(WTNH)–Welcome in to the Greatest College Football Players Tournament, where we’re looking to determine the Grandaddy of the Gridiron in the past 25 years. (Ahem. Keith Jackson voice).
Stop pinching yourself. It’s real.
Our first round is just getting underway, so check our index for the bracket and matchups as they are posted.
BARRY SANDERS REGION
2. Marshall Faulk, RB, San Diego State (1991-93)
One of the more underrated running backs in history, Faulk announced his presence in his second game at San Diego State by blowing right past the NCAA record for rushing yards in a single game. Faulk lit up University of the Pacific for 386 yards—and oh yeah–seven touchdowns, which was an NCAA freshman record. I guess the under-recruited running back belonged, after all.
He ended up rushing for 1,429 yards and 21 touchdowns during a record-breaking freshman season. Faulk was even better in 1992, when he put up 1,630 yards, 15 touchdowns and finished second in Heisman Trophy voting (to Miami QB Gino Torretta). He’d finish fourth in Heisman voting his junior year, after rushing for another 1,500-plus yards and 21 touchdowns. When it was all said and done, Faulk was a two-time consensus All-American, led the WAC in rushing all three years he was in school, and led the NCAA in rushing twice.
15. Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech (2007-08)
Like Faulk, sizable, speedy Crabtree didn’t waste any time dominating the college game. He led the NCAA in receptions (134), receiving yards (1,962), touchdowns (22) and points scored (132) as a freshman, earning consensus All-America honors and winning the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best wide receiver.
His sophomore year was just as impressive–97 receptions, 1,165 receiving yards, 19 touchdowns and a fifth-place finish in Heisman voting. He went 2/2 in earning another consensus All-America spot, and captured his second straight Biletnikoff Award. Oh, and Texas Tech had its best season in school history, winning 11 games, earning a spot in the Cotton Bowl, and climbing to as high as No. 2 in the national rankings, following a memorable upset of No. 1 Texas.