The DMV may not have programs with a rich college football history like Alabama or Florida, but some of the best college football players of all-time have played right in our own backyard. Here are the DMV's 10 best ever non-QB college football players.
Honorable mention: Heath Miller TE, Virginia
Miller gets a special mention because when I started the research for this I simply assumed he would make the list. The 2004 All-American tight end won the John Mackey Award as the best tight end and hauled in 20 touchdowns in his three seasons with the Cavaliers. His missing the cut is a product of how stacked this list is more so than a reflection on Miller who was outstanding.
10. Herman Moore WR, Virginia
Moore was a dominant receiver for three seasons with the Cavaliers, but he really blew up in 1990. In that season, he caught 54 passes for 1,190 yards (an ACC single-season record) and 13 touchdowns and was named a consensus All-American. He ultimately would finish sixth in the Heisman voting for that year. His nine straight games with a touchdown reception was an NCAA record and he tied another NCAA record with a career average of 22.0 yards per reception. In addition, he also set school records with 27 career touchdowns and 2,504 career receiving yards.
9. Lee Suggs RB, Virginia Tech
As a sophomore, Suggs earned Big East Offensive Player of the Year honors as he rushed for 1,207 yards and a whopping 27 touchdowns. Only 13 players have ever scored more rushing touchdowns in a single season. As a senior, he added another 1,325 yards and 22 touchdowns. His 53 career touchdowns rank tied for 27th all-time and the scary thing is he was limited by injury to just one game and 12 carries in his junior year (and still rushed for two touchdowns). With a healthy junior season, Suggs could very easily have cracked the top 10.
8. Chris Long DE, Virginia
Long was a monster on the field for his first two seasons, but took the jump to elite in 2007. Can I interest you in 14 sacks? That's what Long had in an incredible 2007 season in which he led the ACC in both sacks and tackles for loss. He also earned ACC Defensive Player of the Year and All-American honors and won the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation's top defensive end. He finished 10th in the Heisman voting for that year and was ultimately selected second overall in the NFL draft.
7. Charles Haley DE/LB, James Madison
Haley is better known for his NFL career, but is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, so he was no slouch in college. Cycling between defensive end and linebacker, Haley was a four-year starter at JMU. In those four years, he never finished lower than second on the team in tackles and led the team twice. He finished his career with 506 tackles, which was a school record, 17 sacks, three interceptions and was a two-time I-AA All-American. He would go on to a Hall of Fame career in the NFL.
6. Tiki Barber RB, Virginia
For two straight years, Barber led the ACC in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns. He rushed for 2,757 yards combined in 1995 and '96 and was named the ACC Player of the Year in 1996.
5. Corey Moore LB, Virginia Tech
Moore terrorized the Big East during his time in Blacksburg. In 1998 and '99, his final two seasons, he recorded 13.5 and 17 sacks respectively, earning Big East Defensive Player of the Year for both seasons. In 1999, he also won the Vince Lombardi Award as the lineman of the year, the Bronko Nagurski Award as the best defensive player in the nation and was a consensus All-American.
4. E.J. Henderson LB, Maryland
Henderson finished his impressive career with a laundry list of awards and records. He was twice named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and was declared the ACC Player of the Year in 2001. He was also a two-time consensus All-American and won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the defensive player of the year and Dick Butkus Award as the best linebacker, both in 2002. He held three NCAA records for career tackles per game (12.5), unassisted tackles in a season (135) and unassisted tackles per game (8.8).
3. Bill Dudley RB, Virginia
Dudley is remembered most as a running back, but he was so much more than that. He was a runner, passer, kicker and even played on defense as he played in a time when players played multiple positions. In 1941, Virginia scored 279 points. Dudley scored 134 of those points. Though he finished fourth in the Heisman voting in 1941, he won the Maxwell Award as the player of the year and was second in the nation in total offense with 1,824 yards. In the final game of his college career, he led Virginia to a 28-7 win over North Carolina. In that game, he ran for 215 yards, threw for 117, scored three touchdowns, threw for a fourth and kicked all four PATs. He was selected No. 1 overall in the NFL draft, left to join the Air Force in 1943, but returned to the NFL after the war. He is in both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame.
2. Randy White DT, Maryland
White was actually recruited as a fullback but was moved to defense in his freshman year, and it's a good thing as White thrived on the defensive side of the ball. In his senior year, he was named the ACC Player of the Year, a consensus All-American and won both the John Outland Trophy as the best interior lineman and the Vince Lombardi Award as the best lineman. He was drafted second overall in the NFL, two picks ahead of Walter Payton, and is a member of both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fames.
1. Bruce Smith DE, Virginia Tech
Another member of both Hall of Fames, Smith's contributions in Blacksburg can sometimes be overlooked because sack stats were not officially kept when he was playing. Smith had a monster junior season in which he recorded 22 (!!!) sacks. He followed that up with a senior season in which he won the Outland Trophy as the nation's top lineman and was named a consensus All-American. His exploits earned him the No. 1 overall pick in 1985.
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