When challenged with the task of coming up with my Top Ten All-Time LSU Football Greats, I thought about it and decided to modify it a bit. I felt more compelled to list the players I thought did the most with their opportunity while wearing a LSU helmet.
My picks may not necessarily be the best or most gifted athletes to wear the Purple & Gold, but those whom I felt maximized their chance on the field.
The good thing about creating these lists is that they are subjective, sometimes questionable, and always stir debate. I am sure I will be excluding some great players, that have graced the LSU gridiron over the years, however, there are only 10 slots so many potential candidates have to be left out.
Besides, this is my list, and I get to pick and choose.
That being said, here is my list starting with No. 10:
No. 10 Herb Tyler, QB—Tyler played for LSU in the latter half of the 1990s as a dual threat quarterback, and a dual threat he was. If he wasn't doing his best imitation of a waterbug—scrambling for positive yards—he was accurately connecting with his receivers. He was immensely productive on the field, finishing with a greater than 60% pass completion percentage and running for 23 touchdowns. His highlight game came in 1997 as he lead LSU over No. 1 Florida.
No. 9 Matt Flynn, QB—Matt is a perfect example of a talented player waiting in the wings, biding his time, learning the system, and then being prepared to go when the time comes. All he did was do what his predecessor, JaMarcus Russell, couldn't do, and that was lead the Tigers to their second BCS title. Matt was a very smart quarterback at LSU, who played within the system, connected well with his receivers, wasn't afraid to put his head down and run, and managed the offense admirably.
No. 8 Kevin Faulk, RB—Kevin was a teammate of Herb Tyler in the mid-to-late 1990s and complemented his QB very well. He was a slashing style runner who could run inside and had the speed to get outside. He was tough, persistent, and very adept at getting extra yards. This All-American set numerous records while at LSU: for rushing, all-purpose yards, and scoring. In fact, in the SEC, only Georgia's Herschel Walker had more rushing yards than Faulk.
No. 7 Matt Mauck, QB—Matt came to LSU with Nick Saban in 2000. He was a good game manager, accurate passer, and a deceptively good scrambler. Initially brought on to add depth behind Rohan Davey, Matt had his true coming out party in the 2001 SEC Championship game. In that game, he replaced an injured Davey, and surprised a talented Tennessee team by ending their NC dreams. His own NC dream became true two years later, as he led the Tigers to their first BCS title in 2003.
No. 6 Charles Alexander, RB—Charles played in the late 1970's under Coach Charlie McClendon. This two-time All-American may be one of, if not the best, pure running back LSU has ever had. He oozed talent and made the most of it. Charles played on some fair to fairly good LSU teams that saw moderate success, but his personal success was quite evident. He is the one LSU running back that has come the closest to winning the Heisman Trophy, other than Billy Cannon who actually did win it.
No. 5 Josh Reed, WR—Has there ever been a more productive receiver at LSU? Born with “receiver” hands, he arrived at LSU as a running back. It didn't take long for the coaching staff to recognize his catching abilities and converted him to receiver to start his sophomore year. The all-career game he had at Alabama in 2001 was quite memorable. Winning the Fred Biletnikoff Award that year confirmed he was one of LSU's all-time greats.
No. 4 Tommy Hodson, QB—Tommy was a prolific passer at LSU, who bucked the conventional wisdom of starting freshman quarterbacks in the SEC. Unlike past starting QBs, Tommy came on like gangbusters in his freshman year, shocking a highly ranked Texas A&M team in his 1986 debut, leading the Tigers to a SEC Championship (again in 1988). It was Hodson who was on the delivering end of the pass to Eddie Fuller in the game that shook LSU in 1988.
No. 3 LaRon Landry, S—LaRon upped the bar for safeties at LSU. Yes, he was talented, and did he ever make use of that talent. He started as a true freshman in 2003 and was named a freshman All-American. He would go on to be named first-team All-American his senior year. I will never forget seeing that wide-eyed look of an excited kid emanating from behind his facemask moments after a super quick, hard charging safety blitz that leveled Eli Manning in Oxford. A sign of things to come.
No. 2 Glenn Dorsey, DT—This guy, plain and simply, oozed LSU Football. What more could a coach ask for than what Glenn Dorsey delivered at LSU? You could see this guy coming on in his junior year, and by the time he was a senior, he was All-Everything. The most decorated player in LSU history, he owned his side of the defensive line, often soaking up two or three offensive linemen to free up his teammates. He was flat out dominant, and a true pleasure to watch.
No. 1 Jacob Hester, RB—Has there ever, in the entire history of LSU Football, been a less heralded player to come into LSU and do more to contribute to their success than Hester? If so, name him. Jacob came in as a two-star (Rivals) running back, out of Shreveport, with all of the fanfare that a two-star player attracts. All he did was become an ultra-dependable, tough-nosed, up-the-gut running back who Miles hung his career on for those tough 4th down yards, on the march to the 2007 NC.
Jacob won my Purple and Gold heart, and for that he is my No. 1 Maximum Achieving LSU Football Player.
I invite one and all Tigers fans to reply and submit their own Top 10 Maximum Achievers list.