(This is the fourth article in a week long series sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011)
This a challenging topic to write about because where does one begin and one end? I could easily put together a list of a hundred or more. That being said I am going to keep it simple and go with 25 and limit it to players after 1970.
1. TB - Joe Steele...Don James called him the most important recruit of his tenure because his signing put a fence around the state for over two decades. Joe had a running style that set him apart from the pack. A knee injury his senior year ended his NFL dreams but he will always be remembered as one of the guys who broke the Rose Bowl drought.
2. QB - Marques Tuiasosopo... As a junior in October 1999, Tuiasosopo became the only player in NCAA history to pass for over 300 yards and run for over 200 yards in a game, during a 35-30 victory over Stanford. Who can ever forget the drive in the rain he engineered in the fourth quarter at Stanford the next season which put Washington into the Rose Bowl?
3. TB - Napoleon Kauffman...He was one of the most electrifying running backs in Pac 10 and college football history, with tremendous acceleration that made his legs look like sewing machine needles. He is still the school's all-time leader in rushing yards (4,106), rushing attempts (735), most 100-yard games (17), 200 yard games (4), rushing touchdowns (34), tied with Hugh McElhenny for most rushing yards per game (89.3) and most rushes for 50+ yards (6).
4. DT - Steve Emtman...The greatest college DT I have ever seen play. After winning the Outland Trophy, the Lombardi Award, the Bill Willis Award, the UPI Lineman of the Year Award, the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year Award, being named a consensus First Team All-American, and finishing fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting he was the first overall pick in the NFL draft after leaving school a year early.
5. WR - Mario Bailey...I will never forget the Heisman pose he struck as UW was pounding Michigan in the Rose Bowl? Husky record-holder for receiving touchdowns in a season (18) and a career (30), Bailey was an integral part of the Huskies’ 1991 National Championship team.
6. TE - Mark Bruener...Amidst a lineup of great tight ends who have passed through Husky Stadium over the years, Bruener is arguably the greatest. Upon graduating from the program following the 1994 season, Bruener enjoyed a 14-year NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Texans.
7. DE - Travis Richardson...TR was a four-year starter and had three sacks against Purdue in 1990, and finished his career with a school-record 248.5 in tackles for loss yardage.
8. QB - Sonny Sixkiller...He was the one guy everyone wanted to be when we were playing football in the street during the early 1970's. Sonny is only one of three Huskies to have made the cover of Sports Illustrated, appearing on the cover of its October 4, 1971 issue.
9. LB - Michael Jackson...Jackson still holds several defensive school records for the Huskies, including single season (210) and career (569) tackles.
10. QB - Jake Locker...He could easily be my #1 by the end of the year but he has to win some games and maybe a Heisman to do that. Jake may be the most popular Husky player since Sonny Sixkiller.
11. QB - Chris Chandler ...Before the Locker fourth quarter drive against USC last season there was the Chandler fourth quarter drive against USC. Chandler played for the UW from 1984 to 1987. He finished third in the school's history in total offense with 4,442 yards and 32 touchdown passes.
12. QB - Billy Joe Hobert ...How many QB's were undefeated in their starts at UW and were part of a national championship team?
13. DT - Ron Holmes...He was an All-American on the 1984 team that went 11-1 and finished No. 2 in the country after beating Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.
14. WR - Paul Skansi...He started alongside Aaron Williams for four years. He was the Husky version of Steve Largent.
15. CB - Ray Horton...The Mount Tahoma HS product was quite possibly the best cornerback to ever don the purple and gold.
16. LB - Dan Lloyd...A complete player who DJ felt was one of the best LB's he ever coached and he coached some very good one's.
17. LB - Tim Meamber...He was scary on the field and even scarier off of it. A 6-foot-3, 221-pound linebacker, Meamber was All-Pac-10, third-team All-America and co-captain of Purple Reign, the nickname for a defense that was arguably the greatest in school history.
18. TE - Scott Greenwood...One of the very best I have ever seen play the position at UW. He had a great set of hands, ran great routes, and man could he ever block.
19. CB - Cal Jones...A phenomenal talent on some teams that weren't exactly phenomenal. The man knew how to pick out a fedora.
20. OL - Lincoln Kennedy...A mammoth offensive tackle on the Huskies’ 1991 National Championship team, Kennedy was the ninth overall selection in the 1993 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
21. S - Jimmy Rodgers...Played with a broken arm against Oklahoma in Orange Bowl and was all over the field making plays.
22. DT - Doug Martin...After a great career at UW Martin played in the NFL for ten seasons from 1980-1989 with the Vikings.
23. CB - Mark Lee...The most exciting kick returner I can remember watching at Washington. He turned many a game around while he was at Washington with his fourth quarter heroics.
24. S - Lawyer Milloy...Probably the best who ever played the position at UW. In 1995, earned Parade All-American honors and first-team All-American honors by AP, Walter Camp, UPI, the American Football Coaches Association, the Football Writers Association and the Football News.
25. C - Blair Bush...A three-year letterwinner and two-year starter at center, Blair Bush served as a team captain and a leader for the 1977 UW team that went 10-2 on the season and defeated Michigan in the school's first Rose Bowl appearance in 14 seasons.
Who are your favorite Husky players?
Who do you think should be added to this list?