COLUMBUS, Ohio – Archie Griffin, still the only two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy, is one of the Top 5 greatest players in the history of college football based on voting of 150 former coaches, players, administrators and media. The blue ribbon panel of 150 selected an all-time 150 greatest players on behalf of ESPN and its College Football 150 initiative to celebrate the 150th season of the sport.
Griffin was named as the fourth-greatest player of all time, behind only a top three of Jim Brown, from Syracuse, Herschel Walker, from Georgia, and Bo Jackson, of Auburn. The 11 greatest players in college football’s first 150 years were announced at halftime of the College Football Playoff championship game Monday evening.
The 11 Greatest Players in College Football History
1. Jim Brown, Syracuse
2. Herschal Walker, Georgia
3. Bo Jackson, Auburn
4. Archie Griffin, Ohio State
5. Jim Thorpe, Carlisle
6. Red Grange, Illinois
7. Earl Campbell, Texas
8. Dick Butkus, Illinois
9. Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State
10. Gayle Sayers, Kansas
11. Roger Staubach, Navy
Griffin won the Heisman Trophy in 1974 and then again in 1975, and 45 years later no player has won it twice. Griffin’s legendary collegiate career at Ohio State saw him set the NCAA Division I rushing record while rushing for another NCAA record of consecutive 100-yard games: 31.
While his 5,589 rushing yards are still the Ohio State standard, Griffin has become a beloved favorite of college football fans nationwide because of his humble nature, first-class demeanor, patience and kind reception to anyone and everyone he meets. His life after football has been full of achievement and accolades:
A three-time All-American and All-Big Ten selection, Griffin’s many leadership activities includes creating the Archie Griffin Scholarship Fund, which benefits Ohio State’s Olympic sports programs.
And now Griffin is considered one of the Top 5 players in the history of his sport, and he headlines a group of seven Buckeyes named to ESPN’s all-time greatest 150 list.
Go Bucks! – ESPN’s 150 Greatest Players
No. 4 RB Archie Griffin (1972-75) – Two-time Heisman Trophy winner (1974 and 1975) and College Football Hall of Famer (1986) who’s name is on the Big Ten Conference’s championship game MVP award.
No. 38 RB Eddie George (1992-95) – College Football Hall of Fame (2012) member won the 1995 Heisman Trophy and his name adorns the Big Ten Conference’s offensive player of the year award.
No. 44 SAF/LB Jack Tatum (1967-70) – Two-time unanimous All-American (1969-70) and College Football Hall of Famer (2004) whose name is on the Big Ten’s defensive back of the year award.
No. 47 RB Howard “Hopalong” Cassady (1952-55) – The first Heisman Trophy winner (1955) to surpass 2,000 total points in voting and who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979.
No. 51 OT Orlando Pace (1994-96) – 1996 Heisman Trophy finalist, a two-time winner of the Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy winner and member of the College (2014) and Pro (2015) football Halls of Fame.
No. 141 OG Jim Parker (1954-56) – Unanimous All-American (1956) and Outland Trophy winner who is a member of the College (1974) and Pro (1973) football Halls of Fame, respectively.
No. 143 LB Chris Spielman (1984-87) – 2009 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame and the winner of the 1987 Lombardi Award was a unanimous (1987) and consensus (1986) All-American.