NCAA FB

CFN: Top 100 - No. 5 Hugh Green

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Some were amazing players, some revolutionized their positions, some were legends, and some we just think were truly great. Yes, there was a bias towards players who played in the bigger conferences and against the biggest teams, but we also give a nod to the best who weren't in the spotlight as well. You can consider this the list of the college football careers as we give high marks to the legends.

How do you possibly pick an offensive lineman over a quarterback? It's tough, but our friends at the CollegeFootballNews.com we tried to make the call in regards to how good of a player they were without necessarily giving more credit to one position over another. Think of it this way, if you could take one running back, who would you take? You couldn't go wrong with Walker, Dorsett, Williams, Simpson, Dayne or about 20 other backs. Now if you had to pick one center, who would you go with? There are very few who stand out.

No. 5: Hugh Green, DE - Pitt 1977-1980

Many young college football fans have no clue about what a talent factory the University of used to be. Oh sure, the program is solid now under head coach Walt Harris, but Pitt used to be a monster as an assembly of the All-Pittsburgh team could challenge any other program in the nation (yes, we're doing that analysis soon.) The Panthers can boast such legends as Dan Marino, Tony Dorsett, Curtis Martin, Mike Ditka, Mark May, Jimbo Covert, Bill Maas and Bill Fralic, but no one in history was a better college football player than Hugh Green, our choice for the greatest college football defensive lineman of all-time. How good was Green? He was named to 's All-Time Team after his sophomore season. The accidental superstar: Green was going to attend when Pitt coaches saw him on film while they were scouting running back Rooster Jones. Green jumped off the screen making tackle after tackle for the other team and the Panther coaches went after and won over the defensive star. The athlete: No college football defensive player, not even Lawrence Taylor, had Green's mix of quickness, speed and athleticism. At 6-2 and 222 pounds Green was roughly the size of former Oklahoma safety and with his 4.5 speed, Green was even faster than the Sooner star. With long arms and superior strength, Green played like a bigger lineman while his feet were good enough that he could've been a decent cornerback. Put on one end with Ricky Jackson on the other side, Green was a terror from game one making eleven tackles, two sacks and blocking a punt in a 19-9 loss to . Even though the Panthers lost, the nationally televised game welcomed a new star. Even with Jackson cleaning up on the other side when teams ran away from Green, No. 99 still made plays with frightening sideline to sideline speed. With no one ever running at him, Green still made 441 tackles in his career. As a pass rusher, Green was peerless with 53 career sacks. The team: Green came to the season after the Panthers won the national title. In the following four years went 39-8-1 winning three of four bowls going 22-2 in his junior and senior seasons. After losing to RB George Rogers in the 1980 Heisman Trophy voting, (Pittsburgh promoted Green by sending a life-size poster to Heisman voters) the Panthers couldn't wait to play the Gamecocks in the 1980 Gator Bowl. won 37-9 as Rickey Jackson made 19 tackles as , knowing how pumped up Green was, hardly went to his side of the field. Rogers ended up with 113 yards, but fumbled two times. The pro: Taken with the seventh overall pick (behind Rogers, Lawrence Taylor, Freeman McNeil, Kenny Easley, E.J. Junior and Rich Campbell and a pick before Ronnie Lott) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green was moved to linebacker where he was a Pro Bowl performer before injuries hurt his productivity. He played for Tampa Bay from 1981 to 1985 before going to Miami where he played until 1991. Honors: College Football Hall of Fame - 1996, 2nd in Heisman Trophy voting - 1980, Walter Camp Award - 1980, Lombardi Award - 1980, Consensus All-American - 1978-1980, NFL Pro Bowl - 1982 & 1983, No. 99 jersey retired - 1980.

  • Tagged: Pittsburgh, Mississippi, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, Southern Mississippi, Roy Williams

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