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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 17 Texas Longhorns(Football) Players of All Time

Top 17 Texas Longhorns(Football) Players of All Time

The Top 17 Longhorns of All Time!
Publish Date: 05/05/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

The Greatest Longhorns of all time!

Today we look at the most incredible Longhorns of all time!

17) Roosevelt Leaks

In 1973, Leaks became the first Black All-American at Texas football, running for 1,415 yards with 14 touchdowns during that season and finishing third in Heisman Trophy voting that year. Over his entire career – in which he received two All-Southwest Conference selections – Leaks ran for 2,923 yards (7th overall in Longhorn history) and 26 touchdowns.

Video: Roosevelt 'Rosey' Leaks' Groundbreaking Game in '73 - This Forgotten Day in Longhorns Football

Roosevelt ‘Rosey’ Leaks’ Groundbreaking Game in ’73 – This Forgotten Day in Longhorns Football

16) Roy Williams

While running backs and quarterbacks often receive the bulk of Texas football attention, Texas has also produced numerous talented receivers like Williams. Williams attended Permian High School in Odessa and currently ranks among the all-time leaders with 3,866 receiving yards and 36 career touchdowns for a school-record total of 4,961. Additionally, 241 career receptions make him second in Texas school history; two first team All-Big 12 selections named him offensive freshman of the year in 2000.

Video: Roy Williams Texas Longhorns College Football Highlights 2003

Roy Williams Texas Longhorns College Football Highlights 2003

15) Kenneth Simms

Simms developed into a monster in his time at Texas, and he went from being a Freshman who saw little playing time to 4 years later winning the Outland Trophy.

Video: Kenneth Sims College Football Hall of Fame Induction Feature [Dec. 10, 2021]

Kenneth Sims College Football Hall of Fame Induction Feature [Dec. 10, 2021]

14) Cedric Benson

Benson was the 2004 Doak Walker Award winner, consensus All-American (2004), No. 3 NCAA career touchdowns. He was a 4-year starter for the Longhorns and career the ball over 1,100 times in his career at Texas.

Video: Cedric Benson Texas Longhorns College Football Highlights 2004

Cedric Benson Texas Longhorns College Football Highlights 2004

13) Chris Gilbert

Gilbert was the first player ever to have 3 consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons in a row. Gilbert also has the honor of being the only player in UT history to be chosen “Most Valuable” 3 straight years by his teammates. Gilbert was also a 1968 Heisman finalist and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

Video: University of Texas at Austin Longhorns 1968 Football Season Highlights

University of Texas at Austin Longhorns 1968 Football Season Highlights

12) Jerry Gray

Texas has become known as DBU thanks to the contributions of Michael Huff, Aaron Williams and Earl Thomas – but it all began with Jerry Gray, an ideal representative of an all-around cornerback.

Gray best showcased his all-around skills against Auburn during a game he participated in, first in 1983 when he made a play-making interception to help Texas secure a 20-7 win, and later when he ran down Bo Jackson and hit him hard enough to dislocate his shoulder in one collision.

These two plays displayed the two-time All-American’s complete skill set as a cornerback who could make plays on the ball as effectively as taking down physical players like Jackson.

Video: Jerry Gray enters College Football Hall of Fame [Jan. 25, 2013]

Jerry Gray enters College Football Hall of Fame [Jan. 25, 2013]

11) Hub Bechtol

Also known as the “Big Boy,” Bechtol began his collegiate career at Texas Tech but ended up in Austin. He’s the first football player in the history of the Southwest Conference to be named a three-time All-American, including by The Associated Press in 1944. At 6-foot-2 and a little more than 200 pounds, Bechtol played on both sides of the ball for the Longhorns. However, it was on offense where he truly shined. In 1946, Bechtol tied a then-school record with seven receiving touchdowns. He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Video: When was Hub Bechtol inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame?

When was Hub Bechtol inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame?

10) Russell Erxleben

At Texas, Erxleben became the only punter in NCAA history to be named a three-time first-team All-American. His 67-yard field goal against Rice in 1977 is still the longest in college football history — with a tee. Erxleben still holds the Longhorns record for most made field goals of at least 50 yards (11). He was drafted in the first round of the 1979 NFL Draft (11th overall) by the New Orleans Saints. At the time, it was the second-highest selection of a kicker in the history of the draft.

Video: Longest Field Goals in College Football History (64+ Yards!)

Longest Field Goals in College Football History (64+ Yards!)

9) Steve McMichael

Steve McMichael seemed destined to become one of college football’s greatest-ever players with his Mongo nickname.

McMichael was more than just a name; he was unstoppable as a defensive lineman for Texas University in his four years at Texas, amassing 28.5 sacks and an unparalleled 369 tackles – staggering numbers even for modern lineman standards.

McMichael had his best year yet as a senior, becoming an All-American unanimously, finishing as a finalist for both Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award, earning MVP honors at Hula Bowl, and even garnering All-Big Ten status for defensive playmaking ability. A true force.

Video: CFBHoF Member Steve McMichael

CFBHoF Member Steve McMichael

8) Jerry Sisemore

Darrell Royal had to chase down Jerry Sisemore’s father in an oilfield to secure his future offensive tackle’s commitment. It appears his efforts paid off.

During this three-year run, Sisemore led Texas to their second consecutive national title and three Southwest Conference crowns. During that time, Sisemore earned two unanimous All-American selections plus was named Lombardi Award finalist in 1972.

Had freshmen been permitted, he would have won two national titles and four conference crowns; his individual and team successes would rival that of any Longhorn.

Video: Jerry Sisemore: Football Offensive Tackle and Guard

Jerry Sisemore: Football Offensive Tackle and Guard

7) Colt McCoy

McCoy was a stud at Texas and has a trophy case to prove it, 2008 consensus All-American, 2008 Walter Camp Player of the Year, 2009 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, 2009 consensus All-American, 2009 Davey O’Brien Award winner, 2009 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, 2009 Manning Award winner, 2009 Maxwell Award winner, 2009 Walter Camp Player of the Year.

Video: He is One of the Greatest Texas Longhorns Quarterbacks of All Time (Who Is: Colt McCoy)

He is One of the Greatest Texas Longhorns Quarterbacks of All Time (Who Is: Colt McCoy)

6) Derrick Johnson

Johnson won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s top defensive player and the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker, which puts him comfortably on this list. Johnson also holds the school record for career tackles for loss with 65. He finished his career with 458 tackles (No. 3 in UT history).

Video: Derrick Johnson Texas Longhorns College Football Highlights 2003

Derrick Johnson Texas Longhorns College Football Highlights 2003

5) Ricky Williams

The awards Williams won while a Longhorn is numerous 1998 Heisman Trophy winner, 1997 and 1998 Doak Walker Award winner, 1998 Maxwell Award winner, 1998 Walter Camp Player of the Year, 1998 Associated Press Player of the Year, 1997 and 1998 unanimous consensus All-American, 1997 and 1998 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

Video: Ricky Williams🤯 Texas Highlights(1995-1998)

Ricky Williams🤯 Texas Highlights(1995-1998)

4) Bobby Layne

Layne is a Longhorn legend and his accomplishments while at Texas and after Texas are numerous 1944 All-Southwest Conference, 1945 All-Southwest Conference, 1946 All-Southwest Conference, 1947 All-Southwest Conference, 1947 consensus All-American, 1st round NFL Draft pick, Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, College Football Hall of Fame inductee. Layne was named to four-straight All-Southwest Conference teams and his 28 career wins record ranks No. 3 in Texas football history.

Video: Legends of the Game - Bobby Layne (1980)

Legends of the Game – Bobby Layne (1980)

Click here for more College Football news!

3) Tommy Nobis

Nobis was a two-time all-American at Linebacker and he also was an excellent guard.

Nobis emerged his sophomore year during a game against No. 1 Oklahoma as a sophomore, recording 18 tackles as the Longhorns won 28-7 to take over the No. 1 ranking in the country. The Longhorns would go on to win a National Championship and Nobis was the only sophomore starter on the team.

Video: Tommy Nobis Tribute

Tommy Nobis Tribute

2) Earl Campbell

Earl Campbell is third on the all-time rushing yards list at Texas with 4,443 yards. His 1977 senior season was his best, rushing for 1,744 yards, which is the fifth-highest mark in school history. He also had 18 rushing touchdowns that season, which is the fifth-highest mark. In 1977 he led the Longhorns to the Cotton Bowl and a showdown for the National Championship, the Longhorns came up short but that 1977 season cemented the “Tyler Rose” in history. Campbell also won the 1977 Heisman Trophy award one of only two Texas players to ever win the award.

Video: Earl Campbell - Road To The Heisman

Earl Campbell – Road To The Heisman

1) Vince Young

2005 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, 2005 consensus All-American, 2005 Davey O’Brien Award winner, 2005 Manning Award winner, 2005 Maxwell Award winner, 2006 BCS National Championship Rose Bowl Most Valuable Player. Young was dominant while wearing burnt orange and while others may be more decorated in Texas, none were as electric as Young.

As a sophomore, he was even better; Young led the Longhorns to an 11-1 record and the school’s first-ever Rose Bowl appearance and win, for which he was named MVP of the game.

Then came his incredible 2005 season. Young became the first player in NCAA history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for another 1,000; he then took down the favored USC Trojans in one of the greatest college football games ever played.

Video: Vince Young, Texas Longhorns relive classic 2006 Rose Bowl victory vs. USC Trojans | ESPN Archives

Vince Young, Texas Longhorns relive classic 2006 Rose Bowl victory vs. USC Trojans | ESPN Archives

Honorable Mentions

Bill Acker

Brian Orakpo

Jordan Shipley

Harrison Stafford

Jimmy Saxton

James Street

Eric Metcalf

Bijan Robinson

 

 

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