Posts Tagged ‘auburn’

For the first time in my blog I am not concerned about NFL stats; I am concerned about how the players played in college.  College football has had almost 150 seasons of different players from all around the country.  Obviously its hard to really say who the best college football players are/were, so the way I am doing this is I am just going to list players who I feel had incredible college careers.  It doesn’t matter what school you went to, what years you played, or how many championships you won; all I care about is how did you perform in those short years that they were in college.  I am sure there will be players that are not on this list, but I will do my best to outline who I feel had the best college careers.

Herschel Walker RB Georgia – From the first time he touched the ball he was impressive.  Just in his freshman year he rushed for 1,891 yards and 18 TDs.  Also, as a freshman he finished second in the Heisman race being beat out by Marcus Allen.  As a freshman he was a huge part in leading the Bulldogs to a National Title.  There was not a time where Walker failed to impress; even his work ethic was better than you could find in any other player.  As a junior he won the Heisman Trophy by rushing for 1,752 yards and 16 TDs.  There are few players who could even come close to the career that Walker had and earned his spot in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Archie Griffin RB Ohio State – Griffin is the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner and he delivered some epic performances.  Between the years of 1972 and 1975 Griffin rushed for more than 1,400 yards in 3 seasons; just in his junior year he rushed for 1,695 yards and 12 TDs.  By the time he ended his college career he totaled up 36 TDs, 5,589 rushing yards, and averaged 6 yards per carry.  There is still yet to be another player to win two Heisman trophies and during his time; there was no better RB than Griffin.

Barry Sanders RB Oklahoma State – Obviously cant have this list without including Barry.  All I need to say is “The 1988 season” and people will know what I am taking about.  Just in 1988, Sanders rushed for an amazing 2,850 yards, 37 TDs, averaged 7.6 yards per carry, and averaged 237.5 rushing yards per game.  He also easily won the Heisman Trophy during the 1988 season and it was well deserved.  I dare you to find a better season for a RB then that; and after that season Barry went pro. 

Tony Dorsett RB Pittsburgh – He was not the biggest guy on the field, but he knew how to make people miss.  Tony led the Panthers to the 1976 National Title and won the Heisman Trophy in the process.  Dorsett made first-team All-American three times and when he graduated he had rushed for 6.082 yards which was a record that stood until 1998.  Dorsett also still hold numerous team records and made the College Football Hall of Fame. 

Bo Jackson RB Auburn – “Bo Knows”.  Between the years of 1982 and 1985; Jackson terrorized defenses across the country.  In the 4 years Bo played at Auburn he totaled up 4,303 rushing yards, 43 TDs, and averaged 6.6 yards per carry.  His best season came in 1985 when he rushed for 1,786 yards in a season which earned him the Heisman Trophy.  After he retired the University of Auburn retired his number and named him to the college Hall of Fame.

 

There have been numerous players that have been great players that have shaped the way sports is watched and how we think of players.  There are stars, super stars, and then there is Bo Jackson.  Everyone knows him for something different, some people know him for football, or baseball, or his commercials.  The things that Bo Jackson did were almost super hero like and it was hard to believe some of the things that he did.  There will never be another athlete that will compare to Bo Jacksons ability, strength, or speed.  This is his story.

Bo Jackson was the eighth of ten children and was born in Alabama.  Bo had a love for sports and it was a split between football, baseball, and track.  He attended high school at McAdory High School and was a superior athlete.  His senior year he rushed for 1,175 yards in football, hit 20 home runs in baseball, and was a 2 time state champion in the 100-yard dash.

In 1982, Jackson was approached by the Yankees and they wanted him to go straight from high school to the MLB.  The Yankees offered him $250,000 to come play and he turned it down because he wanted to be the first man in his family to go to college.  He was approached by Alabama and by Auburn for college scholarships.  He was very interested in going to Alabama because he did not want to go out of state.  Auburn offered him a chance to play football and baseball as a freshman, so he chose Auburn.

Arriving in Auburn he wanted to do both baseball and football and his freshman year for football he just exploded on the field.  During that time Auburn had not beat Alabama in a decade and Bo Jackson beat Alabama on a 1 yard run.  Jackson was a gifted running back who could out run everybody on the field, but he had the size to run over the biggest guys on the field.  As a baseball player he was able to showcase his speed and strength and he totaled up 28 home runs, .355 batting average, and 70 RBIs.  He was an excellent out fielder as well. He won the Heisman Trophy his senior year and was the top prospect to be drafted in the NFL Draft.

His senior year the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the first overall draft pick and they offered to fly him down to take a tour of the franchise.  The Bucs front office said that they had cleared it with the NCAA for him to come down, but they lied to Bo and that caused Bo to miss the last half of his baseball season as a senior.  That left a bitter taste in his mouth towards football and especially for the Bucs.  When the draft came the Bucs still drafted him, but Bo turned it down.  Later that year he was drafted by the Kansas City Royals to play baseball, and put football on the back burner.

In his baseball career with the Royals he was a powerful hitter and was one of the fastest player in the MLB.  In 1989 he made the MLB All-Star game where he hit a home run on his first at bat and he earned the All-Star games MVP.  Bo was known for making stellar outfield plays as well.  There was a hit that went to the outfield where he jumped to catch it and then ran up the outfield wall.  There was another play he made where he fielded the ball in the left field wall and threw it all the way to home plate without it hitting the ground, and the catcher caught it and tagged the runner out at home.  He had four 20 home run seasons, one 30 home run season, and one season with more than 100 RBIs.  Bo had a bit of a temper when he struck out and was also known for breaking bats over his leg or even his head.  That just shows the power of Bo because if a normal man was to do that it would hurt VERY bad.

While he was playing for the Royals he was approached by the NFL to come play.  He refused to play for the Bucs, but the Raiders wanted to give him a shot so he was drafted again by the NFL.  During this time people did not think that an athlete could go between two sports, but Bo was very determined to prove people wrong.  As a Raider he was one of the most explosive running backs the NFL has ever seen.  Not only could he out run the small fast guys, he could run over the biggest guys.  One of his best performances came on a Monday Night Game against the Seahawks where he had a 91 yard touch down run and totaled 221 yards.

What makes this story sad is that Jacksons career was cut way too short.  He only played 4 NFL seasons and he was just hitting his prime.  It was the same with his baseball career; it is sad to know what his career could have been without the injury.  During a playoff game against the Bengals he was tackled and dislocated his hip.  The injury did not seem to bad until he had his hip checked out.  They found out that it severed one of his major veins and it caused him to need a full hip replacement that cut his career short.  He did have a comeback after a few years of rehab, but he was never the same.

Bo Jackson had one of the best ad campaigns in the history of Nike.  Everyone heard his commercials at some point.  The “Bo Knows” commercials were legendary and it worked perfectly because Bo was an all around athlete and Nike had just come out with a cross-trainer shoe.  So Bo was the best spokesman for it because he was a cross over sensation in 2 sports.  Bo was also remembered for the first video game he was in called “Tecmo Super Bowl”.  I remember playing that game and if you were the Raiders you would always win because the makers of the game made him unstoppable.

I used to have a poster of Bo Jackson in my room because he has always been one of my favorite athletes and he is a great role model for young athletes.  It is a sad story on how his career ended, but he will always be remembered for the sensational athlete he was.  His final stats were:
+Baseball+
Batting Average: .250
Home Runs: 141
RBIs: 415

+Football+
Rushing Yards: 2,782
Touchdowns: 16
Average Yards per Carry: 5.4