ESPN named former Texas football all-time great running back Earl Campbell as one of their 11 best college football players in the history of the sport.
A former legendary running back and the first ever Heisman Trophy winner for the Texas football program, Pro-Football Hall-of-Fame inductee Earl Campbell, was named in the midst of a group of all-time greats this week. During the ESPN “CFB150” ceremony at halftime in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the LSU Tigers and Clemson Tigers, the top 11 players of all-time were unveiled.
The Texas Longhorns football program had that former legendary running back of theirs, Campbell, included among those top 11 best college football players of all-time. Campbell fell in line at No. 7 among those best college football players, at least in the opinion of ESPN in their remembrance of the 150 years of this great sport.
Here’s what ESPN had to say about their choice to place Campbell at No. 7 among their best college football players of all-time in the 150th year of the sport.
Darrell Royal won a fierce recruiting battle for the Tyler (Texas) Rose, as Campbell would become known. Campbell rushed for 2,046 yards in his first two seasons in Austin. Bedeviled by hamstring problems and 20 pounds of extra weight, Campbell struggled as a junior. He missed three games and never showed that downhill beer-truck style that made him so dangerous. Campbell got healthy, lost the 20 pounds, and — under new head coach Fred Akers — rushed for 1,744 yards, 6.5 yards at a time. He won the 1977 Heisman Trophy vote in a runaway, like a beer truck going downhill.
Campbell won the Heisman Trophy as a member of the Longhorns during the 1977 college football season, where he tallied up 1,855 total yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns. He had 4,443 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns on the ground during his four-year career on the Forty Acres. That was good for nearly six yards per carry during his college career.
There were also four other former Longhorn greats named on the list of the 150 greatest college football players of all-time from ESPN. Those four former Longhorns included linebacker Tommy Nobis (No. 54), running back Ricky Williams (No. 57), and quarterbacks Bobby Layne (No. 75) and Vince Young (No. 81).
The top overall player in college football history, as named by ESPN, was running back Jim Brown of the Syracuse Orange. Other notable players near the top of this ranking was the Oklahoma State Cowboys running back Barry Sanders (No. 8) and Auburn Tigers running back Bo Jackson (No. 3).