LSU Football: The 5 Most Under-Appreciated Players in School History

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IMarch 23, 2012

LSU Football: The 5 Most Under-Appreciated Players in School History

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    Remember the glory days, when you're favorite hometown team was on top of the college football world?

    For some, maybe that time is now. But for others—such as the Michigan, Texas, Florida and Tennessee fans out there—you can't help but to think back to those good ole' days and how dominant some of those teams were.

    Of course, we remember all the national attention that Charles Woodson, Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning received back in the day. But who were the most underappreciated guys on those teams?

    Who were the guys that didn't steal all the headlines, but always made clutch catches, threw perfect passes or made the game-saving tackles?

    In LSU's rich football tradition, there have been plenty of guys along the way, and now, we are going to look back at who they were.

    Let's break down the five most underappreciated players in LSU football history...Bleacher Report Style!

Ali Highsmith

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    LSU fans can probably say with plenty of confidence that Ali Highsmith was the best linebacker in the program's history to go on and be undrafted after such a standout college career.

    Highsmith was a joy to watch on Saturday afternoons, but for some reason, he never got quite the national credit he deserved.

    During his time at LSU, Highsmith started 38 games at linebacker, totaling 260 tackles and 11 sacks. He recorded 101 tackles during his senior campaign while leading this LSU team to a national championship.

    He was the top linebacker on college football's top team, and he dosen't get drafted?

    Sounds underappreciated to me.

Rudy Niswanger

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    We often hear the saying that "offensive lineman don't get the same credit as other players on the football field."

    Well, if that statement holds true, it is the centers who really get the least credit of any of them.

    With that said, it wouldn't be fair not to include one of the greatest centers in LSU history on this list—Rudy Niswanger.

    Not only was Niswanger a great player on the field, but he was also an incredible student in the classroom. During his senior year, he was honored with the SEC Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. But for some odd reason, the on-the-field awards were never there.

    The most prestigious on-the-field award Niswanger received was being named second-team All-SEC his senior year, despite paving the way for one of the top rushing attacks in all of college football that season.

    Niswanger was a prime example of an offensive lineman who never quite received the credit he deserved.

Matt Mauck

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    Just like Tim Tebow did at Florida, all Matt Mauck did at LSU was win football games.

    However, Mauck didn't get nearly the credit that Tebow did during his college days.

    While at LSU, Mauck posted an eye-popping 18-2 record during his two years spent as the Tigers' starting quarterback. That record includes a victory in the unforgettable 2003 National Championship Game. His .900 winning percentage at LSU is the best of any quarterback in the program's rich history.

    Mauck finished his career at LSU with 3,831 yards and 37 touchdown passes, which ranks third all time in the program's history.

    After his incredible college career, Mauck entered the NFL Draft, but was not selected until the seventh round of the 2004 draft. He has just one career start to his name and was out of the league after the 2006 NFL season.

    Talk about a guy who was underappreciated. Mauck's body of work in college says it all.

Skyler Green

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    When it comes to the most underappreciated players not only in LSU history, but in college football history, it's tough to find a better one than former Tiger standout, Skyler Green.

    What made Green so special is that he could change a game in so many ways. He was an exceptional receiver on offense, but he was an even better return man on special teams.

    During his time wearing the LSU purple and gold, Green totaled nine receiving touchdowns, four punt return touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. His 3,243 all-purpose yards ranks No. 11 all-time in school history.

    Yet for some reason, when the discussion of the best LSU players of all time comes into conversation, Green never seems to be mentioned.

    Perhaps after reading this article, that can change sometime soon.

Rohan Davey

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    Rohan Davey may not have been the best quarterback in LSU history, but he was certainly one of the most enjoyable quarterbacks to watch.

    His 6'2", 250-pound frame seemed more suitable for a linebacker than a quarterback, but Davey got it done on the football field, despite never receiving the accolades that seemed warranted with his play.

    During his senior season, Davey quarterbacked the Tigers to a 10-3 record and an SEC title. He completed a school record 217-of-367 passes for 3,347 yards and 18 touchdowns that season, making him the only quarterback in school history to top the 3,000 passing yard mark in one season.

    Despite his incredible, record-setting numbers, Davey's most prestigious national award that season was being named All-SEC. He wasn't an All-American, wasn't a Maxwell Award Finalist and didn't receive any votes for the Heisman Trophy award.

    Davey wasn't underappreciated by the fans, but he certainly was by the national media as well as opposing players and coaches. This guy was one of the best in LSU's rich college football history.