Friday, July 1, 2011
The SEC version of 'Simply Saturday'
By Chris Low
Thanks for all of your responses on the best college players in the SEC who didn’t go on to great or long careers in the NFL.
Several of your nominations were already on my list, and there were several that I hadn’t thought about.
The “Simply Saturday” series that had been running on ESPN.com wrapped up Friday with its top 10 players of all-time who were great college players, but not necessarily great NFL players. Ohio State’s Archie Griffin was No. 1.
Combining everyone’s efforts, I’ve come up with an SEC version of the top 10. One caveat is that these are guys I actually saw play. I know I’m dating myself, but that takes us back to the mid-1970s.
The players are listed alphabetically:
Reidel Anthony, WR, Florida (1994-96): He caught 18 of Danny Wuerffel’s 39 touchdown passes during the Gators’ 1996 national championship season, but was out of the NFL after only five seasons.
Tim Couch, QB, Kentucky (1996-98): Couch threw 73 touchdown passes during the 1997 and 1998 seasons and was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns. He lasted just five seasons in the NFL.
Eric Curry, DE, Alabama (1990-92): The tandem of Curry and John Copeland coming off the edge during that 1992 national championship season was as good you’re going to find in college football.
Major Ogilvie, RB, Alabama (1977-80): I can still hear ABC’s Keith Jackson calling Ogilvie’s name. He was a vintage Bear Bryant player in that wishbone offense and always came through in the big games. Ogilvie carried the ball just 299 times during his career, but scored 25 rushing touchdowns.
David Palmer, WR, Alabama (1991-93): The “Deuce” was one of those players I genuinely expected to score every time he touched the ball. He was that elusive and did a little bit of everything for the Crimson Tide ... and did it well.
David Pollack, DE, Georgia (2001-04): A neck injury prematurely ended Pollack’s NFL career, but he was a terror for opposing quarterbacks in college. Only two players in Georgia history were three-time, first-team All-Americans -- Herschel Walker and Pollack.
Tracy Rocker, DT, Auburn (1985-88): Rocker won both the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award during the 1988 season and was the model in those years for what you were looking for in an interior defensive lineman.
Chuck Webb, RB, Tennessee (1989-90): Webb remains the best and most dynamic running back I’ve ever seen play for the Vols. Had he not blown out his knee at the start of the 1990 season, he would have been a star at the NFL level.
Scott Woerner, DB, Georgia (1977-80): He was a great kickoff and punt returner and also finished his career with 13 interceptions. Woerner was one of the rocks on that 1980 national championship team. He only played in 17 NFL games and spent much of his short pro career in the USFL.
Danny Wuerffel, QB, Florida (1993-96): The 1996 Heisman Trophy winner was amazingly accurate, and more importantly, always know where to go with the ball. As far as Steve Spurrier is concerned, Wuerffel will always be the measuring stick.
Obviously, there are countless other players who could have made this list.
Here’s a sampling of some others who were nominated:
- Charles Alexander, RB, LSU
- Shawn Andrews, OT, Arkansas
- Jay Barker, QB, Alabama
- Aundray Bruce, LB, Auburn
- Ed Chester, DL, Florida
- Rohan Davey, QB, LSU
- Robert Edwards, RB, Georgia
- Brent Fullwood, RB, Auburn
- David Greene, QB, Georgia
- Tommy Hodson, QB, LSU
- Kenny Irons, RB, Auburn
- Matt Jones, QB, Arkansas
- Keith McCants, LB, Alabama
- Dewayne Robertson, DT, Kentucky
- JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
- Heath Shuler, QB, Tennessee
- Odell Thurman, LB, Georgia
- Troy Williamson, WR, South Carolina
- Tim Worley, RB, Georgia
- Eric Zeier, QB, Georgia