Since our last Burning Question was pretty serious, I figured we'd go with something a bit more lighthearted this time. I wanna ask you guys this simple question: Who are your Top 3 players from your favorite college football teams? I'll give my Top 3 for every school, and let you all decide the rest. We're only talking about college careers as well, nothing of what they did in the pros matters. On the eve of National Signing Day, I had to say I was pretty curious about this question, more on Signing Day tomorrow...
Kansas: John Riggins, Todd Reesing, Gale Sayers
Honorable Mentions: John Hadl, Aqib Talib, Mike McCormack
Kansas was actually pretty tough to choose from. Obviously, you have your NFL Hall of Famers in John Riggins, Gale Sayers, and Mike McCormack, while also having College Football Hall of Famer John Hadl too that was just left off the list really just due to Reesing outdoing him in every stat category. You have guys like Dorance Armstrong, Dezmon Briscoe, and James Sims who were great, but played on some abysmal teams. In the end, I think who I have listed sums up the best of the best for the Jayhawks due to them being on great Jayhawk teams (which come few and far between unfortunately) as well as being great in their own right. Riggins is widely regarded as the best running back in Kansas history, Reesing made Jayhawk football fun to watch again with his historic 2007 season, and Gale Sayers is...well, Gale Sayers. The best Kansas football player ever (arguably). Others such as June Henley, Kwamie Lassiter, and Nolan Cromwell barely missed the cut, but also deserved to be mentioned. Overall, very underrated crop of players that put on the crimson and blue.
Kansas State: Michael Bishop, Darren Sproles, Mark Simoneau
Honorable Mentions: Collin Klein, Gary Spani, Tyler Lockett
This one was another tough one to choose from. Perhaps making it Top 3 intentionally makes it tough and controversial...? Nonetheless, these are my choices for K-State's Top 3. You had guys (a lot of O-Linemen) that did well in the NFL that you won't see here, including Lynn Dickey, Dalton Risner, Terrance Newman, and Jordy Nelson. Again, going off of college stats and success, this is who makes the cut. Michael Bishop just barely beat out Collin Klein as he is a College Football Hall of Fame inductee, finished 2nd in Heisman voting to Klein's 3rd, and was a Davey O'Brien Award winner as well as a consensus All-American. Sproles is obvious, he was a weapon both on offense and special teams throughout his years at KSU and that translated to the NFL nicely, and then Mark Simoneau is the best defensive player to come out of the state of Kansas ever. Kansas State really started getting good at football within the last 30 or so years, so no NFL Hall of Famers on this list, though some may be coming soon...
Missouri: Kellen Winslow, Roger Wehrli, Justin Smith
Honorable Mentions: Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin, Andy Russell
I had to do some digging here to be honest with this one. With Missouri having the best football history out of the three local schools I was kind of surprised to see that there really wasn't much data on the best players ever. However, there's some big ones that stand out, including two NFL and College Football Hall of Famers in Kellen Winslow and Roger Wehrli. Justin Smith is the best modern-era player to wear black and gold, while Chase Daniel and Jeremy Maclin really aren't too far behind. Andy Russell was a criminally underrated piece of the Pittsburgh Steeler "Steel Curtain" defense, but was also a force on the juggernaut Tiger defenses of the early 60s much like Wehrli. Lots of history to this list, and hopefully there will be more to come with guys such as Cody Schrader, Luther Burden, and Brady Cook.
Who do you think are the best from YOUR school though? Do you think I got it right for these three? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Even if it isn't a program close to the KCMO area, I'd love to know your thoughts. Best answers are featured in the ScorchCast!