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Texas A&M Football: 10 Best Quarterbacks in School History

Jim SullivanFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2012

Texas A&M Football: 10 Best Quarterbacks in School History

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    The quarterback is, without a doubt, the most important position on the field. The leader of the offense and, in most cases, the figurehead for the entire team, any young man talented enough to succeed on the college gridiron deserve more than just a little praise.

    Going back over the history of Texas A&M's football program, locking down 10 standouts at the position was, to say the least, difficult. The following list of Aggie QB's is, by my account, some of the top players to ever come through College Station.

    We take a look at the top 10 best quarterbacks in A&M history.  

Jerrod Johnson (2007-2010)

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    Certainly one of the most humble players to come through A&M's football program, this star QB was a big-time player for the Aggies during his tenure in College Station. Redshirted his first season in 2006, Johnson never saw any real action till 2008 when he stepped in for an injured Stephen McGee.

    Taking over the spot for the injured veteran, the young prodigy was all set to lead A&M against the Big 12 in both 2009 and 2010, culminating his college career. Unfortunately, the '09 season didn't go as planned while he eventually lost the starting spot to Tannehill in 2010.

    Johnson should still easily be noted as one of the best "instant-offense" kind of players for the Aggies. His ability to make plays on both the ground and in the air helped the young man establish himself as an NFL prospect where he now competes for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  

David Walker (1973-1974, 1976-1977)

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    Exploding out of the gate, Walker started as a freshman and earned himself the honor of SWC Freshman of the Year. During his sophomore year, Walker was again one of the best in the country leading the Aggies to an 8-3 record and their first winning campaign since 1967.

    Oddly, Walker was redshirted during his junior year so as to allow the QB tandem of Mike Jay and David Shipman to take over. Returning in 1976, Walker helped the Aggies to their first win over Texas at Austin in over 20 years. He stunned the nation in the postseason as well when he led the Aggies to a romping of Florida in the Sun Bowl. 

    Finishing out his tenure at College Station, Walker led the Aggies to another 8-3 record with a Bluebonnent Bowl loss to USC. He was, at the time, the Aggies' winningest QB with a 25-9 record as a starter and now sits at just second to Corey Pullig in that category. 

Bucky Richardson (1987-1991)

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    One of the most noted players in A&M history, Richardson earned himself a spot in Aggies' hearts after leading them to a victory as a freshman over Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl. Making his first start against Brett Favre and Southern Miss, the young QB proved himself to a be a threat to the SWC early on in his career. 

    During his senior season in 1991, Richardson acclaimed himself a slot as a SWC All-American and placed 10th in the Heisman Trophy voting. He finished his college tenure with over 2,000 rushing yards, a conference record for quarterbacks, and a 24-6-1 record. 

    Richardson was drafted by the Houston Oilers in 1992, playing in the NFL for five years for various franchises. 

Stephen McGee (2005-2008)

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    After being redshirted for the 2004 season, McGee stepped in during the end of the '05 year for an injured Reggie McNeal, helping the Aggies threaten the No. 2 ranked and future National Champion Texas Longhorns. 

    Starting for both 2006 and 2007, McGee was one of the most beloved players on campus, leading the Aggies to solid 9-4 and 7-6 records as well as two consecutive victories over the Longhorns. He single-handedly stole the spotlight from the future Heisman candidate Colt McCoy, furthering A&M's success despite the horrible coaching of Dennis Franchione.

    Unfortunately, a rough 2008 year littered with injuries prevented McGee from continuing his success on the field. He was drafted in the fourth round to the Dallas Cowboys and continues to play for the popular in-state NFL franchise.  

Gary Kubiak (1980-1982)

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    One of the most famous Aggies in the country, Gary Kubiak has made himself known through coaching rather than playing. Nonetheless, the A&M grad still was more than a big impact on the gridiron during his tenure at College Station.

    During Kubiak's junior year, he set a SWC record by throwing six touchdowns against Rice. The following season, he led his league in passing yards and touchdowns, earning himself a spot in the All-Southwest Conference team.

    Although drafted deep in the eighth round, Kubiak still was able to maintain a job in the NFL for eight years, playing each for the Denver Broncos. Three years later, Kubiak started coaching in the league for the 49ers and now heads up the Houston Texans a mere hour and a half drive from his college alma mater.   

Reggie McNeal (2002-2005)

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    Coming in as a freshman against No. 1 Oklahoma at Kyle Field, McNeal earned himself a spot in the history books by throwing four TD's en route to a stunning Aggie upset of the Sooners. Unfortunately, the rest of his freshman season was cut short due to injury. 

    During his sophomore and junior seasons, McNeal became known as "the most complete dual-threat quarterback in the nation" as quoted by ESPN. He even teamed up with Longhorn superstar Vince Young on the cover of Dave Campbell's Texas Football the summer preceding his senior season. 

    Despite all the hype, neither McNeal nor his team were able to deliver the kind of season fans expected in 2005, not even helping the Aggies reach bowl contention. A late injury even prevented the young man from matching wits with superstar and future NFL champion Vince Young at Kyle Field. 

Corey Pullig (1992-1995)

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    Certainly one of A&M's greatest, Pullig is the Aggies' winningest quarterback with a stellar 33-6-1 record. His stunning job as a freshman against both Louisville and Houston established the young man earlier on, giving the Aggies a superstar way ahead of his time. 

    Until Reggie McNeal came along in 2005, Pullig also led all A&M quarterbacks in career passing yards, throwing for 6,888 during his tenure in College Station. He also started 40 consecutive games, another record for this A&M program.

Ryan Tannehill (2007-2011)

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    While Tannehill was only a starter for the Aggies a season and a half, he is still easily one of the top quarterbacks in the history of the program. Following a lousy performance by Jerrod Johnson in 2010, Tannehill took over mid-year to lead A&M to a co-Big 12 South Title and a spot at the Cotton Bowl. 

    During his first career start at QB against Texas Tech, Tannehill inspired the Kyle Field Faithful with a stunning performance, breaking the school record for passing yards in a single game with 449 yards. Later on, two gigantic victories over Oklahoma and Nebraska pushed the Aggies into the class of the conference, losing the three-way tiebreaker with OU and OSU due to an earlier loss to the Cowboys. 

    Unfortunately, the senior QB curse struck the superstar during his final year on campus as he led A&M to a 7-6 record in their final season with the Big 12. Now, the big-time NFL prospect is considered the third best at his position for the draft and is, more than likely, a Top 10 pick.  

Randy McCown (1998-1999)

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    How could McCown not make this list? His superb play at QB was the defining factor that allowed the Aggies their only Big 12 Championship and first ever BCS berth against Ohio State. 

    An outright starter his junior year in 1998, McCown led A&M to an program best 11-3 record. Despite his absence in the Big 12 Championship against Kansas State, the Aggies were still able to pull out the victory and take home the conference title. 

    A&M's most memorable McCown moment has to be during the 1999 season finale when, after Texas A&M had just lost 12 students to their Bonfire collapse, he led the Aggies over No. 5 Texas in a stunning victory of epic proportions.  

Kevin Murray (1983-1986)

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    Considered A&M's all-time best QB, Kevin Murray has more than earned his spot as the best on this list. After a stunning freshman season during which Murray led the SWC in total offense, the young QB was forced to sit out due to a shattered ankle early in his sophomore year.

    Earning a medical redshirt for the remainder of his sophomore year, Murray came back in 1985 with something to prove. He crushed Southwest Conference foes SMU, Arkansas, and Texas, destroying the latter 42-10 and giving the Aggies a spot in the Cotton Bowl versus Auburn and their powerful running back Bo Jackson.

    Following a brilliant 36-16 win over the Tigers, the Associated Press, Dallas Morning News, and Houston Chronicle all named Murray the Offensive Player of the Year. His senior season held just as much excitement as the young man broke most of the Aggies' passing records while also earning himself a spot as the all-time leader of touchdowns in SWC.

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