Arkansas Football: The All-Time Dream Team

Luke Petkac@@LukePetkacFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2012

Arkansas Football: The All-Time Dream Team

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    A lot of great players have donned the Razorback uniform over the years. So what exactly would the ultimate Arkansas team be like? I'm talking about a team made up of the greatest Razorbacks to ever play the game, regardless of what era they played in.

    Factoring in only players' time in college, I present to you the Arkansas all-time dream team.

Quarterback: Ryan Mallett (2008-2010)

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    Ryan Mallett left Arkansas as the most decorated quarterback in school history.

    Not only did Mallett help lead the Razorbacks to their first BCS bowl birth ever, he also set almost every significant Arkansas passing record along the way.

    His records include career passing yards, single-season passing yards, career passing touchdowns and single-season passing touchdowns.

Running Back: Darren McFadden (2005-2007)

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    Another more recent Arkansas player, Darren McFadden is the most prolific rusher in school history.

    McFadden rushed for over 1,000 yards in all three seasons he spent in Arkansas and is the school's career leading rusher with 4,590 yards.

    A two-time Heisman trophy runner-up, McFadden was a consensus All-American in 2006 and 2007 and is (with all due respect to Barry Foster) the most electrifying runner to ever wear a Razorbacks uniform.

Fullback: Leon Campbell (1946-1949)

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    Leon Campbell played fullback in a time when fullbacks actually ran the ball fairly often. Campbell definitely made the most of those opportunities.

    An absolutely bruising rusher, Campbell set a school record when he rushed for 236 yards in a 1949 game against North Texas. The record has since been eclipsed, but over sixty years later, it still stands as the fourth-highest rushing game in Arkansas history.

Wide Receiver: Chuck Dicus (1968-1970)

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    When comparing wide receivers of old to those today, it's important to look beyond statistics. The passing game was far less prevalent in football's early era, and yet Chuck Dicus still managed to look good.

    An All-American in 1969 and 1970, Dicus ended his career with the Razorbacks with 118 catches and 1,854 yards.

    Dicus was also named MVP of the 1969 Sugar Bowl, where he caught 12 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown.

Wide Receiver: Jim Benton (1935-1937)

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    We're going way back when for Jim Benton, who played in an era with fewer games and far fewer passes. Yet somehow, he still ended up with 1,303 yards and 12 touchdowns, putting him up with the career receiving leaders in Razorback history.

    A member of the 1994 Arkansas all-century team, it's hard to measure just how well Benton could have placed statistically had he played in today's era.

Tight End: Kirk Botkin (1990-1993)

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    Though the tight end position isn't one traditionally favored by the Arkansas offense, Kirk Botkin still managed to have a pretty solid career.

    The first ever Razorback to be named to an All-SEC team, Botkin finished his time at Arkansas with 87 receptions for 819 yards and five touchdowns.

Offensive Tackle: Shawn Andrews (2001-2003)

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    A two-time All-American, Shawn Andrews was a dominant blocker in his time with the Razorbacks.

    Though he played 35 games at Arkansas, Andrews surrendered only two sacks his entire career. He also was a great run blocker, helping Arkansas to lead the SEC in rushing his junior year when the Razorbacks averaged 241.9 yards-per-game on the ground.

Offensive Tackle: Greg Kolenda (1976-1979)

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    Offensive tackle Greg Kolenda was a mainstay on the line during his time at Arkansas and helped lead the Razorbacks to 35 victories in his career.

    Kolenda received All-American honors in 1979 and played in three bowl games, including a 31-6 drubbing of Oklahoma in the 1978 Orange Bowl.

Offensive Guard: Brandon Burlsworth (1996-1998)

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    Burlsworth actually started his time with the Razorbacks as a walk-on, but he soon became one of the most fearsome offensive guards in school history.

    Burlsworth was an outstanding blocker, skilled at playing both the pass and the run.

    Sadly, he was killed in a tragic car accident in 1999, just eleven days after being drafted into the NFL. His name lives on in the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation

Offensive Guard: Leotis Harris (1974-1977)

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    Leotis Harris was another dominant guard and the mainstay of one of the greatest rushing attacks in college football history.

    The first black All-American at Arkansas, Harris acted as the linchpin of an offense that rushed for 273.7 yards-per-game in 1977. He was also a key contributor on the 1975 team that averaged a school record 320.3 rushing yards.

Center: Jonathan Luigs (2005-2008)

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    Luigs, the 2007 Rimington Trophy winner for outstanding collegiate center, is the most dominant center in Arkansas history.

    Luigs was an All-American in 2006 and 2007, and helped pave the way for 1,000 yard rushers Darren McFadden and Felix Jones.

    While Luigs was a good run blocker, he was a great pass blocker. Under his watch, the Razorback offensive line surrendered just nine sacks in 14 games in 2006, an incredible average of less than .65 sacks per game.

Defensive End: Billy Ray Smith, Jr. (1979-1982)

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    A disruptive force at the defensive end position, Billy Ray Smith, Jr. was the star of a stout Razorbacks defense in the early '80s.

    Named an All-American in 1981 and 1982, Ray Smith, Jr. ended his career with 299 tackles and a school record 62 tackles for loss.

    In 2000, Ray Smith, Jr. was named to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Defensive End: Ron Faurot (1980-1983)

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    Faurot was Ray Smith Jr.'s teammate, and while he may have been slightly lesser known, he was no less of a defensive force.

    Faurot captained the Razorbacks in 1983 (succeeding Ray Smith, Jr.) and led the team in both sacks (7) and tackles (61).

Defensive Tackle: Henry Ford (1990-1993)

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    Though Arkansas has had some great defensive tackles over the years, no one in history got into the backfield quite as often or as easily as Henry Ford.

    Ford amassed 25 sacks in his time at Arkansas, headlined by a magical 1993 season in which he took down the quarterback 14 times.

    Ford also had 23 tackles for loss that season, tied for the most of any Razorback in more than 30 years.

Defensive Tackle: Wayne Martin (1985-1988)

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    If Henry Ford got into the backfield the most of any tackle, Wayne Martin was a very close second.

    In fact, you could make the case Martin was even better. He's the Arkansas career leader in sacks with 25.5 (.5 better than Ford) and also accounted for 37 tackles for loss as a Razorback. In 1988, Martin was a first team All-American selection.

    (My apologies to Dan Hampton and Lloyd Phillips. You were both extremely difficult to omit from this team. Consider yourselves honorary members)

Linebacker: Ronnie Caveness (1962-1964)

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    It would have been impossible not to include Caveness—team captain of the Razorbacks' sole national championship—on this team.

    Caveness started at both linebacker and center for the Razorbacks in the 1960s and was Arkansas' leading tackler in an incredible 21 straight games.

    I couldn't name a single player in college football today who could play as a linebacker and an offensive lineman. What Caveness did is unbelievable and makes him well-deserving of a spot on the All-Time Dream Team.

Linebacker: Jermaine Petty (1999-2001)

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    Jermaine Petty was an outstanding linebacker known for playing his best when it mattered most.

    No Arkansas fan will ever forget his game-sealing 88-yard interception return against Auburn or his game-saving tackle in the Razorbacks' incredible seven-overtime game against Ole Miss.

    An All-American in 2001, Petty recorded 140 tackles (including 13 for a loss) and put himself shoulder to shoulder with other Arkansas defensive greats.

Linebacker: Tony Bua (2000-2003)

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    No one, and I mean no one in Arkansas history has ever been able to hit quite like Tony Bua could.

    This video should give you an idea of what I'm talking about.

    A hybrid linebacker/safety, Bua earned All-SEC honors as a sophomore, junior and senior. He's also the team's all-time leading tackler, with an amazing 408 stops in his Razorbacks career.

Defensive Back: Martine Bercher (1964-1966)

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    Bercher was another multifaceted player who starred as both a defensive back and a punt returner for the Razorbacks.

    A member of the 1964 championship team, Bercher was an All-American in 1966, his senior year. In that year, he recorded 30 tackles and three interceptions and led the Southwest Conference with 375 punt return yards.

Defensive Back: Ahmad Carroll (2001-2003)

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    Carroll was a blisteringly fast defensive back who excelled in track as well as football.

    This speed made him an absolute nightmare for opposing wide receivers, who could never quite get free of him.

    In his time at Arkansas, Carroll made two All-SEC teams, racked up 140 tackles and grabbed four interceptions to go along with over 20 passes defended.

Defensive Back: Steve Atwater (1985-1988)

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    Steve Atwater was one of those players who always seemed to know exactly where the ball was going. He's also one of the few players in history who could give Bua a run for his money in the hitting department.

    Atwater punished defenders and quarterbacks equally, amassing both hits and interceptions at a rapid pace. He posted 14 interceptions and 229 tackles in his storied career and established himself as one of the greatest defensive backs in school history.

Defensive Back: Kenoy Kennedy (1996-1999)

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    Kenoy Kennedy was yet another defensive back with a penchant for obliterating offensive players.

    He led the Razorbacks in tackles in 1998 and 1999, finishing his career with 287 total stops. In 1999, he was voted an All-American.

    Going beyond the numbers, Kennedy was simply intimidating. There wasn't a player alive who wanted to see Kennedy charging their way with a head of steam, and that's enough to earn him a spot on this team.

Kicker: Steve Little (1974-1977)

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    Little is undoubtedly the greatest kicker to ever play at Arkansas.

    He still holds the school record for most points kicking with 280, and he connected on 53-of-89 field goals (including 7-of-13 from beyond 50 yards) in his career.

    An All-American in 1976 and 1977, Little was also named to the Razorbacks all-century team.

Punter: Steve Cox (1979-1980)

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    There aren't many punters in history who could do what Steve Cox could.

    Originally a place-kicker for Tulsa, Cox eventually moved to Arkansas and started punting. It turned out to be a good decision.

    Cox had a career punting average of 45.2 yards (still a school record) to go along with some truly amazing punts. The greatest of these punts was an unbelievable 86-yarder kicked against Texas.

    It's very rare that a punter is noticed for doing something well, but Cox proved to be the exception in his time as a Razorback.

Kick/Punt Returner: Lance Alworth (1959-1961)

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    Alworth was an incredible running back who also returned kicks and punts for the Razorbacks throughout his career.

    A deceptively quick and elusive runner, Alworth was an All-American in 1961. He led the nation in punt return yardage in both 1960 and 1961.