Jun 28, 2010
Top-10: Favorite Fighting Irish Football Players of All-Time
Here it is, the first of many Top-10 lists to come from “Irish Creed.”
Favorite Fighting Irish Football Players of All-Time:
#10 - Timmy Brown - our only modern-era Heisman winner - His athleticism and ability to make big plays as a wide receiver and kick returner made for quite the spectacle. He played with a certain toughness and style that I hope current star wide receiver Mike Floyd will aspire to.
#9 – Jerome Bettis – “The Bus” – He was either the fastest full-back or the biggest running back in Notre Dame history, I’m not sure how to categorize him. It didn’t really make a difference to the defenders who tried to tackle him though, since they all ended up knowing what it felt like to get run over by a bus.
#8 – Elmer Layden – The full-back in the “Four Horsemen” backfield – Not only was he a crucial part of the best rushing attack in college football history, but as a defender he returned two interceptions for touchdowns during the 1924 National Championship game.
#7 – Don Miller – The right half-back in the “Four Horsemen” backfield – His three older brothers attended Notre Dame before him, where he went on to amaze crowds during his 1924 senior season when Coach Rockne called him “the best open field runner I’ve ever had.”
#6 – Jim Crowley - The left half-back in the “Four Horsemen” backfield - Nicknamed "Sleepy Jim" because of his calm demeanor even during the toughest games, he led the team in scoring during Notre Dame’s first National Championship season in 1924.
#5 – Harry Stuhldreher - "The Little General" – The signal-caller of the “Four Horsemen” backfield - Not only did he lead the Fighting Irish to their first National Championship, but he was also the smallest quarterback in Notre Dame history at 5’7” and 151 lbs.
#4 – Johnny Lujack – After taking over as the starting quarterback in 1943, he left Notre Dame to fight in the Navy until the end of WWII. When he returned, he led the Fighting Irish to three National Championships and picked up a Heisman along the way.
#3 – Angelo Bertelli – He played in just six games during the 1943 season before answering the call of duty and serving in WWII as a Marine. Not only did this true Fighting Irishman become the first Heisman winner at Notre Dame that year, but after learning of his award while on active duty in the Pacific he went on to add a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart to his trophy case. Can you get any more All-American than that?
#2 – Golden Tate – GT is the most electrifying player that I have personally seen play for the Fighting Irish. He played with a swagger and a sense of style that made the game fun for him and all of us who got to watch him (except those who tried to cover him). He is also a great dude and his presence on campus did a lot for Notre Dame.
#1 – Raghib “Rocket” Ismail – “GO GET IT!” His nickname says it all. From his explosive playing style, to his passionate retelling of the 1988 Catholics v Convicts story, to his preacher-like pep rally speeches, everything about The Rocket is on fire.
(Check out the Top-10 lists for FightinIrish1313 and TenDomer in the comment section below. Feel free to comment on our lists and create your own.)