As Stanford's all-time leading rusher, Taylor finished his remarkable career with 4,300 yards rushing and 40 rushing touchdowns. The workhorse back carried the ball 843 times on the ground to go with 97 receptions and was voted as the team's MVP in the Pac-12 and Rose Bowl championship season in 2012. He claimed Rose Bowl MVP honors with 105 yards from scrimmage and touchdown in the hard-fought win over Wisconsin — Stanford's first win in the Grandaddy of Them All since 1972.
The eight-time Pro Bowler with the Green Bay Packers began his athletics career as a two-sport star at Stanford. He set school receiving record with 12 TDs in 1977 and finished second all-time with 16 career TD receptions (since broken multiple times). On the track and field team, the talented pass catcher won the long jump NCAA championship in 1978 with a jump of 26 feet, 11 ¾ inches. Lofton was the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2003 and the NCAA Hall of Fame in 2004.
Milburn was one of the first true “all-purpose” players in college football. As well as being Stanfords third leading rusher (when he departed school, currently sixth) with 2,178 rushing yards, the dynamic playmaker is arguably the best return man in school history. No one in Stanford history has posted more punt return yards than Milburn’s 1,026 yards. His 13.7 punt return average is second best in Cardinal history as well. His 1992 season of 31 attempts for 573 yards for a 18.5 clip are all single-season school records. He is fifth all-time with 1,162 kick return yards and his 23.2-yard career average is good for sixth in the Stanford record books. Milburn’s ability to contribute in the running, passing and return game allowed him to set the single-season school record for all-purpose running with 2,222 yards in 1990. He has the No. 2 (2,121 yards in 1990) and No. 9 (1,514 yards, 1991) season as well. His 5,857 all-purpose yards in only three seasons are second best in Cardinal history.
Siemon was the heart and soul of two Rose Bowl teams while at Stanford. He was an all-conference selection in 1971 before earning All-American honors after a 112-tackle 1971 season. The Stanford tackler was the 10th overall pick in the 1972 NFL Draft and played all 11 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. Siemon was inducted into the NCAA Hall of Fame in 2006.
Walters is the only Biletnikoff Award winner in school history – given each year to the nation’s top wide receiver. The consensus All-American left school with Pac-10 – and obviously school – records for career receptions (244) and career receiving yards (3,986). He set the Stanford single-season receiving mark with 1,206 yards in 1997 before breaking it two years later with 1,456 yards in 1999 – which was also a conference record. His 86 receptions in 1997 set a school record as did his 278 yards in a ’99 showdown with UCLA. His 26 career TDs are second all-time in Palo Alto. During his record-breaking 1999 campaign, Walters help to lead Stanford to a conference championship and Rose Bowl bid. He earned Pac-10 Player of the Year honors as well.
A tremendous offensive tackle, Whitfield landed on the first-team All-American list twice (1990, 1991). He played every down as a freshman and started all 34 games of his three-year Stanford career. He left early for the NFL and was the eighth overall pick in the 1992 Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
After an injury ended his sophomore season in 2007, Gerhart returned to he field with authority in 2008. His 1,136 yards and 15 TDs broke Stanford single-season records. He topped the 100-yard mark a school record eight times that year. It all simply set the stage for his incredible 2009 campaign. Gerhart led the nation in rushing yards and broke his own rushing record with 1,871 yards. His 28 touchdowns and 172 points scored were a Cardinal record by a wide margin – in fact, those 28 rushing TDs put him second on the school’s all-time rushing TD list in one season. His 44 career scores place him first all-time in school history for total touchdowns scored. He finished second in the Heisman voting in 2009 by 28 points – the slimmest margin in Heisman history. Yet strangely enough, after losing to Mark Ingram for the coveted stiff-arm trophy, Gerhart earned the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back. The Pac-10 Player of the Year was selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Vikings.
As a redshirt freshman, Luck posted 2,575 yards passing and 2,929 yards of total offense – good for fifth all-time in Cardinal history. He led the league in QB rating at 143.5. As a third-year sophomore, Luck exploded onto the national scene with a 12-1 mark and BCS Bowl win over Virginia Tech. He was named Conference Player of the Year after throwing for a school record 3,338 yards and 32 TDs to go with 453 yards rushing. His 170.2 QB rating set a new conference record and he finished second in the Heisman voting. In his third and final year, Luck broke his own school records for passing yards (3,517) and touchdowns (37) and won his second-straight Pac-12 Player of the Year Award. He finished his career with Cardinal records for touchdown passes (82), completion percentage (68.7%), passer efficiency (162.76) and total offense (10,387). His 957 yards rushing rank first all-time by a quarterback school history and his 31-7 record as a starter is a school record for wins and winning percentage (81.6%). His offenses are the three highest-scoring offenses in program history (461 pts in 2009, 524 pts in 2010, 561 pts in 2011).
A two-sport star, Elway is arguably the most physically gifted player to ever take snaps under center. Elway rewrote the Stanford record book by completing 774 of his 1,246 attempts for 9,349 yards and 77 TDs. He finished second to Herschel Walker in the Heisman voting in 1982 and also set the school record for TD passes in a season (27) and a game (6). The burly athlete was selected with the first overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft and led the Denver Broncos to five Super Bowls – winning twice in the 90s. Elway holds the NFL record for Super Bowl starts at QB. He is a member of both the NFL and NCAA Hall of Fame and might be the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.
The consensus All-American also claimed the most sought-after trophy in all of sports, the Heisman Trophy (1970). He led the Cardinal to an upset Rose Bowl Championship over Ohio State and was named the MVP. He finished school with an NCAA record 7,887 yards of total offense and set a school record in every major passing category – 530 completions, 962 attempts, 7,544 yards and 52 TDs. Plunkett was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1971 NFL Draft by the Patriots. After landing in a Raiders uniform, Plunkett went on to win two Super Bowl Trophies.
Spring practice has ended, here are all the key injuries, personnel decisions and storylines
Depending on your point of view, spring practice is either a respite from the football-free months of winter and a taste of things to come in August. On the other hand, it’s only appealing to the hardcore football fan.
Sure, there’s the same questions every year -- is my team’s defense really good or is the offense really bad, or vice versa. But there’s also plenty of news and notes.
Who are the greatest college running backs of the BCS era?
Greatness is defined in so many different ways. Statistical production, individual awards, team success, longevity, supporting cast, level of competition, raw talent and athletic ability all factor heavily in determining overall greatness. Sometimes, you simply know greatness when you see it.
So all factors were considered when trying to determine who the greatest running backs of the BCS era have been. Here are the Top 50 ball carriers since the BCS was implemented in 1998:
Who are the best sleepers NFL teams should be targeting after Round 1?
The first round of the NFL Draft monopolizes coverage in the media and fan’s minds alike. While the first 32 picks are important and generally feature the most elite talents, the best organizations in football are competitive year after year because of quality middle round work.