Greatest College Football Players Ever

All-time best players ever to step on a college field.

The Top Ten

1 Herschel Walker Herschel Walker Herschel Walker is a former professional American football player, bobsledder, sprinter and mixed martial artist.

Better than everybody

The greatest of all time!

Herschel Walker accomplished what he did against SEC Defenses. He was faster than a speeding bulletin, more powerful than locomotive and able leap tall players with single bound. Put his highlight reel up and it's not close...Herschel was is and always will be the best running back to ever play football at any level.

Heisman winner. NCAA, SEC, and Georgia university record holder. 11 NCAA records, 15 SEC records, 41 Georgia unversity records.

2 Tim Tebow Tim Tebow Timothy Richard Tebow is an American professional baseball outfielder in the New York Mets organization and a former professional American football player in the National Football League.

Go gators

Heisman winner (first underclassman/sophomore to win it)... got invites 2 more times. 2 National Titles... broke Herschel Walker's TD Record while playing Georgia!

Handed Bobby Boweden his last ever Loss!
3-1 against UGA
4-0 Against FSU
4-0 Against Tenn
1-0 against Miami

The above 4 are Florida's main rivals!

His stats in high school were impeccable, his stats in college were amazing, even his stats although limited on the pro level were respectable. NFL is a business and one of entertainment, although his character was/is one that is poster quality as a role model for youth in real life, it did not fit the bill for the powers that be in the leading entertainment industry known as the NFL. Say what you want, Tebow belongs in the Top 3... Tears or not. Passion dies have a place.

Rather than being a football player, he has a local charity named after him: The Tim Tebow Foundation. His charity hosts "A Night to Shine" prom at different churches in North America including New Hope Church. - kristyrosepetal4

3 Archie Griffen

He is the only person to win the Heisman twice. He disservice to be number one.

No way look at number one

Archie Set. The bar the greatest of all time

Give me a break, this man should be #1!

4 Red Grange Red Grange Harold Edward "Red" Grange, nicknamed "The Galloping Ghost" or "The Galloping Red Ghost", was a college and professional American football halfback for the University of Illinois, the Chicago Bears, and for the short-lived New York Yankees.

Forgotten but by far one of the toughest and greatest players to touch the field. He turned the NFL into a serious league

Should be top 5. He doesn't have the numbers, but that's because he played in the the 1920s. - shabookie

Single greatest player to ever wear a uniform in college football.

5 Johnny Manziel Johnny Manziel Jonathan Paul Manziel is an American professional Canadian football quarterback for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. He was drafted by the NFL's Cleveland Browns with the 22nd overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. Towards the end of the 2015 season, Manziel endured numerous scandals, more.

Manziel was amazing in college but his NFL career sucked he beat up his girlfriend, helped Josh Gordon get suspended and where is he now no where a free agent no one is gonna give him another chance


Most exciting player to watch... Even if you are not a fan of his team or his (over-hyped, over-spun) off season activities. This guy does what others can not, have not and likely will not.

Too many zits and an ugly nose. He really wasn't anything special as we will see in his brief NFL career.

6 Barry Sanders Barry Sanders Barry Sanders is a former American football running back who spent his entire professional career with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League.

He was a Freak show on the field and when went to the pros was even better

If Barry Sanders had had a full Career he would be the Goat

No one like Barry. He carried teams like no other, every other player wanted to play like Barry.

Barry terrific is the third best running back, first is Bo Jackson, secound ladainian Tomlinson, then Barry terrific, We dem boyz

7 Dick Butkus Dick Butkus

Ohio State fan here...but I have to say Butkus the best ever..

One of the greatest linebackers to ever play

Best name ever

Don't forget all big ten offense(center)

8 Jim Thorpe Jim Thorpe James Francis "Jim" Thorpe was an American athlete and Olympic gold medalist. A member of the Sac and Fox Nation, Thorpe became the first Native American to win a gold medal for the United States.

Before any muscle enhancing drugs, The reason football players are paid WELL, Hands down best EVER! You wish you could THORPE LIFE.

He lead college football in Rushing Yards and Touchdowns 4 Times

JIM thorpe was prbably the greatest all around athhelet that ever lived

9 Marcus Mariota Marcus Mariota Marcus Ardel Tafuna Taulauniu Mariota is an American football quarterback for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League.


Mariota should be higher and I watched him back in the day when he was in college

One of the top 3 easy

Should've won the Heisman twice lacking a National Championship but still an amazing player.

10 Charles Woodson Charles Woodson Charles Woodson is a former American football cornerback and free safety. He played college football for Michigan, where he led the Wolverines to a national championship in 1997. Woodson, a "two-way player" who played both offense and defense, won the Heisman Trophy in the same year, becoming the second, more.

Only defensive player to win the Heisman.

Easily top 3. The fact that these clowns haven't voted for him shows bias. Charles Woodson singlehandedly won Michigan that 1997 National Championship. Only Defensive player in CFB HISTORY to win a Heisman. He is the actual GOAT of college football.

Defense gets no love and half of the college football players, play on that side of the ball. They say defense wins championships and that's true, but why do we not award them the Heisman more often?

Last guy to do it on defense was Charles Woodson. Dominant cornerback! Great at coverage, would dare you to throw his way and when you did, he's pick you off. Great punt return and also played a little wide receiver. Its actually sad that he had to play offense to have a shot at the Heisman, because his defensive play alone should have won him the award.

Beat out Peyton Manning for the award and that was no fluke. Peyton was a great college QB but choked in the big games like he still does today. 0-4 vs Florida, enough said there. Woodson on the other hand led Michigan to a 12-0 season and their first National Title in 48 years!

The single Greatest defensive player of all time. There will never be a player like him. When teams played Michigan in 1997 they had to rely on the running game because Quarterbacks literally feared to throw the ball onto his side of the field. Should be top 3.


The Contenders

11 Anthony Davis

Watch him play against Notre Dame. Any questions

Greatest college football player ever

USC's architech of the great comeback against and.

12 Nile Kinnick

Yes he was amazing

13 Jameis Winston Jameis Winston Jameis L. Winston is an American football quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.

How is he not top 10 maybe top 5! Really Aaron Murray but not Jameis?

Should be in top 3

Winston sucks. Quit putting a guy who played 2 years on the list. His sophomore season was terrible anyway.

This guy is wack put Peyton manning ahead of this bum

1 Comment
14 Archie Manning

The best scrambler in collage and nfl history we dem boyz

Yup his the best we dem boyz

Archie Manning is the BEST QB in college history. He did things Johnny football could only dream of.

I remember the Tide/Rebel game of 1969, and there were many others in his 3 yrs. The reason for a lack luster career in NFL was John Mecom, trading very good players and he had no help, most of the time. As The Bear said, He was the best college physical specimen of a quarterback he'd ever seen. He would complete passes with defense hanging on him, or pulling him down, and some would be for TD's. Just a bit of F Y I

1 Comment
15 Michael Vick Michael Vick Michael Dwayne Vick (born June 26, 1980) is a former American football quarterback who played 13 seasons in the National Football League, primarily with the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles. He played college football at Virginia Tech and was selected by the Falcons as the first overall pick more.

Vick should seriously be higher. Vick was one of my favorite players and had a cannon of an arm even though most people don't know it.

Best college player ever. The combination of running and was actually number 1 in passing efficiency in 1999.

The fastest quarterback of all time.

Best college football player ever

16 Peyton Manning Peyton Manning Peyton Williams Manning is a former American football quarterback who played 18 seasons in the National Football League for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.

He should've, and certainly could've won the Heisman, although he was 0-4 against Florida he is one of if not the best QBs in NCAA and NFL history

Quit saying we dem boyz it sounds stupid and immature.

Payton Manning the best quarderback of all time at age 49 men, check it out

He should be the first bescuse of all the records we dem boyz

17 Reggie Bush Reggie Bush Reginald Alfred "Reggie" Bush Jr. is an American football running back who is currently on the Buffalo Bills roster.

How is he not in the top 10 or 5 by far the best college running back ever

Most exciting player in college football history.

18 Doc Blanchard

He won the HEISMAN and came in second place two times. If he had been able to play as a freshman, he would have inevitably been a finalist. He was one half of the most famous college backfield in history, and helped make Army into a college dynasty in the 1940's. He has to be in the top ten ever, and not being so reflects the lack of historical knowledge of the voters.

19 Bo Jackson Bo Jackson Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson is a former baseball and American football player. He is the only athlete in history to be named an All-Star in both baseball and football, and one of few to do so in two major sports.

Mate how is he 19

This man was absolutely amazing. SPEED-SPEED-SPEED, FAST, FASTER, FASTEST and with POWER I think he may be the best running back-ever and I'm an OLE MISS man

I'm a Alabama fan but I agree this guy is arguably the best college football player of all time and should be number one on this list.

His speed and power where unmatched, got denied the natty 3 strait years, best sports player ever.

20 Vince Young Vince Young Vincent Paul Young, Jr. is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League for six seasons.

He rallied his team from behind from 12 points half way through the 4th to beat what was hyped to be the best college football team ever.

great win in national championship over reggie bush and the #1 ranked USC

4th and 5 at the 9. You know he's going to run it. You just know. TD Vince Young, TD Texas.

Watch Vince on the highlight reel as a long horn... nothing but magic deserves another shot in nfl best college Qb of all time

21 Deion Sanders Deion Sanders Deion Luywnn Sanders, Sr. is a former American football and former American baseball player, who works as an analyst for CBS Sports and the NFL Network.

Fastest player ever... Bar none!

Cool player we dem boyz

22 Bubba Smith

Before his time and would be great today

23 Robert Griffin III Robert Griffin III Robert Lee Griffin III, nicknamed RG3, is an American football quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League.
24 Tommy Frazier

Look at the record. Look at the scores. Look at the tape. The playbook was even given out against Florida in the national championship. Still couldn't stop him. Greatest of all time!

24? Whoever did this is an idiot

Best college player ever

What about Eric Crouch?

25 Brian Bosworth

No other LINEBACKER did what he did NOBODY! And if you don't believe me go watch his TAPES!

#1 college linebacker of all time

Could stop anybody

26 Derrick Henry

Derek Henry Derek Henry is the best

Combination Size and Speed!

2015 Heisman trophy winner

Over 2,000 yards!

27 Anthony Carter (Michigan)
28 Cam Newton Cam Newton Cameron Jerrell Newton is an American football quarterback for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League.

He won a national championship with very little assistance, and if you don't think the offense was all Cam I challenge you to name another offensive player from that year for Auburn. Also note: he ran the read option in the SEC West and still couldn't be stopped.

He did everything one can possibly achieve me in college football all in one year. He was the MAN.

Scam newton should not have even played at auburn should have faced a hard punishment for stealing a laptop

Just go watch his highlights, need I say more?

1 Comment
29 Jahlil Okafor
30 Vernon Adams Jr.

He is the greatest

He ate that booty


31 Deshaun Watson

He hasn't done enough. When he puts his full college career together, then we can just judge him. I'm not a hater, I think he's a great player. He just hasn't done enough yet.

He set records like no one else but he did throw interceptions but did he lose those games no.Should be way higher on this list

Go Dawgs, my sis likes Clemson

32 Ty Detmer Ty Detmer

Ty Detmer was mostly known as a journeyman in the NFL but was a boss in college with BYU.

He started what we see now in NCAA Football.

Ty Detmer was awesome at BYU

33 Dak Prescott Dak Prescott Rayne Dakota "Dak" Prescott is an American football quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League.

Don't agree at all! Where is Jim brown


34 Trevone Boykin
35 Andrew Luck Andrew Luck Andrew Austen Luck is an American football quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League.

He's got immense talent, too bad he never won Heisman. Great in the NFL too.

36 Steve Young Steve Young Jon Steven Young is a former professional American football quarterback who played 15 seasons in the National Football League and is best known for his 13 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.
37 Leonard Fournette

He's fat and awesome

210.3 rushing yards per game

38 Ezekiel Elliott Ezekiel Elliott Ezekiel Elijah Elliott is an American football running back for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. He played college football at Ohio State, where he earned second-team All-America honors in 2015.

Rushed for more than 220 yards against bama

39 Roger Staubach Roger Staubach Roger Thomas Staubach, nicknamed Captain America and Captain Comeback, is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League.
40 Tyrann Mathieu Tyrann Mathieu Tyrann Devine Mathieu is an American football safety for the Houston Texans of the National Football League.
41 Sam Bradford Sam Bradford Samuel "Sam" Jacob Bradford is an American football quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams with the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. He played college football at Oklahoma and as a redshirt sophomore Bradford became only the more.

Put him at #1 he played for the sooners that are awesome

42 Jerry Rice Jerry Rice Jerry Lee Rice is a former American football wide receiver who played 20 seasons in the National Football League, primarily with the San Francisco 49ers.

Everyone knows he was in a class by himself-what most people do not know is how hard he worked to be the best-maybe the most dedicated player of all

43 Joe Montana Joe Montana Joseph Clifford "Joe" Montana, Jr., nicknamed Joe Cool and The Comeback Kid, is a retired American football quarterback.

I think that Joe Montana is the best quarterback in football history.

44 Tony Dorsett Tony Dorsett
45 Peter Warrick
46 Charlie Ward
47 Colt McCoy
48 Aaron Murray

A living legend. Kansas city should start him

Your are the best QB ever to play the sport in ncaa you should be starting in the nfl

Broke so many SEC and Georgia records, Plus some NCAAF records

But also admitted to having nightmares about Jadeveon Clowney

1 Comment
49 Johnny Unitas Johnny Unitas John Constantine Unitas, nicknamed "Johnny U", or "The Golden Arm", was an American professional football player from the 1950s through the 1970s.

You have weighted your list towards players of the last 10 years. Murray does not belong on the same list with Johnny U

50 Dave Rimington

Think of which player performed his position so much better than others... Dave Rimington stands out not just as the best Center to play college football, but far enough ahead of the next best to consider him the best player of all-time.

8Load More
PSearch List

Related Lists

Best Pre-Modern College Football Players Greatest College Football Players to Not Win a Heisman Trophy Top College Football Players of 2011 The Best College Football Players of 2008 Best College Football Rivalries

List Stats

1,000 votes
68 listings
10 years, 215 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. Herschel Walker
2. Red Grange
3. Dick Butkus
1. Johnny Manziel
2. Marcus Mariota
3. Jameis Winston
1. Johnny Manziel
2. Herschel Walker
3. Tim Tebow

View All 4

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.