Posts Tagged ‘pittsburgh’

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.

LeSean MCoy; is one of the young backs in the NFL today; and he has already made a huge impact in the league.  As a young player, he was one of the best running backs in the country; due to some injuries he was hampered in 2012, but now that he is healthy he will be a very dangerous back.  He is a triple threat as a running back, he has speed, he can catch the ball, and he has great vision.  He is a combination of Walter Payton and OJ Simpson and Barry Sanders.  As long as he can stay healthy, he will always be a premier back in the NFL.

LeSean Kamel McCoy was born on July 12th, 1988 in Pennsylvania.  as a child his nickname was Shady and he attended Bishop McDevitt High School.  As a high school football player he was amazing and was considered one of the best high school running backs in the country.  In one game as a sophomore he rushed for 506 yards; and in his junior season he had rushed for 2,828 rushing yards and 85 touchdowns in a single season.  He received numerous honors including being named to the All-State team, and was an Offensive MVP.  As a junior he actually had committed to the University of Miami, but McCoy was not the best student while in high school, and had a severe ankle injury.  He ended up going to the University of Pittsburgh instead.

In 2004 he recorded a 4.25 40 yards dash, and the Panthers used him mostly for the Wildcat offense.  By the end of his freshman year he was totaled up 1,328 rushing yards, and one newspaper compared him to the great Tony Dorsett.  He also had 14 rushing touchdowns and was selected for the All-Freshman team.  In his sophomore year with Pittsburgh he had another fantastic year by rushing for 1,403 yards and 23 rushing touchdowns.  He made the All-Big East team for the second time, and he was also getting recognized for his receiving skills.  McCoy still had 2 more years of college to go when he decided to go into the NFL Draft.  I am not saying that it was a bad choice, but it could have helped him I think to stay at least one more year at Pitt.

In the 2009 NFL Draft, McCoy was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round (53rd overall).  McCoy came in at a good time because Brian Westbrook had a bad ankle injury and McCoy was named a starter right away.  In his first start he had a touchdown and he proved to be a viable asset to the team.  McCoy and Westbrook were sharing the load for the Eagles, but every time Westbrook got hurt, McCoy would come in and play very well.  By the end of his rookie year he had 637 yards and 4 touchdowns.  In 2010 the Eagles released Brian Westbrook so it was McCoys back field now.  In 2010, McCoy proved he could run and catch.  He finished the season with 1,080 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns.  He also totaled 78 catches, 592 receiving yards, and 2 receiving touchdowns.  The 2011 season was his best season to date; he rushed for 17 touchdowns and 1,309 rushing yards.  In the 2012 season McCoy was battling injuries and spent the majority of the season on the sideline. 

So far as a professional he has totaled up 3,776 rushing yards, 30 rushing touchdowns, 206 catches, 1,450 receiving yards, and 8 receiving touchdowns.  He made his first Pro Bowl in 2011, in 2011 he was the FedEx Ground Player of the Year, and was an All-Pro selection.  LeSean McCoy still has a very long career ahead of him.  As long as he can stay healthy I think he could be one of the best of all-time.  He is on a team that just got a bunch of new offensive lineman so I predict the 2013 season will be a good one for McCoy.

Larry Fitzgerald is probably one of the best receivers in the game right now.  The only down side is the team he is on; if he was on a team with a franchise QB; he would be breaking records left and right.  Fitz is very dedicated to the team that drafted him though; and that is commendable.  Fitz does not have a sad story, but an inspirational story instead.  He has always been considered one of the best, and it will continue to stay that way for the rest of his career.

Larry Darnell Fitzgerald Jr. was born on August 31st, 1983 in Minnesota.  I do not know the origins of his high school career, but I do know that he was one of the highest recruited players coming out of high school.  Fitz attended his college career at the University of Pittsburgh, and for the majority of his college career he was considered one of the best wide receivers in the country.  In 2003, he was recognized as the best player in the NCAA when he won the Walter Camp Award and the Touchdown Club of Columbus Chic Harley Award, he also won the Biletnikoff Award.  In 2003 he was also an All-American selection and the runner up for the Heisman Trophy.  Fitz played 26 games with the Panthers, and in that time he caught 161 passes, 2,677 yards, and set a Panther record with 34 receiving touchdowns.  He was the first Panther player to have back-to-back 1,000 yard receiving seasons.  Fitz also set a record for having a receiving touchdown in 18 straight games.

When you do the math, Fitz only played 2 seasons with the Pittsburgh Panthers, and he entered the 2004 NFL Draft pretty young.  The Arizona Cardinals drafted Fitz as the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.  He made an immediate impression with the Cardinals, as a rookie he caught 58 passes, 780 yards, and 8 touchdowns.  The following year he led the NFL with 103 catches, 1,409 yards, and 10 touchdowns.  In 2006, Fitz had some injuries he was dealing with, but for the most part he played through them and still managed 69 catches, 946 yards, and 6 touchdowns.  After being completely healed Fitz exploded again the following season by hauling in 100 passes, 1,409 yards, and 10 touchdowns.  After proving himself for his first few seasons, the Cardinals signed him to a 4 year $40 million contract.

In 2008, the Cardinals were on their Super Bowl run, and Fitz lit up the scoreboard, and he was the main reason the Cardinals made it to the Super Bowl.  In the conference championship game, Fitz caught 3 touchdown passes in one game.  Fitz also set a postseason record with 546 receiving yards, 30 catches, and 7 touchdowns.  Those numbers surpassed the record which once was held by Jerry Rice.  Even in the Super Bowl, Fitz had 2 touchdown catches, and when he went to the Pro Bowl, he caught 2 more touchdown passes which earned him the MVP of the Pro Bowl.

What is impressive about Fitz is that he will always find a way to make himself better, and his team better.  Since 2008, the Cardinals have not had a good QB, but somehow Fitz will still put up good numbers.  Fitz owns 5 NFL Records and 6 franchise records.  As a professional he has totaled 764 catches, 10,413 receiving yards, and 77 touchdowns.  He has also made 7 Pro Bowls, has had 4 All-Pro selections, and the 2008 NFC receiving yards leader.  As long as Fitz is in the NFL, he is going to be a great player and if you play fantasy football, he is always a good choice for your team.

 

It was only a matter of time before I did a post about Dan Marino.  The NFL has had many talented quarterbacks, but Marino will always be a top that list.  Dan Marino experienced everything he could ever want in the NFL except the elusive Super Bowl victory.  He had a brilliant 17-year career; and in that time he became something of legends.  Marino is still in football as an analyst, but you can still see the fire in his eyes about the game that he loves.

Daniel Constantine Marino Jr. was born on September 15th, 1961 in Pennsylvania.  Marino is a mix of Italian and Polish ancestory and he is the oldest child of Daniel and Veronica Marino.  By the time that Marino had gotten into high school he became very interested in sports, mostly baseball and football.  He attended Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh where he was named as an All-American honors in football.  Marino was actually drafted in the 4th round by the Kansas City Royals in 1979, but he decided to play college football instead.

Marino played his college football at the University of Pittsburgh.  As a freshman he led the Panthers to a victory in the Backyard Brawl over West Virginia, which gained him national attention.  The following year he took the Panthers to the 1982 Sugar Bowl where Marino threw a game winning touchdown to defeat the Georgia Bulldogs, which gained him ever more national attention and was considered one of the best college quarterbacks.  The following year he took Pittsburgh to the Cotton Bowl Classic, but was defeated by the Pony Express.  He also finished 4th in the Heisman voting that year.  His senior year was not the best year, but he still ended his college career with 7,906 passing yards and 74 touchdowns.  With his senior season being less than stellar a lot of NFL teams were hesitant to draft him.  There were a lot of quarterbacks entering the draft and Marino’s chances did not look good.

Marino was actually drafted by the USFL to go play for the Los Angeles Express, but the Dolphins drafted him as well and Marino chose to play for Miami.  Even though he did not start right away, it was in week 6 of his rookie year that he got his first start, and as a rookie he set numerous records.  Such as; only rookie to lead the conference in passing yards, had the highest completion percentage, and lowest number of passes intercepted.  In his second season Marino totally blew up the NFL; he set an NFL record for most touchdowns thrown in a season (that record stood for 20 years), most passing yards in a season (which stood for 27 years), and was the NFL MVP. 

I am not going to go over every season Marino had, but what I do want to go over is his achievements.  As a professional he had 9 Pro Bowls, rated #25 on the NFL Best Player List, 1984 NFL MVP, 1984 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, holds 31 Miami Dolphin records, and hold numerous NFL Records.   Some of the NFL Records that are still active are; 13 games passing over 400 yards, 200TD passes in fewest number of games, Most game winning drives in the 4th quarter or overtime with 51, and Most Monday Night Football wins at 20.  Marino has a crazy amount of former records such as; Most passing yards in a season with 5,084, he had 9 seasons passing over 3,000 yards, most TDs in a season with 48, highest passer rating as a rookie with 96.0, and many many more.

The bottom line is that Dan Marino was an amazing QB and as a Dolphins he took them to the playoffs 10 out of 17 seasons.  He had to deal with a few injuroes, but even then he proved that he could stand in the pocket and deliver a bullet of a pass anytime he wanted to.  It is sad that he never got his Super Bowl ring, but few players will ever have the success that Marino had.  Marino also had his #13 retired from the Miami Dolphins and since retiring football he has stayed in the spotlight.  He is currently on CBS for The NFL Today pregame and post-game shows, he had his hands in NASCAR for a short period of time, and he opened up two restaurants in Florida.  There was also a Dan Marino Foundation that was founded in 1992, after Dan’s son was diagnosed with autism.  The foundation has distributed over $22 million in research, services, and treatment programs.

His total stats once he retired were amazing; he played in 242 games, had 147 wins, completed 4,967 passes, had 61,361 passing yards, 420 passing touchdowns, a passer rating of 86.4, and a pasing percentage of 59.4%.