My tear ducts may be all dried up by the end of this season if the Frogs continue to play games in such a stressful fashion. I was at a formal dinner in Vegas on Saturday night, and despite my mother raising me better, I was using my phone at the dinner table to stream the game. Watching not so subtly from my lap, I could no longer contain my emotions when the defense recovered the fumble at the end of the game. Leaping up from my chair shouting a cry of victory, surely drawing stares from others in the room, but my celebratory fist pumps would not be denied.The remainder of the night was spent with a big smile on my face and the phrase, "Go Frogs" being used an abundance of times as the atmosphere of the Las Vegas Strip made the night all the more memorable.
Few things other than college football gives us memories and moments as exhilarating as this. This comeback led me to reflect on the days when I was a wee lad, who spent Saturdays watching the greatest sport with his father. On the flight back to DFW I made a list of my all-time favorite college football players, the ones that made me fall in love with the sport.
When coming up with the list I came up with a few requirements first that I hope you guys follow when I ask you about your all time favorites, because I want to hear what you all have to say:
- The NFL careers of these players was not taken into account at all, strictly their performance in college.
- There is no restriction on when or where they played (college & conference).
- 5 players on offense: 1 QB, 2 RBs, and 3 WR (can substitute a tight end in here)
- 5 players on defense: 2 defensive linemen and 3 defensive backs.
- 1 player on special teams: KR/PR/Kicker/Punter.
- I had to do my best to exclude TCU players on this list, because in all honesty, a lot of players that currently play for TCU would obviously be on this "All Jamboogie" team, defeating the purpose of this list.
There are All-American teams, All-Conference teams, even All-Time teams, but without further adieu, I present the All-Jamboogie team:
Johnny Manziel, (Texas A&M, 2012-2013) - Go on get the boos out of your system. Yes Johnathan Football had his moments off the field during his Sophomore year, but you cannot deny what he did in only two years at Texas A&M. Becoming the first freshman to ever win the Heisman and then finishing as a finalist the following season, taking down the number 1 team in the country in their own house, becoming Sports Center's favorite past time since Tim Tebow, cementing himself as the greatest TAMU player ever, and in my opinion and probably my opinion alone, the most electrifying and fun player to ever play college football. Manziel essentially became a celebrity at the age of 19, became part of Drake's posse, and gave us the infamous money gesture. My Dad is an Aggie, and so is a majority of that side of my family, so yes I'll admit it; I liked A&M growing up. Yes I still root for the Aggies in the SEC, no matter how much the current fan base makes me want to root against them. Manziel's accomplishment that will last the longest, is that he brought A&M's football program back to being relevant.
Darren McFadden, (Arkansas, 2005-2007) - oh boy did McFadden do mean things to opposing defenses. Rushing for over 1000 yards every season he played, reaching over 1600 his sophomore year, and rushing for over 1800 yards his junior year. He was crazy fun to watch, winning the Walter Camp award in 2006 and 2007, and finishing second in Heisman voting in those years as well.
Todd Gurley II, (Georgia, 2012-2014) - Just like several other SEC programs, Georgia has a pedigree of stellar running backs. Gurley drew uncanny comparisons to Herschel Walker, deservedly so, and was almost my generation's version of the former great. Gurley was able to do it all, spin, stiff arm, hurdle, catch from out of the backfield, and return kicks. There was never a doubt that he was always the best player on the field. He racked up over 1500 scrimmage yards in his freshman year and over 1400 yards the next year despite playing 10 games. His most impressive performance came his following year where he rushed for 911 yards in only 6 games! His junior season could have ended with him winning the Heisman had it not been shortened by suspension and a tragic injury. I can only think of 2 words that adequately describe Gurley: The Man.
Michael Crabtree, (Texas Tech, 2007-2008) - This was the easiest decision of the entire list. Crabtree is not only the best Big 12 receiver of all time, but arguably the best receiver in college football history. He won the Biletnikoff two years in a row, also the only two years that he played at the collegiate level, also the only player to win the award twice. He holds the Big 12 single season record for receptions and receiving yards. He holds the personal record for most swag owned by a receiver, EVER. Oh and he made one of the greatest catches of all time against a #1 ranked Texas team, after which he was my computer background for the next six months.
A.J. Green, (Georgia, 2008-2010) - Right out of the gate Green was just plain raw. He led the SEC in receiving yards and touchdowns as a true freshman. One of the most talented players to ever play the game of football. He was near impossible to guard in the end zone and no player has made me say the phrase, "did he just do that?" more than Green did during his three years in Athens.
Tavon Austin, (West Virginia, 2009-2012) - Yes Tavon "Awesome" was technically a running back for a majority of his career, but it was his senior season as a receiver, where he ran off with my heart. He was so versatile, running the ball, catching the ball, and was lethal when he was on return duty. He had a huge performance in one of my favorite games of all time, the 2012 game against TCU (even though I was rooting against him). He then went on to set the record for all purpose yards in a single game against Oklahoma at 572. It's safe to say Austin earned his nickname.
Jadeveon Clowney, (South Carolina, 2011-2013) - When Clowney actually played with intensity to the best of his ability...good God he did unspeakable things to a lot of offenses. You could hear the hit that he delivered on Vincent Smith through your TV. He set the SEC freshmen record for sacks in a season, and went around, through, over, and sometimes under opposing offensive lines to get to the quarterbacks. Clowney was an unnatural force to be reckoned with.
Glenn Dorsey, (LSU, 2005-2007) - Unless you were opposing offenses, how could you not like Glenn Dorsey in college? A hometown hero that won a national championship and almost all the individual awards possible for a defensive player. Dorsey was so disruptive and I would often laugh at how ridiculously good he was and all the big plays he made.
Von Miller, (Texas A&M, 2007-2010) - Back when A&M was in the Big 12, the Aggies had more of a reputation for defense than they do now. Miller was a two time all-american, and led the nation in sacks during 2009. He had a lot to do with that Aggie defense being called, "Wrecking Crew part two". The outside linebacker owned Sooner star Demarco Murray in 2010 and helped more or less carried the A&M offense to a lot of wins during his final two years in college.
Roy Williams, (Oklahoma, 2000-2001) - The oldest player on this list, Williams was one of the, "hardest hitting safeties" of all time. Roy Williams was the first player who's name I knew. He left a lasting impression on me when he did his thing against Texas in the 2001 red river rivalry game. You know which play I'm talking about. Yes, his career with the Dallas Cowboys made me like him a lot more, and Roy Williams Cowboys jersey was the first jersey I ever owned, but I knew he was great before he was drafted.
Jason Verrett, (TCU, 2011-2013) - The one Horned Frog that I just couldn't keep off the list. Verrett has been the best corner back that I have watched since I have become a student at TCU. Verret, for the most part, locked down whoever he was going up against in his final season wearing purple. I can't lie his hair also added to the cool factor. What I wouldn't have given to have Verrett on that TCU team last season.
Devin Hester, (Miami 2003-2005) - This one is a cop out, Hester was the best return man of the 21st century.
Alright, there is my list, but now I want to hear from YOU! The readers, other FoW staff, and fans of the sport. Leave your "all-you' team in the comments (you don't need to write a description), and you can of course put down the names of TCU players if they are a part of your all time favorites. Let me know if you have any questions!