifies balanced excellence in the secondary with 11 All-American cornerbacks and 12 All-American safeties.

The Crimson Tide were number two as Safety U and number four as Cornerback U which added up to be number one as Secondary/DB U. Alabama’s 23 All-American defensive backs with Minkah Fitzpatrick counting as two since he was All-American at both positions were: Mike Washington ’73 & ’74, Don McNeal ’79, Tommy Wilcox ’81 & ’82, Jeremiah Castille ’82, Kermit Kendrick ’88, John Magnum ’89, George Teague ’92, Antonio Langham ’92 & ’93, and Kevin Jackson in 1996. Langham won the Thorpe Aware in 1993.

Nick Saban’s first year at Alabama was in 2007 and it didn’t take long to see Saban’s defensive influence paying dividends for the Crimson Tide. For the past 10 seasons, Alabama had at least one defensive back, and some years two, named All-American. Those players were: Rashad Johnson ’08, Javier Arenas ’09, Mark Barron ’09, ‘10 & ’11, Robert Lester ’10, Dre Kirkpatrick ’11, DeQuan Menzie ’11, Dee Millner ’12, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix ’13, Landon Collins ’14, Eddie Jackson ’15 & ’16, Marlon Humphrey ’16, Ronnie Harrison ’16 & ’17, and Minkah Fitzpatrick in 2016 as a cornerback in 2016 and as a safety in 2017. Fitzpatrick won the Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back in 2017.

It is that remarkable & unmatched run of excellence that has propelled Alabama past Florida and Ohio State as Secondary/DB U.

Interesting fact:  USC, Miami and Notre Dame had fewer All-America defensive backs in the past 50 seasons, 14, 14 and 15 respectively than Colorado did with 16.

Alabama Cap photo credit courtesy of Lisa Zins and can be found at:  https://visualhunt.com/f2/photo/38902198311/f5b8b9b956/

Florida gator Photo credit: photo-gator on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

Florida State Photo credit: RMTip21 on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

LSU Tiger Photo credit: Chiceaux on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Ohio State Photo credit: buckeyekes on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

 

John Baranowski is a sports historian and contributor to newspapers, sports publications and sports websites. This and other articles written by him can be found on his blog:  https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/.

 

 

Which school is Offensive Line U?

You have probably heard the names Linebacker U or Tailback U associated with college football programs with perhaps more than one school proclaiming to be a position U. Which schools truly deserve that distinction?

I used the following criteria to determine which school is truly a position U:

  1. One can certainly debate how good a player was in college. However, when it comes to being named an All-American, there is no debate. If a player was named an All-American, he had to be very good. Rather than add to a school’s claim of being “position U” with players who weren’t All-Americans, and debate how good they were, such as the University of Miami’s quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Bernie Kosar or Auburn’s running backs William Andrews, Joe Cribbs, James Brooks, Lionel James, and Ronnie Brown, only 1st, 2nd and 3rd-team All-Americans factored into the selection and evaluation process.
  2. Only a player’s collegiate performance was taken into account and considered, and not what they accomplished as a professional. If a Heisman Trophy winner or an All-American was a bust in the NFL, that doesn’t diminish what they accomplished at the collegiate level. Their performance as a pro does not factor in or influence this selection process.

Also, occasionally a position change occurs for a player from his college to professional career so which position does the school get credit for? For example, should Terrelle Pryor count as a wide receiver for Ohio State?  That’s absurd. That’s why only their college career should count towards a being a position U.

In comparing each school’s All-Americans from the past 50 years, obviously some were greater than others. Past and recent greatness as well as consistency through the years are what constitute a school being chosen as a position U.

This is my look at the offensive lines in my series on which school should be known as Offensive Line U.

If one were asked which school had the most All-American offensive linemen in the past 50 seasons, one might guess Nebraska, Michigan or perhaps USC would come to mind.

Nebraska used to produce All-American linemen that cleared paths for their running backs like a combine harvester going through a Midwestern wheat field. In 21 out of the 30 seasons from 1968 to 1997, Nebraska produced an All-American offensive lineman. That is no longer the case and hasn’t been for some time. Nebraska had only one All-American lineman since 2001 and that was Spencer Long in 2012.

Nebraska rates as number two for Offensive Guard U (https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/which-school-is-offensive-guard-u/) and number four as Offensive Center U, (https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/which-school-is-offensive-center-u/) however, the Cornhuskers have produced only six All-America offensive tackles in the past 50 seasons, the last being Outland Trophy winner Zach Wiegert in 1994. That is why Nebraska comes in as number seven for Offensive Line U.

In addition to Wiegert, several other Nebraska offensive linemen have captured some of college football’s top awards. Center Dave Rimington won the 1981 and the 1982 Outland Trophy and the 1982 Lombardi Award, and Dean Steinkuhler won both awards in 1983. Will Shields won the Outland Trophy in 1992, and Dominic Raiola won the Rimington Trophy, named after the great Cornhusker center, as the best center in the country in 2000.

Nebraska’s other All-American offensive linemen were:  Joe Armstrong ’68, Bob Newton ’70, Daryl White ’72 & ’73, Marvin Crenshaw ’74, Rik Bonness ’74 & ’75, Tom Davis ’77, Kelvin Clark ’78, Randy Schleusener ’80, Harry Grimminger ’84,  Mark Traynowicz ’84, Bill Lewis ’85, John McCormick ’87, Jake Young ’88 & ’89, Doug Glaser ’89, Brendan Stai ’94,  Aaron Graham ’95, Aaron Taylor in 1996 as a center and as a guard in 1997, Russ Hochstein ’00, and Toniu Fonoti in 2001.

Michigan had 25 All-American offensive linemen in the past 50 seasons and from 1970-1983, 12 Michigan offensive linemen were named All-American. Those Wolverines were: Dan Dierdorf ’70, Reggie McKenzie ’71, Paul Seymour ’72, Mark Donahue ’76 & ’77, Bill Dufek ’76, Walt Downing ’77, George Lilja ’80, Kurt Becker ’81, Ed Muransky ’81, William Paris ’81, and Tom Dixon and Stephan Humphries in 1983.

From 1986-2000, in 11 of those 15 seasons the Wolverines had an All-American offensive lineman. Those linemen were: John Elliott ’86 & ’87, John Vitale ’88, Greg Skrepenak ’90 & ’91, Dean Dingman ’90, Matt Elliott ’91, Joe Cocozzo ’92, John Runyan ’95, Rod Payne ’96, Jon Jensen ’98, and Steve Hutchinson in 1999 & 2000.  However, Michigan hasn’t produced an All-American guard since Hutchinson in 2000.

Michigan’s other All-American offensive linemen the past 50 seasons were: David Baas ’04, Jake Long ’06 & ’07, David Molik ’11, three-time All-American Taylor Lewan in 2011, 2012, and 2013, and Mason Cole in 2016.

This brings us to our number five school as Offensive Line U. There’s no doubt that USC is Offensive Tackle U (https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/which-school-is-offensive-tackle-u/) and is third as Offensive Guard U but the Trojans have only produced two All-American centers in the past 50 seasons. Nonetheless, the list of USC All-American offensive linemen is an impressive one. When a school produces Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks and running backs, there had to be some great offensive linemen in front of them.

From 1969 to 1989, USC had an offensive lineman named All-American in 17 out of those 21 seasons. Those All-American Trojan linemen were: Sid Smith ’69, Marv Montgomery ’70, John Vella ’71, Pete Adams ’72, Booker Brown ’73, Steve Riley ’73, Bill Bain ’74, Marvin Powell ’75 & ’76, Pat Howell ’78, Brad Budde ’79, Keith Van  Horne ’80, Roy Foster ’80 & ’81, Bruce Matthews ’82, Don Mosebar ’82, Tony Slaton ’83, Jeff Bregel ’85 & ’86, Dave Cadigan ’87, and Mark Tucker in 1989.

USC’s All-American offensive linemen since 1989 were: Tony Boselli ’92 & ’94, Jacob Rogers ’03, Sam Baker ’05 & ’06, Taitusi Lutui ’05, Ryan Kalil ’06, Charles Brown ’09, Jeff Byers ’09, Matt Kalil ’11, Zach Banner and Chad Wheeler in 2016.

For our number four school as Offensive Line U, the Wisconsin Badgers, having a 1,000-yard running back every season is as predictable as a rooster crowing every morning. Leading that way for those running backs have been some outstanding offensive linemen in recent years. In fact, Wisconsin has produced at least one All-American offensive linemen in seven of the past eight years. Those linemen were: Outland Trophy winner Gabe Carimi in 2010, John Moffitt ’10, Peter Konz ’11, Kevin Zeitler ’11, Travis Frederick ’12, Rick Wagner ’12, Ryan Groy ’13, Kyle Costigan ’14, Rob Havenstein ’14, Ryan Ramczyk ’16, and in 2017, they produced three: Beau Benzschawel, Michael Dieter, and David Edwards.

The Badgers had great success in turning out All-America offensive tackles, 15 in the past 50 seasons, second only to USC with 17. Wisconsin had seven guards and five centers make All-American, numbers that kept the Badgers from the top three spots as Offensive Line U.

Wisconsin’s other All-American offensive linemen the past 50 seasons were: Dennis Lick ’74 & ’75, Ray Snell ’79, Jeff Dellenbach ’84, Paul Gruber ’87, Joe Panos ’93, Corey Raymer ’94, Jerry Wunsch ’96, Aaron Gibson ’98, Chris McIntos ’99, Casey Rabach ’00, Al Johnson ’02, Dan Buening ’04, two-time All-American “05 & ’06 and 2006 Outland Trophy winner Joe Thomas, and Kraig Urbik in 2008.

Ohio State is the number three as Offensive Line U as the Buckeyes were third for Offensive Center U, fifth for Offensive Guard U and rated an honorable mention for Offensive Tackle U.

You can’t run a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust offense like Woody Hayes did and not have great offensive linemen, and Ohio State had an All-American offensive linemen all but one year from 1968 to 1977, and for six consecutive years from 1993 to 1998.

Ohio State’s All-American linemen the past 50 seasons were: Dave Foley ’68, Rufus Mayes ’68, Jim Stillwagon ’69, Tom Deleone ’71, John Hicks ’72 & ’73, Steve Myers ’74, Kurt Schumacher ’74, Ted Smith ’75, Chris Ward ’76 & ’77, Ken Fritz ’79, Jim Lachey ’84, Jeff Uhlenhake ’88, Korey Stringer ’93 & ’94, Orlando Pace ’95 & ’96, Rob Murphy ’97 & ’98, 2001 Rimington Trophy winner LeCharles Bentley, Nick Mangold ’05, Mike Brewster ’10 & ’11, Justin Boren ’10, Jack Mewhort ’13, Taylor Decker ’15, Pat Elfein in 2015 as a guard and as a center in 2016. Elfein won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best center in 2016 and Jamarco Jones, Michael Jordan and Billy Price were All-Americans in 2017 with Price winning the Rimington Trophy.

Hicks and Pace are two of the all-time great offensive linemen in college football history. In 1973, Hicks won the Lombardi Award and the Outland trophy and finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting in that year to Penn State’s John Cappelletti. For an offensive lineman to finish second in the Heisman Trophy balloting is truly a testament to Hicks’ outstanding play. Pace won the Outland Trophy in 1996 and the Lombardi Award twice, in 1995 and 1996.

Alabama is number two as Offensive Line U largely based on the Crimson Tide being Offensive Center U and fourth as Offensive Guard U.  Despite not having double-digit numbers in terms of All-American offensive tackles, four Alabama tackles have won the Outland Trophy. Chris Samuels won it in 1999, Andre Smith in 2008, Barrett Jones in 2011 and Cam Robinson in 2016.  In addition, Barrett Jones won the Rimington Trophy as the top center in the country in 2012 and Ryan Kelly won it in 2015.

From 1968 to 1988, in 14 of those 20 seasons, an Alabama offensive lineman was named All-American. Those Crimson Tide linemen were:  Alvin Samples ’68 & ’69, John Hannah ’71 & ’72, Jim Krapf ’71 & ’72, Buddy Brown ’73, Sylvester Croom ’74, Bob Cryder ’77, Dwight Stephenson ’78 & ’79, Jim Bunch ’79, Steve Mott ’82, Wes Neighbors ’85 & ’86, and Larry Rose in 1987 and 1988.

However, the next 19 years only saw one lineman for the Crimson Tide make All-American and that was Outland Trophy winner Chris Samuels in 1999.

Then Nick Saban arrives and the Alabama resurgence begins and for the last 10 consecutive seasons, Alabama has produced at least one All-American offensive lineman.  Those linemen were: Antoine Caldwell ’08, Mike Johnson ’08 & ’09, three-time All-American Barrett Jones in 2010 and 2011 as a guard and in 2012 as a center, William Vlachos ’11, Chance Warmack ’12, D.J. Fluker ’12, Cyrus Kouandjio ’13, Anthony Steen ’13, Arie Kouandjio ’14, Ryan Kelly ’15, Cam Robinson ’16, Jonah Williams ’16 & ’17, and Bradley Bozeman in 2017.

In looking at who Keith Jackson referred to as “the big uglies,” since 1968, Notre Dame

had 38 All-American offensive linemen, and tied for a distant second with 28 are Alabama and USC. Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin are next with 27 and then Nebraska with 26.

Notre Dame has produced double digits All-Americans at each of the offensive line position, 14 tackles, 13 guards and 11 centers and Notre Dame was Offensive Guard U and was second as Offensive Center U and third as Offensive Tackle U. No other school had top-three finishes in the three offensive line positions. Aaron Taylor counts as two in the count as he was an All-American at guard in 1992 and at in 1993 he won the Outland Trophy as a tackle. Larry Williams also counted as two as he was an All-American at two different offensive line positions.

From 1983-1996, in 12 of those 14 seasons, Notre Dame had an All-American offensive lineman. Notre Dame’s All-American linemen the past 50 seasons were: George Kunz ’68, Mike Oriard ’69, Jim Reilly ’69, Larry DiNardo ’69 & ’70, John Dampeer ’72, Gerry DiNardo ’74, Steve Sylvester ’74, Ernie Hughes ’77, Dave Huffman ’78, Tim Foley ’79, John Scully ’80, Larry Williams ’83 as a tackle and ’84 as a guard, Mike Shiner ’83, Mike Kelley ’84, Tim Scannell ’85, Chuck Lanza ’87, Andy Heck ’88, Tim Grunhard ’89, Mike Heldt ’90, Mirko Jurkovic ’91, Lindsay Knapp ’92, Aaron Taylor in ’92 & ’93, Tim Ruddy ’93, Ryan Leahy ’95, Dusty Ziegler ’95, Jeremy Akers ’96, Mike Rosenthal ’98, Mike Gandy ’00, Jeff Faine ’02, Eric Olsen ’09, Braxton Cave ’12, Zack Martin ’12, Nick Martin ’15, Ronnie Stanley ’15, Mike McGlinchey ’16 & ’17 and Nelson Quenton also in 2016 and 2017.

You get the idea. Notre Dame has the players and the numbers at every offensive line position. That is why Notre Dame is Offensive Line U.

Interesting fact:  USC has produced only two All-America centers in the past 50 seasons, Tony Slaton in 1983 and Ryan Kalil in 2006.

Alabama Cap photo credit courtesy of Lisa Zins and can be found at:  https://visualhunt.com/f2/photo/38902198311/f5b8b9b956/

Michigan Marquee Photo credit: IAN RANSLEY DESIGN + ILLUSTRATION on VisualHunt / CC BY

Nebraska Herbie Husker Photo used courtesy of: beatboxbadhabit and found at: https://visualhunt.com/photo/296858/ CC BY

Notre Dame Photo credit: Urthstripe on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Ohio State Photo credit: buckeyekes on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

USC Flag Photo credit: csulb gal on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Wisconsin Badger Photo credit: Instagram: @Maitri on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

John Baranowski is a sports historian and contributor to newspapers, sports publications and sports websites. This and other articles written by him can be found on his blog:  https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/.

 

 

Which school is Defensive Line U?

You have probably heard the names Linebacker U or Tailback U associated with college football programs with perhaps more than one school proclaiming to be a position U. Which schools truly deserve that distinction?

I used the following criteria to determine which school is truly a position U:

  1. One can certainly debate how good a player was in college. However, when it comes to being named an All-American, there is no debate. If a player was named an All-American, he had to be very good. Rather than add to a school’s claim of being “position U” with players who weren’t All-Americans, and debate how good they were, such as the University of Miami’s quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Bernie Kosar or Auburn’s running backs William Andrews, Joe Cribbs, James Brooks, Lionel James, and Ronnie Brown, only 1st, 2nd and 3rd-team All-Americans factored into the selection and evaluation process.
  2. Only a player’s collegiate performance was taken into account and considered, and not what they accomplished as a professional. If a Heisman Trophy winner or an All-American was a bust in the NFL, that doesn’t diminish what they accomplished at the collegiate level. Their performance as a pro does not factor in or influence this selection process.

Also, occasionally a position change occurs for a player from his college to professional career so which position does the school get credit for? For example, should Terrelle Pryor count as a wide receiver for Ohio State?  That’s absurd. That’s why only their college career should count towards a being a position U.

In comparing each school’s All-Americans from the past 50 years, obviously some were greater than others. Past and recent greatness as well as consistency through the years are what constitute a school being chosen as a position U.

This is my look at the defensive lines in my series on which school should be known as Defensive Line U.

For a school to be named Defensive Line U, ideally you want is balance in outstanding play and consistency at both defensive tackle and defensive end for sustained periods of time.

Notre Dame had 14 defensive tackles named All-American the past 50 seasons, but only five All-American defensive ends and none since Frank Stams in 1988. During that same time, Michigan had 12 All-American defensive tackles but only three All-American defensive ends.

It is the balance and consistency of outstanding play the reason why the top five schools make our countdown to Defensive Line U.

At number five for Defensive Line U is the University of Texas. With 10 All-American defensive tackles and nine All-American defensive ends, Texas rates as number four Defensive Tackle U (https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/which-school-is-defensive-tackle-u/) and an honorable mention for Defensive End U (https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/which-school-is-defensive-end-u/) and with good reason.

From 1999 to 2014, Texas had an All-American defensive lineman in all but four of those years beginning with Casey Hampton ’99 & ’00, followed by: Cory Redding ’01 & ’02, Rodrique Wright ’04 & ’05, Tim Crowder ’06, Brian Orakpo ’08, Sam Acho ’10, Alex Okafor ’11, Kheeston Randall ’11, Jackson Jeffcoat ’13, and Malcolm Brown in 2014.

The Longhorns produced two Lombardi Award winners in Kenneth Sims ’81, and Tony Degrate in ’84. They also had an Outland Trophy winner in Brad Shearer in 1977. The other Longhorn All-American defensive linemen were: Loyd Wainscott ’68, Bill Atessis ’70, Doug English ’74, Steve McMichael ’78 & ’79, Shane Dronett ’91, and Tony Brackens in 1995.

At number four for Defensive Line U are the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Nebraska has a rich All-American tradition along the defensive front. During the past 50 seasons, Nebraska had 11 All-American defensive tackles and eight All-American defensive ends. From 1971 to 1980, the Cornhuskers had a defensive lineman named All-American in seven of those 10 seasons beginning with Larry Jacobson ’71, Rich Glover ’71 & ’72, Willie Harper ’71 & ’72, John Dutton ’73, Bob Martin ’75, Mike Fultz ’76, George Andrews ’78, and Derrie Nelson ’80.

Jacobson won the Outland Trophy in 1971. Glover was so great that in 1972 he won both the Outland and the Lombardi Award. In 1971, Nebraska had three All-American defensive linemen. Some other notable Nebraska defensive linemen that were All-Americans were: John Dutton ’73, Danny Noonan ’86, Neil Smith ’87, Jason Peter ’97, Grant Wistrom, two-time All American in ’96 & ’97 and the 1996 Lombardi award winner, Outland Trophy winner Ndamukong Suh in 2009 and then two-time All American Jared Crick in 2010 and 2011.

Our number three on the list for Defensive Line U are the Florida State Seminoles. The Seminoles are Defensive End U with 12 All-Americans in the past 50 seasons and have eight All-American tackles during that same time.

In six of the last eight seasons, Florida State had an All-American defensive lineman. Brandon Jenkins ’10 & ’11, Bjoern Werner ’12, Timmy Jerrigan ’13, Mario Edwards ’14, Eddie Goldman ’14, and DeMarcus Walker in 2016.

Florida State’s other All-American defensive linemen were: Willie Jones ’78, Ron Simmons ’78, ’79 & ’80, Odell Haggins ’88 & ’89, Derrick Alexander ’93 & ’94, Peter Boulware ’96, Reinard Wilson ’96, Andre Wadsworth ’97, Corey Simon ’98 & ’99, Lombardi Award winner Jamal Reynolds in 2000, Alonzo Jackson ’02, Travis Johnson ’04, Brodrick Bunkley ’05, and Everette Brown in 2008.

Penn State is the number three Defensive End U with their nine All-American defensive ends the past 50 seasons and fifth as Defensive Tackle U with 10 All-American defensive tackles which added up to being number two as Defensive Line U.

Penn State’s All-American defensive linemen in the past 50 seasons were: Mike Reid ’69, Bruce Bannon ’72, Randy Crowder ’73, Mike Hartenstine ’74, Randy Sidler ’77, Matt Millen ’78, Bruce Clark ’78 & ’79, Walker Lee Ashley ’82, Tim Johnson ’86, Lou Benfatti ’93, Courtney Brown ’99, Michael Haynes ’02, Jimmy Kennedy ’02, Tamba Hali ’05, Aaron Maybin ’08, Jared Odrick ’09, Devon Still ’11 and Carl Nassib in 2015.

Penn State had three defensive linemen win the Lombardi or Outland Award in the past 50 seasons: Reid, the Outland in 1969, Clark the Lombardi in 1978 and Nassib the Lombardi in 2015.

If you’re going to have a good defense, the first prerequisite is you must have a good defensive line. It is a football adage that defense all starts up front and nobody had more All-American defensive lineman in the past 50 years than Alabama.

Since 1968, Alabama had 26 All-American defensive linemen, 14 were defensive ends and 12 were defensive tackles, but it’s more than just sheer numbers that make Alabama defensive line U. In the ‘70s and the ‘90s the Crimson Tide made it an almost annual tradition to have a defensive lineman named All-American.

For 12 consecutive seasons from 1971 to 1982, Alabama had at least one defensive lineman named All-American. Those linemen were: Robin Parkhouse ’71, John Mitchell ’72, John Croyle ’73, Mike Raines ’73, Leroy Cook ’74 & ’75, Bob Baumhower ’75 & ’76, Wayne Hamilton ’77, Marty Lyons ’78, Byron Braggs ’79 & ’80, E.J. Junior ’79 & ’80, Warren Lyles ’81 and Mike Pitts in 1982.

From 1991 to 1997 the Crimson Tide had the following All-American defensive linemen:   Dameian Jeffries ’91, Robert Stewart ’91, John Copeland ’92, Eric Curry ’92, Shannon Brown ’95, Michael Myers ’96 and Chris Hood in 1997. In five out of the seven years during that time, Bama had at least one All-American defensive lineman, and in 1991 and 1992, they had two All-American defensive linemen.

The Crimson Tide is currently on another impressive run of All-American defensive linemen. In seven of the past 10 seasons, Alabama had an All-American defensive lineman. Those players were: Terrence Cody ’08 & ’09, Marcell Dareus ’10, Josh Chapman ’11, A’Shawn Robinson ’15, Lombardi Award winner Jonathan Allen in 2016 and most recently Da’Ron Payne in 2017.

Alabama’s other defensive linemen in the past 50 seasons were: Sam Gellerstedt in 1968, and Jon Hand in 1985.

Alabama is Defensive Tackle U and runner-up for Defensive End U which adds up to the Crimson Tide clearly being Defensive Line U.

Interesting fact: The past 50 seasons touch upon six decades,1968 to 2017, and only two schools had at least one All-American defensive lineman in the late ‘60s and in each of the following decades. Those two schools were Alabama and Penn State.

Alabama Cap photo credit courtesy of Lisa Zins and can be found at:  https://visualhunt.com/f2/photo/38902198311/f5b8b9b956/

Florida State logo Photo credit: RMTip21 on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

Nebraska Herbie Husker Photo used courtesy of: beatboxbadhabit and found at: https://visualhunt.com/photo/296858/ CC BY

Penn State Photo on Visual Hunt

Texas sign Photo credit: wallyg on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

John Baranowski is a sports historian and contributor to newspapers, sports publications and sports websites. This and other articles written by him can be found on his blog:  https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/.

 

Which school is Defensive End U?

You have probably heard the names Linebacker U or Tailback U associated with college football programs with perhaps more than one school proclaiming to be a position U. Which schools truly deserve that distinction?

I used the following criteria to determine which school is truly a position U:

  1. One can certainly debate how good a player was in college. However, when it comes to being named an All-American, there is no debate. If a player was named an All-American, he had to be very good. Rather than add to a school’s claim of being “position U” with players who weren’t All-Americans, and debate how good they were, such as the University of Miami’s quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Bernie Kosar or Auburn’s running backs William Andrews, Joe Cribbs, James Brooks, Lionel James, and Ronnie Brown, only 1st, 2nd and 3rd-team All-Americans factored into the selection and evaluation process.
  2. Only a player’s collegiate performance was taken into account and considered, and not what they accomplished as a professional. If a Heisman Trophy winner or an All-American was a bust in the NFL, that doesn’t diminish what they accomplished at the collegiate level. Their performance as a pro does not factor in or influence this selection process.

Also, occasionally a position change occurs for a player from his college to professional career so which position does the school get credit for? For example, should Terrelle Pryor count as a wide receiver for Ohio State?  That’s absurd. That’s why only their college career should count towards a being a position U.

In comparing each school’s All-Americans from the past 50 years, obviously some were greater than others. Past and recent greatness as well as consistency through the years are what constitute a school being chosen as a position U.

This is my look at the defensive end position in my series on which school should be known as Defensive End U.

When it comes to choosing which school is Defensive End U, a school needed at least nine defensive ends named All-American in the past 50 years and only five schools managed to do that.

Number five on our list as Defensive End U is the University of Texas. The Longhorns nine All-American defensive ends over the past 50 years were:  Bill Atessis ’70, Shane Dronett ’91, Tony Brackens ’95, two-time All-American Cory Redding ’01 & ’02, Tim Crowder ’06, Brian Orakpo ’08, Sam Acho ’10, Alex Okafor ’11, and Jackson Jeffcoat in 2013.

The Oklahoma Sooners also had nine defensive ends make All-America teams and those Sooners were: Jimbo Elrod ’75, Kevin Murphy ’85, Darrell Reed ’87, Cedric Jones ’95, Dan Cody ’04, two-time All-American Jeremy Beal ’09 & ’10, Frank Alexander ’11, Ronnell Lewis ’11 and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo in 2017.

However, neither Oklahoma nor Texas had a Lombardi Award winning defensive end in the past 50 seasons which kept them from being on par with the number three school on our list, the Penn State Nittany Lions.

The nine Nittany Lion defensive ends that made All-American were: Bruce Bannon ’72, Mike Hartenstine ’74, Walker Lee Ashley ’82, and then seemingly every three years beginning with Courtney Brown in ’99, another Penn State defensive end would be named All-American. Then came Michael Haynes in ’02, Tamba Hali in ’05, Aaron Maybin in ’08, Devon Still in 2011 and most recently Lombardi Award winner Carl Nassib in 2015.

If you think of great college football defensive lines, one must think of Alabama. In the ‘70s, Alabama was definitely Defensive End U. From 1971 to 1982, Alabama had a defensive end named All-American nine of those 12 years. Beginning with Robin Parkhouse in 1971, John Mitchell in ‘72, John Croyle in ‘73, Leroy Cook in ’74 and ’75, Wayne Hamilton in ’77 and E.J. Junior in ’79 and ’80 and lastly Mike Pitts in ’82. In the ‘90s, it was Dameian Jeffries ’91, John Copeland ’92, Eric Curry ’92, Michael Myers ’96, Chris Hood ’97 and most recently it was 2016 Lombardi Award winner Jonathan Allen.

With Alabama only having one defensive end named All-American since 1998, the choice for Defensive End U is Florida State.

The Seminoles first All-American defensive end in the past 50 seasons was Willie Jones in 1978. Since then, Florida State had 11 All-American defensive ends, and in the ‘90s, FSU could claim to be Defensive End U for the decade with a Seminole named All-American five times from 1993-1997. Those players were: Derrick Alexander ’93-’94, Peter Boulware ’96, Reinard Wilson ’96, and Andre Wadsworth in 1997.  Then along came Lombardi Award winner Jamal Reynolds in 2000, and Alonzo Jackson in 2002, and in the last 10 seasons, the Seminoles once again have asserted their claim as Defensive End U with All-Americans Everette Brown in 2008, Brandon Jenkins in 2010 & 2011, Bjoern Werner in 2012, Mario Edwards in 2014 and DeMarcus Walker in 2016.

Florida State is Defensive End U with Alabama a close number two.

Interesting fact:  Notre Dame has not had a defensive end named All-American since Frank Stams in 1988.

Alabama Cap photo credit courtesy of Lisa Zins and can be found at:  https://visualhunt.com/f2/photo/38902198311/f5b8b9b956/

Florida State logo Photo credit: RMTip21 on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

Oklahoma Photo credit: 22860 on VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

Penn State Photo on Visual Hunt

Texas sign Photo credit: wallyg on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

John Baranowski is a sports historian and contributor to newspapers, sports publications and sports websites. This and other articles written by him can be found on his blog:  https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/.

 

 

Which school is Wide Receiver U?

You have probably heard the names Linebacker U or Tailback U associated with college football programs with perhaps more than one school proclaiming to be a position U. Which schools truly deserve that distinction?

I used the following criteria to determine which school is truly a position U:

  1. One can certainly debate how good a player was in college. However, when it comes to being named an All-American, there is no debate. If a player was named an All-American, he had to be very good. Rather than add to a school’s claim of being “position U” with players who weren’t All-Americans, and debate how good they were, such as the University of Miami’s quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Bernie Kosar or Auburn’s running backs William Andrews, Joe Cribbs, James Brooks, Lionel James, and Ronnie Brown, only 1st, 2nd and 3rd-team All-Americans factored into the selection and evaluation process.
  2. Only a player’s collegiate performance was taken into account and considered, and not what they accomplished as a professional. If a Heisman Trophy winner or an All-American was a bust in the NFL, that doesn’t diminish what they accomplished at the collegiate level. Their performance as a pro does not factor in or influence this selection process.

Also, occasionally a position change occurs for a player from his college to professional career so which position does the school get credit for? For example, should Terrelle Pryor count as a wide receiver for Ohio State?  That’s absurd. That’s why only their college career should count towards a being a position U.

In comparing each school’s All-Americans from the past 50 years, obviously some were greater than others. Past and recent greatness as well as consistency through the years are what constitute a school being chosen as a position U.

This is my look at the wide receivers in my series on which school should be known as Wide Receivers U.

If you asked the casual college football fan which school is Wide Receiver U, they might say Oklahoma State, or perhaps Alabama, and that’s understandable as both schools have recently had some outstanding wide receivers.

Oklahoma State had All-American wide receivers Hart Lee Dykes, Dez Bryant, Rashaun Woods, Justin Blackmon and James Washington. However, that’s all they had for the past 50 seasons. Surprisingly that’s less than half the number that the top three schools had to be considered for Wide Receiver U.

What about Alabama? The Crimson Tide had Wayne Wheeler, Ozzie Newsome, David Palmer, Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley, all All-Americans, but that’s it, just six.

There are only four schools that belong in the conversation to be called Wide Receiver U and each had 10 or more All-American wide receivers the past 50 seasons. When you have All-American quarterbacks, it makes sense to think they are throwing to All-American wide receivers and each of these four schools are in the discussion as well for Quarterback U.

At number four are the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Notre Dame had 11 All-American wide receivers the past 50 seasons. Beginning with Jim Seymour in 1968, Thom Gatewood in 1970 and 1971, Pete Demmerle in 1974, Tim Brown in 1986 and 1987, Ricky Watters in 1988, Raghib Ismail in 1989 and 1990, Derrick Mayes in 1995, Jeff Samardzja in 2005 and 2006, Biletnikoff Award-winner Golden Tate in 2009, Michael Floyd in 2011 and Will Fuller in 2015.

At number three, look to the Sunshine State and the University of Florida. In 1969, there was Carlos Alvarez as an All-American. Then the Gators remarkable run of All-American wideouts really began with Wes Chandler, a two-time All-American in 1976 and 1977, and then Chris Collinsworth, also a two-time All-American in 1978 and 1980.  Ricky Nattiel was the next Gator All-American wide receiver in 1986.

Then Steve Spurrier’s Fun and Gun Offense came along in the ‘90s and the parade of Gator All-American wide receivers began. First there was Jack Jackson in 1994, followed by: Chris Doering ‘95, Reidel Anthony ’96, Ike Hilliard ’96, Jacquez Green ’97, Travis McGriff ’98, Darrell Jackson ’99, Jabar Gaffney ’01 and Percy Harvin in 2007. In an eight-year period from 1994 to 2001, seven Florida wide receivers were All-American and the Gators had bookend All-American wideouts in 1996, their national championship season.

Even though Florida had the most All-American wide receivers of any school the past 50 seasons with 13, none have won the Biletnikoff Award and they have not had an All-American wide receiver since 2007. That is why the Gators are ranked third. A decade ago, and they were Wide Receiver U.

At number two, stay in the Sunshine state and it’s the Florida State Seminoles. The Seminoles had 12 wide receivers named All-American in the last 50 seasons beginning with Ron Sellers in 1968. Then Rhett Dawson in 1971, Barry Smith in 1972, Jackie Flowers in 1979, Lawrence Dawsey in 1990, Tamarick Vanover in 1992 and 1993, Kez McCorvey in 1994, E.J. Green in 1997, Peter Warrick in 1998 and 1999, Marvin Minnis in 2000, Kelvin Benjamin 2013 and Rashad Greene in 2014. None however have won the Biletnikoff Award as college football’s best receiver.

Which school is Wide Receiver U? The University of Southern California. The Trojans had 12 All-American wide receivers the past 50 seasons beginning with Lynn Swann in 1973, followed by: Erik Aftholter in 1988, Curtis Conway in 1992, Johnnie Morton in 1993, Keyshawn Johnson in 1995, Mike Williams in 2003, Dwayne Jarrett in 2005 and 2006, Steve Smith in 2006, Robert Woods in 2011, Marqise Lee in 2012 and 2013, Nelson Agholor in 2014 and JuJu Smith-Schuster in 2015 and 2016.

A USC wide receiver has been named All-American in six of the last seven seasons and nine in the past 15 years with Lee winning the Biletnikoff Award in 2012. This has catapulted USC to the top and earned the Trojans the right to be called Wide Receiver U.

Interesting fact:  Ohio State’s last All-American wide receiver was David Boston in 1998. Ohio State’s other All-American wide receivers the past 50 years were Chris Carter in 1985 and Terry Glenn in 1995.

Florida gator Photo credit: photo-gator on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

Florida State logo Photo credit: RMTip21 on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

Notre Dame Photo credit: glenn~ on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC

USC Photo credit: Neon Tommy on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA

John Baranowski is a sports historian and contributor to newspapers, sports publications and sports websites. This and other articles written by him can be found on his blog:  https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/.

Is USC still Tailback U?

You have probably heard the names Linebacker U or Tailback U associated with college football programs with perhaps more than one school proclaiming to be a position U. Which schools truly deserve that distinction?

I used the following criteria to determine which school is truly a position U:

  1. One can certainly debate how good a player was in college. However, when it comes to being named an All-American, there is no debate. If a player was named an All-American, he had to be very good. Rather than add to a school’s claim of being “position U” with players who weren’t All-Americans, and debate how good they were, such as the University of Miami’s quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Bernie Kosar or Auburn’s running backs William Andrews, Joe Cribbs, James Brooks, Lionel James, and Ronnie Brown, only 1st, 2nd and 3rd-team All-Americans factored into the selection and evaluation process.
  2. Only a player’s collegiate performance was taken into account and considered, and not what they accomplished as a professional. If a Heisman Trophy winner or an All-American was a bust in the NFL, that doesn’t diminish what they accomplished at the collegiate level. Their performance as a pro does not factor in or influence this selection process.

Also, occasionally a position change occurs for a player from his college to professional career so which position does the school get credit for? For example, should Terrelle Pryor count as a wide receiver for Ohio State?  That’s absurd. That’s why only their college career should count towards a being a position U.

In comparing each school’s All-Americans from the past 50 years, obviously some were greater than others. Past and recent greatness as well as consistency through the years are what constitute a school being chosen as a position U.

This is my look at the running backs in my series on which school should be known as Tailback U.

Next to the position of quarterback, running back is the next glamourous position in all of college football. When you hear “Running Back U” which is more commonly referred to as “Tailback U” what school comes to mind? In the ‘60s and ‘70s, it was unquestionably USC, but are they still Tailback U?

Let’s look at those schools that rate Honorable Mention and work out way up to which school is Tailback U.

Stanford rates an honorable mention with nine All-American running backs in the past 50 seasons. Granted, some were fullbacks, but fullbacks are running backs. The list of Cardinal All-American running backs begins with Darrin Nelson in 1981, then Brad Muster in 1986, Glyn Milburn ’92, Toby Gerhart ’09, Owen Marecic ’10, Stepfan Taylor ’12, Tyler Gaffney ’13, Christian McCaffrey ’15 and ’16 and Bryce Love in 2017. In seven out of the last nine years a Stanford running back has been an All-American which is quite an impressive accomplishment.

Also earning honorable mention is UCLA with eight All-American running backs in the past 50 seasons beginning with Kermit Johnson and James McAllister both in 1973. Other notable Bruin All-American backs were Freeman McNeil ’79-’80, Gaston Green ’86-87, Karim Abdul-Jabbar ’95, Skip Hicks ’97, DeShaun Foster ’01 and Johnathan Franklin in 2012.

In the last 50 seasons, Oklahoma had six All-American running backs, and what an incredibly talented six they are.  Two were Heisman Trophy winners and three were two-time All-Americans:  Steve Owens 1968 and Heisman Trophy recipient in 1969 and Billy Sims Heisman Trophy winner in 1978 and repeat All-American in 1979. The other Sooner All-American running backs were outstanding as well:  Greg Pruitt ’71-’72, Joe Washington ’73, Adrian Peterson in 2004 and Samaje Perrine in 2014-2016.

For the record, both Georgia and Oklahoma State also had six All-American running backs, but each only one Heisman Trophy winner as compared to Oklahoma’s two.

Wisconsin, known for their running offense and 1,000-yard running backs, had nine All-American running backs, Billy Marek in 1974, Brent Moss ’93, four-time All-American and Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne ’96-’99, Brian Calhoun in 2005, P.J. Hill in 2006, John Clay in 2010, Montee Ball in 2011 and 2012 when he won the Doak Walker Award, followed by another Doak Walker Award winner in Melvin Gordon in 2014. The most recent Badger All-American running back was Jonathan Taylor in 2017. The Badgers come in at number six on our countdown to Tailback U.

The Running Back U discussion would not be complete without mentioning Texas. The Longhorns had eight All-American running backs which have three two-time All Americans Steve Worster in 1969 and 1970, Earl Campbell in 1975 and 1977 and Ricky Williams in 1997 and 1998. Campbell won the Heisman Trophy in ’77 as did Williams in ’98. The other All-American Longhorn running backs were: Chris Gilbert ’68, Roosevelt Leaks ’73, Cedric Benson ’04, Jamaal Charles ’07, and D’Onta Foreman added to Texas’ rich running back history with an All-American season in 2016.

Ohio State’s great running backs over the years include three-time All-American Archie Griffin ’73-’75, who won the Heisman trophy his junior and senior years, and Eddie George, Heisman Trophy winner in 1995.  The Buckeyes had six other All-American running backs since the late ‘60s, Jim Otis ‘69, John Brockington ‘70, Keith Byars ’84, Beanie Wells in 2007, Carlos Hyde in 2013 and Ezekiel Elliott in 2015.

Both Texas and Ohio State had eight All-American running backs and two Heisman Trophy winners, but give the Buckeyes a slight edge over Texas for having two All-Americans to one for Texas in the past five seasons.

At number three as Tailback U is Penn State. That may come as a surprise to some but the Nittany Lions had 10 All-Americans at running back, at least one in each decade beginning with Charlie Pittman ’69, and then Lydell Mitchell ’71, John Cappelletti ’73, Curt Warner ’81 & ’82, D.J. Dozier ’86, Blair Thomas ’87, Ki-Jana Carter ’94, Curtis Enis ’97, Larry Johnson in 2002 and Saquon Barkley in 2016 and 2017.

The Trojans had nine All-American running backs, four of which were Heisman trophy winners.  Since the late ‘60s, no other position at any university has had as many Heisman trophy winners than running back at USC. That is very impressive.

The list of Trojan running All-American backs consists of:  O.J. Simpson ’68, Clarence Davis ’69, Sam Cunningham ’72, Anthony Davis ’74, Ricky Bell ’75-’76, Charles White ’78-’79, Marcus Allen ’81, Reggie Bush ’04-’05 with Simpson, White, Allen and Bush winning college football’s greatest individual honor. Yes, I know Bush’s Heisman was vacated but what he did on the field was undeniable.

In fact, if there was a Heisman U since 1968 it would be USC with six as quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart also added Heisman hardware to USC’s trophy cases. Why is USC no longer Tailback U? Since 1982, USC had only two All-American running backs. That’s two in the last 36 seasons, Bush and Ronald Jones II in 2017. That undeniable fact keeps USC from the top spot as Tailback U. In that same time frame since 1982, Alabama has produced eight All-American running backs.

With the slightest of margins for Tailback U, because of their great success of late, the University of Alabama is now Tailback U. Only Penn State and Stanford match Alabama in the number of All-American running backs with 10, but in the last 10 years Alabama has produced three All-American running backs, two of them Heisman Trophy winners and the other won the Doak Walker Award.

Alabama’s 10 All-American running backs consist of: two-time All-American Johnny Musso ’70 & ’72, Johnny Davis ’77, Ricky Moore ’83, another two-time All-American in Bobby Humphrey ’86 & ’87, Siran Stacy ’89, Sherman Williams in ’94, Shaun Alexander in 1999, Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram in 2009, Doak Walker Award recipient Trent Richardson in 2011, and their second Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry in 2015. Move over Traveler, Big Al has passed you by.

Interesting fact:  Surprisingly Nebraska, which for decades had a power running game, had only four All-American running backs in the past 50 seasons: Jeff Kinney in 1971, Jarvis Redwine in 1980, Mike Rozier in 1982 & 1983 and Ameer Abdullah in 2013 & 2015. That’s as many as the University of Miami: Chuck Foreman in 1972, Cleveland Gary in 1988, Willis McGahee in 2002 and Duke Johnson in 2014.

Alabama Photo credit: Greece Trip Admin on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Ohio State Photo credit: buckeyekes on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

Penn State Photo credit: Photo on Visual Hunt

USC Photo credit: Neon Tommy on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

Texas ballcarrier courtesy of Keith JJ found at: https://pixabay.com/en/football-american-football-1492250/

Wisconsin Badger Photo credit: Instagram: @Maitri on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

John Baranowski is a sports historian and contributor to newspapers, sports publications and sports websites. This and other articles written by him can be found on his blog:  https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/.

 

 

 

Which school is Quarterback U?

You have probably heard the names Linebacker U or Tailback U associated with college football programs with perhaps more than one school proclaiming to be a position U. Which schools truly deserve that distinction?

I used the following criteria to determine which school is truly a position U:

  1. One can certainly debate how good a player was in college. However, when it comes to being named an All-American, there is no debate. If a player was named an All-American, he had to be very good. Rather than add to a school’s claim of being “position U” with players who weren’t All-Americans, and debate how good they were, such as the University of Miami’s quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Bernie Kosar or Auburn’s running backs William Andrews, Joe Cribbs, James Brooks, Lionel James, and Ronnie Brown, only 1st, 2nd and 3rd-team All-Americans factored into the selection and evaluation process.
  2. Only a player’s collegiate performance was taken into account and considered, and not what they accomplished as a professional. If a Heisman Trophy winner or an All-American was a bust in the NFL, that doesn’t diminish what they accomplished at the collegiate level. Their performance as a pro does not factor in or influence this selection process.

Also, occasionally a position change occurs for a player from his college to professional career so which position does the school get credit for? For example, should Terrelle Pryor count as a wide receiver for Ohio State?  That’s absurd. That’s why only their college career should count towards a being a position U.

In comparing each school’s All-Americans from the past 50 years, obviously some were greater than others. Past and recent greatness as well as consistency through the years are what constitute a school being chosen as a position U.

This is my look at the quarterbacks in my series on which school should be known as Quarterback U.

The position of quarterback perhaps more than any other in college football has fans differing in their opinions on which school would earn the title of Quarterback U.

In the past 50 years, Quarterback U has been various schools at certain periods of time.    Back in the ‘60s one probably would have thought Quarterback U was Purdue or Notre Dame.  In the early to mid ‘70s, Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Stanford quarterbacks were at the forefront of All-American rosters. From the mid ‘70s to the mid ‘80s, that title clearly belonged to Brigham Young University as no university could compare with the Cougars’ five All-American quarterbacks.

From the mid ‘80s to the early ‘90s, Miami’s surge to prominence was largely due to their quarterbacks play and the Hurricanes became Quarterback U.  In the early to mid ‘90s, Florida State had three All-American quarterbacks.

Which school can rightly claim to be Quarterback U?  Let us examine the evidence but first we’ll cover those schools that merit honorable mention and work our way to Quarterback U.

UCLA had five All-American quarterbacks in the past 50 seasons with the most famous no doubt being Troy Aikman. A good trivia question would be to name the other four: John Sciarra, Jeff Dankworth, Tom Ramsey and Cade McNown. For those that knew that one, I’m impressed. Of note is that the Bruins have not had an All-American quarterback since McNown in 1998.

Like UCLA, Stanford had five All-American quarterbacks in the past 50 seasons as well, however, they rate above UCLA by having a Heisman trophy winning quarterback in Jim Plunkett in 1970. The Cardinal followed up with two more All-American quarterbacks in the ‘70s in Mike Boryla and Guy Benjamin. Then along came the most famous football player in Stanford history, two-time All-American John Elway. It was nearly 30 years before Stanford would have another All-American quarterback, that being Andrew Luck.

From 1986-1992, this school produced three All-American quarterbacks and two Heisman trophy winning quarterbacks. For that time span, the Miami Hurricanes were unquestionably Quarterback U. Starting with Vinnie Testaverde then Steve Walsh to Gino Toretta, the U was the school for quarterbacks. It took an entire decade for the next quarterback to be named All-American at Miami and that was Ken Dorsey in 2002. Miami has not had an All-American quarterback since. Miami rates ahead of UCLA and Stanford by having two Heisman trophy winning quarterbacks.

Some may find this next school a surprise. Nebraska. That’s right, Nebraska. The Cornhuskers had six All-American quarterbacks (one more than UCLA and Stanford, two more than Miami) and can also boast a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback in Eric Crouch in 2001.

However, Crouch is the last All-American quarterback the Cornhuskers had. In the ‘70s, Nebraska had three All-American quarterbacks: Jerry Tagge, David Humm and Vince Ferragamo. In the ‘80s came along Steve Taylor and in 1995, perhaps the greatest option quarterback in Tommie Frazier.

Now working our way past the schools that earn honorable mention and counting down towards Quarterback U, at number six is Notre Dame.

What once was the glamour position in all of college football, a quarterback at Notre Dame had an advantage to win the Heisman trophy and that goes back to Notre Dame’s four Heisman trophy winning quarterbacks: Angelo Bertelli ’43, Johnny Lujack ’47, Paul Hornung ’56 and John Huarte ‘64. The drought for a Notre Dame quarterback to win the Heisman trophy is 54 years and counting. The previous longest drought between a Notre Dame quarterback winning the Heisman trophy was nine years.

Notre Dame had an All-American quarterback in seven of the last eight decades and seven since 1968 tying for the most of any school, Terry Hanratty ‘68, Joe Theismann ’70, Tom Clements ‘74, Tony Rice ‘89, Rick Mirer ’92, Brady Quinn in 2005 and 2006 and Jimmy Clausen in 2009.

Despite only one other school having as many All-American quarterbacks in the last 50 years, not having a Heisman Trophy winner or a Davey O’Brien Award winner keeps Notre Dame from being ranked higher.

At number five for Quarterback U, it’s the University of Florida. Florida has as many All-America quarterbacks (five) as UCLA, Stanford and Ohio State, but what elevates the Gators is that two of them were Heisman Trophy winners in Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow. Both Wuerffel and Tebow were All-Americans more than once.

The Gators other All-America quarterbacks were: John Reaves in 1971, Shane Matthews in 1991 & 1992 and Rex Grossman in 2001.

From 1976 to 2006, Brigham Young had seven All-American quarterbacks, which equates to a Brigham Young quarterback being named All-American nearly every four years. Brigham Young’s All-American quarterbacks were:  Gifford Nielsen ’76, Marc Wilson ’79, Jim McMahon ’80-’81, Steve Young ’83, Robbie Bosco ’84, Ty Detmer ’90-’91 and John Beck in 2006.

In a nine-year span of time from 1976 to 1984, a BYU quarterback was named All-American six of those nine years.  In addition to being named All-American, Detmer won the Heisman Trophy in 1990 and the Davey O’ Brien Award in 1990 and 1991 and McMahon and Young won the Davey O’Brien Award in 1981 and 1983 respectively.

Why isn’t Brigham Young ranked higher than fourth for Quarterback U? The top three schools on this list all have more than one Heisman Trophy winning quarterback and BYU has produced only one All-American quarterback in the past 25 seasons.

Quite comparable to Florida, USC is #3 on our list for Quarterback U. Like the Gators, USC also had five All-American quarterbacks and two Heisman trophy winning quarterbacks. USC’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks most college football fans know in Carson Palmer in 2002 and Matt Leinart in 2004. USC’s other All-American quarterbacks the past 50 seasons were: Paul McDonald in 1979, Rodney Peete in 1988 and Matt Barkley in 2011.

Runner-up as Quarterback U are the Florida State Seminoles. Florida State ranks ahead of USC by having three Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks to USC’s two and the Seminoles also had more All-American quarterbacks, six to USC’s five.

The Heisman trophy winners for Florida State were Charlie Ward in 1993, Chris Weinke in 2000 and Jameis Winston in 2013. Florida State’s All-America quarterbacks were: Gary Huff was All-American in 1972, Casey Weldon in 1991, and Danny Kanell in 1995.

That brings us to Quarterback U, the Oklahoma Sooners. Jack Mildren was All-American for Oklahoma back in 1971, and then an All-American quarterback drought for the Sooners occurred. It wasn’t till the year 2000 however that another Sooners quarterback was named All-American and that was Josh Heupel when head coach Bob Stoops reinvented Oklahoma’s offense and produced great passing quarterbacks.

Since Heupel, four more Oklahoma quarterbacks have been named All-American and they each won the Heisman trophy: Jason White in 2003, Sam Bradford in 2008, and Baker Mayfield in 2017 and Kyler Murray in 2018. Bradford was a two-time All-American in ’07 & ’08, Mayfield a three-time All-American in ’15, ’16 and 2017.

No school had more Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks in the past 50 seasons as Oklahoma’s four.

There you have it broken down by the number of All-Americans and Heisman trophy winners over the past 50 seasons, and the evidence shows that Oklahoma is Quarterback U.

Interesting Fact:  Arguably the two greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, Tom Brady and Joe Montana, neither were college All-Americans, nor was Jim Kelly.

BYU Photo credit: hcraighall on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Florida gator Photo credit: photo-gator on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

Florida State Jameis Winston Photo credit: KatVitulano Photos on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Oklahoma Photo credit: verndogs on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC

USC Photo credit: Neon Tommy on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA

John Baranowski is a sports historian and contributor to newspapers, sports publications and sports websites. This and other articles written by him can be found on his blog:  https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/.

 

 

Which school is Offensive Guard U?

You have probably heard the names Linebacker U or Tailback U associated with college football programs with perhaps more than one school proclaiming to be a position U. Which schools truly deserve that distinction?

I used the following criteria to determine which school is truly a position U:

  1. One can certainly debate how good a player was in college. However, when it comes to being named an All-American, there is no debate. If a player was named an All-American, he had to be very good. Rather than add to a school’s claim of being “position U” with players who weren’t All-Americans, and debate how good they were, such as the University of Miami’s quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Bernie Kosar or Auburn’s running backs William Andrews, Joe Cribbs, James Brooks, Lionel James, and Ronnie Brown, only 1st, 2nd and 3rd-team All-Americans factored into the selection and evaluation process.
  2. Only a player’s collegiate performance was taken into account and considered, and not what they accomplished as a professional. If a Heisman Trophy winner or an All-American was a bust in the NFL, that doesn’t diminish what they accomplished at the collegiate level. Their performance as a pro does not factor in or influence this selection process.

Also, occasionally a position change occurs for a player from his college to professional career so which position does the school get credit for? For example, should Terrelle Pryor count as a wide receiver for Ohio State?  That’s absurd. That’s why only their college career should count towards a being a position U.

In comparing each school’s All-Americans from the past 50 years, obviously some were greater than others. Past and recent greatness as well as consistency through the years are what constitute a school being chosen as a position U.

This is my look at the offensive guard position in my series on which school should be known as Offensive Guard U.

The Clemson Tigers are number six in our countdown to Offensive Guard U and Clemson had 11 guards make All-America in the past 50 seasons. Those players were: Dave Thompson ’70, Joe Bostic ’77-’78, James Farr ’83, Steve Reese ’85, John Phillips ’86-’87, Jeb Flesch ’91, Stacy Seegars ’92-’93, Nathan Bennett ’06, Chris McDuffie ’07, Thomas Austin ’09, and most recently, Tyrone Crowder in 2017.

Ohio State rates a slide edge over Clemson despite having less All-Americans because the Buckeyes have produced four All-Americans in the past eight seasons and Clemson has produced only two in the last 10. Ohio State’s All-America guards the past 50 years were: Jim Stillwagon ’69, Ted Smith ’75, Ken Fritz ’79, Jim Lachey ’84, two-time All-American Rod Murphy ’97 & ’98, Justin Boran ’10, Pat Elfein ’15, Billy Price ’16 and Michael Jordan in 2017.

The Crimson Tide of Alabama is number four on our list for Offensive Guard U. Like Ohio State, Alabama has produced nine All-America tackles the past 50 seasons, six of which were two-time All-Americans, and recently had a run of seven consecutive years, 2008-2014, having a tackle named All-American.

Alabama’s All-American tackles were: Alvin Samples ’68 &’69, maybe the greatest offensive lineman ever in the great John Hannah ’71 and ’72, Bob Cryder ’77, Larry Rose ’87 & ’88, Mike Johnson ’08 & ’09, Barrett Jones ’10 & ’11, Chance Warmack ’11 & ’12, Anthony Steen ’13, and Arie Kouandijo in 2014.

It should come as no surprise that a school that has a history of great running backs would have some outstanding guards and at number three on our list, the USC Trojans fit that bill. The first in the ‘70s was Bill Bain in 1974 and USC would have a guard named All-American in seven of the next 12 seasons. After Bain, it was Pat Howell ’78, then Lombardi Award winner Brad Budde ’79, Ray Foster ’80-’81, Bruce Matthews ’82, and Jeff Bregel in 1985 and 1986. After Bregel, USC’s next All-American guards were Mark Tucker in 1989, Taitsui Lutui in 2005 and Jeff Byers in 2009.

Number two on our list as Offensive Guard U is the University of Nebraska. The Cornhuskers had the second most number of guards make All-American in the past season and Nebraska had 11. The list of Husker All-America guards is as follows:  Joe Armstrong ’68, Randy Schleusener ’80, Outland Trophy winner Dean Steinkuhler ’83, Harry Grimminger ’84, John McCormick ’87, Russ Hochstein ’00, Outland Trophy winner Will Shields ’92, Brendan Stai ’94, Aaron Taylor ’97, Tonlu Fonoti ’01 and Spencer Long in 2012.

In the past 50 seasons, no school had more All-America guards than Notre Dame’s 13 and that is why they are Offensive Guard U. The Fighting Irish guards that made All-America the past 50 seasons were: Larry DiNardo in both ’69 and ’70, Gerry DiNardo ’74, Ernie Hughes ’77, Larry Williams ’84, Tim Scannell ’85, Tim Grunhard ’89, Mirko Jurkovic ’91, Aaron Taylor ’92, Ryan Leahy ’95, Dusty Ziegler ’95, Jeremy Akers ’96, Mike Gandy ’00 and two-time All-American Nelson Quenton ’16 & ’17.

Interesting Fact:  Texas A&M has not had an offensive guard named All-America for the past 50 years.

Alabama Logo Photo credit: Greece Trip Admin on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Clemson Photo credit: mbsurf on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Nebraska Herbie Husker Photo used courtesy of: beatboxbadhabit and found at: https://visualhunt.com/photo/296858/ CC BY

Notre Dame Photo credit: Urthstripe on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Ohio State Photo credit: buckeyekes on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

USC Flag Photo credit: csulb gal on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

John Baranowski is a sports historian and contributor to newspapers, sports publications and sports websites. This and other articles written by him can be found on his blog:  https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/.

 

Which school is Tight End U?

You have probably heard the names Linebacker U or Tailback U associated with college football programs with perhaps more than one school proclaiming to be a position U. Which schools truly deserve that distinction?

I used the following criteria to determine which school is truly a position U:

  1. One can certainly debate how good a player was in college. However, when it comes to being named an All-American, there is no debate. If a player was named an All-American, he had to be very good. Rather than add to a school’s claim of being “position U” with players who weren’t All-Americans, and debate how good they were, such as the University of Miami’s quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Bernie Kosar or Auburn’s running backs William Andrews, Joe Cribbs, James Brooks, Lionel James, and Ronnie Brown, only 1st, 2nd and 3rd-team All-Americans factored into the selection and evaluation process.
  2. Only a player’s collegiate performance was taken into account and considered, and not what they accomplished as a professional. If a Heisman Trophy winner or an All-American was a bust in the NFL, that doesn’t diminish what they accomplished at the collegiate level. Their performance as a pro does not factor in or influence this selection process.

Also, occasionally a position change occurs for a player from his college to professional career so which position does the school get credit for? For example, should Terrelle Pryor count as a wide receiver for Ohio State?  That’s absurd. That’s why only their college career should count towards a being a position U.

In comparing each school’s All-Americans from the past 50 years, obviously some were greater than others. Past and recent greatness as well as consistency through the years are what constitute a school being chosen as a position U.

This is my look at the tight end position in my series on which school should be known as Tight End U.

There are only two schools that legitimately can proclaim to be Tight End U over the past 50 seasons followed by a group of schools that either had four or five All-American tight ends in that same time frame.

Working our way to Tight End U we will first look at that group of schools. Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma and UCLA each had four All-American tight ends in the past 50 seasons.

Michigan’s four All-American tight ends the past 50 seasons were:  Jim Mandich ’69, Jerame Tuman ’97, Bennie Joppru ’02 and Jake Butt in 2015 and 2016. Butt won the John Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end in 2016.

Like Michigan, Missouri also had four All-American tight ends the past 50 years. The four Tigers were: Kellen Winslow, Sr. ’78, Martin Rucker ’07, Chase Coffman ’08, and Michael Egnew in 2010 and 2011. Having three Missouri players named All-American at tight end four out of six seasons is impressive.

UCLA is another school that had four tight ends named All-American. They were: Tim Wrightman in 1981, Paul Bergmann in 1983, Charles Arbuckle in 1988 and 1989, and Mercedes Lewis in 2005.

The fourth school that had four All-American tight ends the past 50 seasons is Oklahoma. The four Sooners were: Steve Zabel ’69, Keith Jackson ’86 & ’87, Jermaine Gresham in ’08 and Mark Andrews in 2017.

Which schools had more All-American tight ends than four?  At number four on our countdown to Tight End University is the University of Colorado. The Buffaloes had five beginning with J.V. Cain in 1973, Don Hasselbeck in 1975 & 1976, Jon Embree in 1984, Christian Fauria in 1994 and Dan Graham in 2001.

At number three on our list as Tight End U is the University of Miami. The Hurricanes had five tight ends named All-American in the past 50 seasons: Willie Smith ’85, Dan Bubba Franks ’99, Jeremy Shockey ’91, Kellen Winslow, Jr. ’03, and Clive Waiford in 2014.

Now down to the final two. Is it any wonder that a school that had such outstanding quarterbacks as well as Brigham Young would not maximize the use of their tight ends as an offensive weapon as well?

The BYU Cougars are number two on the list as Tight End U. First there was two-time All-American Gordon Hudson in ’72 and ’73. Beginning with Clay Brown in 1980, Brigham Young would have a tight end named All-American seven out of the next 17 seasons. After Brown, there was David Mills ’84, Trevor Molini ’85, Chris Smith ’89-’90, Byron Rex ’92, Itula Mili ’96, Jonny Harline ’06 and Dennis Pitta 2008 and 2009. No school had more All-American tight ends than Brigham Young did with nine.

What holds back Brigham Young University from being Tight End U is the despite having one more All-American tight end in the past 50 seasons than Notre Dame, none have won the John Mackey Award as the top tight end in the country and the Cougars have not had a tight end named All-American since 2009.

When it comes to Tight End U, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame rightfully have earned that distinction. In looking at the Fighting Irish’s list of All-American tight ends, some very well-known tight ends of the past 50 years are on this list beginning with Dave Casper in 1973. Casper is followed by three-time All-American Ken McAfee ’75, ’76 and ’77, then Tony Hunter in ’82, Mark Bavaro in ’84, Derek Brown ’91, Irv Smith ’92, John Carlson ’06 and lastly two-time All-American Tyler Eifert in 2011 and John Mackey Award winner in 2012. With a list like that, it’s easy to see why Notre Dame is Tight End University.

Interesting fact:  In an extremely rare feat of having a father-son both make All-American and at the same position of tight end, it was accomplished by Kellen Winslow, Sr. with Missouri in 1978 and Kellen Winslow, Jr. with Miami in 2003.

BYU Photo credit: Majdan on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Colorado Photo credit: Redbird310 on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Miami flags Photo credit: specvthis on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Notre Dame Photo credit: Urthstripe on Visual Hunt / CC BY

John Baranowski is a sports historian and contributor to newspapers, sports publications and sports websites. This and other articles written by him can be found on his blog:  https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/.

 

 

Which school is Offensive Tackle U?

You have probably heard the names Linebacker U or Tailback U associated with college football programs with perhaps more than one school proclaiming to be a position U. Which schools truly deserve that distinction?

I used the following criteria to determine which school is truly a position U:

  1. One can certainly debate how good a player was in college. However, when it comes to being named an All-American, there is no debate. If a player was named an All-American, he had to be very good. Rather than add to a school’s claim of being “position U” with players who weren’t All-Americans, and debate how good they were, such as the University of Miami’s quarterbacks Jim Kelly and Bernie Kosar or Auburn’s running backs William Andrews, Joe Cribbs, James Brooks, Lionel James, and Ronnie Brown, only 1st, 2nd and 3rd-team All-Americans factored into the selection and evaluation process.
  2. Only a player’s collegiate performance was taken into account and considered, and not what they accomplished as a professional. If a Heisman Trophy winner or an All-American was a bust in the NFL, that doesn’t diminish what they accomplished at the collegiate level. Their performance as a pro does not factor in or influence this selection process.

Also, occasionally a position change occurs for a player from his college to professional career so which position does the school get credit for? For example, should Terrelle Pryor count as a wide receiver for Ohio State?  That’s absurd. That’s why only their college career should count towards a being a position U.

In comparing each school’s All-Americans from the past 50 years, obviously some were greater than others. Past and recent greatness as well as consistency through the years are what constitute a school being chosen as a position U.

This is my look at the offensive tackle position in my series on which school should be known as Offensive Tackle U.

There are only four schools that had 14 or more offensive tackles named All-American in the last 50 years. In fact, the next closest school after those four is Michigan with 11 and Michigan’s list of All-America tackles is worth mentioning.

Michigan’s list of All-American tackles is impressive with Dan Dierdorf in 1970, Paul Seymour ’72, Bill Dufek’76, Ed Muransky ’81, William Paris ’81, John Elliott ’86-’87, Greg Skrepenak ’90-’91, John Runyan ’95, Jon Jansen ’98, Jake Long in ‘06 and ‘07 and most recently three-time All-American Taylor Lewan ’11-’13. Surprisingly, none of their All-America tackles won the Outland Trophy or the Lombardi Award.

Ohio State had 10 All-American tackles and slightly rates ahead of Michigan as two Ohio State tackles were Outland Trophy winners and amongst the best that ever played their position. That would be two-time All-American John Hicks ’72 & ‘73, the Outland and Lombardi Award winner in 1973 in which he finished second in the Heisman voting. The other was two-time All-American Orlando Pace ’95 & ’96 who won the Outland Trophy in 1996 and the Lombardi Award twice, in 1995 and 1996.

Ohio State’s other tackles to make All-American in the past 50 seasons were: Dave Foley ’68, Rufus Mayes ’68, Kurt Schumacher ’74, Chris Ward ’76 & ’77, Korey Stringer ’93 & ’94, Jack Mewhort ’13, Taylor Decker ’15, and Jamarco Jones in 2017.

With those impressive lists to be only numbers five and six on our list as Offensive Tackle U, that shows you the separation between the top four schools for Offensive Tackle U and the rest of college football.

Texas had its share of two-time All-American tackles beginning with Bob Wuensch ’69 & ’70, Jerry Sisemore ’71 & ’72, Robert Simmons ’74 & ’75, Jonathan Scott ’04 & ’05 and Justin Blalock ’05 & ’06. The other Longhorn All-American tackles were: Bob McKay ’69, Terry Tausch ’81, Blake Brockenmeyer ’94, Jay Humphrey ’98, Leonard Davis ’00, Mike Williams ’01, Tony Hills ’07, Adam Ulatoski ’09 and Connor Williams in 2016.

Notre Dame matches Texas number of All-America tackles with 14 and tops the Longhorns with an Outland Trophy winner. Notre Dame’s list of All-America tackles is: George Kunz ’68, Jim Reilly ’69, John Dampeer 72, Steve Sylvester ’74, Tim Foley ’79, Mike Shiner ’83, Larry Williams ’83, Andy Heck ’88, Lindsay Knapp ’92, Outland Trophy winner Aaron Taylor ’93, Mike Rosenthal ’98, Zack Martin ’12, Ronnie Stanley ’15, and two-time All-American Mike McGlinchey ’16 and ’17.

Having 1,000-yard rushers seems to be an annual event for the University of Wisconsin and it comes as no surprise that the Badgers have a long list of All-American tackles and are second on our list as Offensive Tackle U with 15 All-America tackles. Beginning with two-time All-American Dennis Lick in ’74 and ’75, then Ray Snell ’79, Jeff Dellenbach ’84, Paul Gruber ’87,

Joe Panos ’93, Jerry Wunsch ’95, Aaron Gibson ’98, Chris McIntos ’99, two-time All-American Joe Thomas ’05 and ’06, Outland Trophy winner Gabe Carimi in 2010, Rick Wagner in 2012, Rob Havenstein in 2014, Ryan Ramczyk in 2016, and David Edwards in 2017 and Michael Dieter in 2017 as well. Wisconsin keeps producing All-America tackles with a Badger tackle named All-American in six of the last eight years.

After seeing the list of Wisconsin All-America offensive tackles and that’s second, well whichever school is Offensive Tackle U must be very impressive, and it is. It is not surprising that a school that has produced multiple Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks and running backs like USC has would have great offensive tackles as well. Offensive Tackle U is USC.

From 1969 to 1982, in 10 of those 14 seasons, the Trojans had an All-American tackle.   Beginning with Sid Smith in 1969, Marv Montgomery in ’70, John Vella ’71, Pete Adams ’72, Steve Riley ’73, Booker Brown ’74, Marvin Powell in ’75 and ’76, Keith Van Horne ’80 and Don Mosebar in 1982, it seemed like a given that a Trojan tackle would be an All-American.

Dave Cadigan was another Trojan All-American tackle in 1987 but the best was yet to come in Tony Boselli in 1992 and he was an All-American again in 1994, Jacob Rogers in 2003, and then Sam Baker was another two-time All-American in 2005 and 2006, Charles Brown in 2009, and Matt Kalil in 2011 and the most recent Trojan tackles to make All-American were Zach Banner and Chad Wheeler in 2016 for a grand total of 17 in the past 50 years. That is why USC is Offensive Tackle U.

Interesting Fact:  Nebraska has not had an offensive tackle named All-America since Zach Wiegert in 1994.

Notre Dame Photo credit: Urthstripe on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Texas sign Photo credit: wallyg on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

USC Flag Photo credit: csulb gal on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Wisconsin Badger Photo credit: Instagram: @Maitri on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

John Baranowski is a sports historian and contributor to newspapers, sports publications and sports websites. This and other articles written by him can be found on his blog:  https://johnbaranowski.wordpress.com/.