LSU is well known for being one of the most storied programs in college football history.
With two National Championships over the past decade and the potential for a third with the much-anticipated Allstate BCS National Championship matchup against Alabama on Jan. 9, the Tigers have seen a ton of talent come through Baton Rouge. But, as talented as those players have been, how far back does LSU's history go?
We all know about names like Patrick Peterson and Glenn Dorsey, but what about the old-timers like Bert Jones and Tommy Casanova?
Let's dig deep here and break down a list of the top 50 players in LSU's program history.
Addai was a two-year starter at running back for the Tigers in 2004-05, but he saw action in all four years at LSU.
To this day, Addai currently ranks No. 5 in school history with over 2,500 rushing yards in his four-year career. He also added 23 touchdowns in his career, nine of which came in his senior season, which ranked third best in the SEC that year.
Addai was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 2006 draft and is their current starter at running back.
Smith is well known for being one of the top offensive lineman to come through LSU.
He was a standout offensive guard for LSU back in the mid-80s and was an AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) All-American selection in the 1984 college football season.
Smith was drafted in the third round of the 1985 NFL Draft. He played with the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals and the New York Giants during his NFL career
It’s not often that you would see a center on a list that has the term “greatest players” in it, but Niswanger is well-deserving, and his monstrous list of accolades proves why.
During his 2005 senior season, Niswanger received eight prestigious college football awards, including the SEC Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. He was known as being one of, if not the smartest player to ever have played at LSU.
On the field, Niswanger was a two-year starter for the Tigers in 2004-05, helping pave the way for one of the top rushing attacks in college football. He was named second-team All-SEC in his senior season.
Sheppard was one of the most dominant linebackers in college football last season and over the past four years.
He received major playing time as a freshman and was the top linebacker on the team during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. Overall, Sheppard topped 100 tackles in both his junior and senior season, and finished his collegiate career with 311 total tackles, which ranks him ninth all-time in LSU history.
Sheppard was a first-team ALL SEC member last season and was an All-America honorable mention. He was drafted in the third round this past year by the Buffalo Bills and is a starting linebacker on their current roster.
Whitworth was a four-year starter for LSU from 2002-05 where he starred on the offensive line.
His 52 career starts actually rank second in Division 1 history for an offensive lineman. He was named an All-SEC member in both his junior and senior seasons.
Whitworth was selected in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Brooks was a standout linebacker at LSU, possessing a great combination of speed, power and quickness during his time wearing the Purple and Gold.
Brooks was named an All-American linebacker during his junior season, but a knee injury cut his senior season short.
Despite the injury, Brooks went on to be drafted in the third round by the Denver Broncos in the 1987 NFL Draft. He played from 1987 to 1996, and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1992.
Brooks is a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
LaFleur was one of the best tight ends in SEC history.
In fact, during his senior year at LSU, he was so good that he was honored as an All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF).
LaFleur was a first round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1997 NFL Draft, going on to play four seasons in the NFL.
Tyson Jackson was a force on the Tigers’ defensive line and played a major role in the team's 2007 National Championship.
Jackson was a four-year starter for LSU and was dominant since his freshman season when he earned All-SEC honors by the coaches and Sporting News.
The former Tiger defensive standout was the highest LSU defensive player ever selected in the NFL Draft, going No. 3 overall to the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2009 NFL Draft.
There wasn’t a better interior lineman in all of college football during the 1961 season.
He was a consensus All-American that year, voted by every imaginable publication and association in America. He is currently a member of the LSU Sports Hall of Fame.
Winston was drafted in the fourth round of the 1962 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, where played 15 seasons.
Not only was he one of the best receivers in the country, but Skyler Green was hands down the best special teams return man in college football during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons at LSU.
Green ranks No. 1 in LSU school history with four punt returns for touchdowns and No. 2 in school history in punt return yards with 1,064. During his sophomore season, he led the nation in punt returns with an 18.5 average.
During his career at LSU, Green had 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.
Green was selected as an All-American during both his sophomore and senior seasons at LSU.
Ben Wilkerson was the man in the middle, paving the way for one of the best backfields in the nation in the mid 2000s.
The Tigers’ center was an All American in the 2004 season and was voted as a Co-Dave Remington trophy winner.
He was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2005 and also spent time with the Atlanta Falcons. He currently serves as a Graduate Assistant at his alma mater.
There wasn’t a better offensive guard in all of college football in 2003 than former LSU star Stephen Peterman.
Peterman earned first-team All-American honors from all the major publications. In his career, he played in 49 total games and only allowed one sack throughout his entire senior season.
The former LSU star was drafted in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He is currently the starting right guard for the Detroit Lions.
Eddie Kennison was known for being one of the fastest players to ever put on an LSU football uniform.
In addition to being a standout on the football field, he was also an exceptional sprinter. He was a six-time All American sprinter.
Kennison was drafted 18th overall in the first round by the St. Louis Rams in the 1996 NFL Draft where he went on to have a successful 14 year NFL career, including two back-to-back 1,000 yard receiving seasons in 2004 and 2005.
This is kickin it old school, but back in the mid 1950s, LSU's Sid Fournet was one of the most dominant players in the all of college football. And the beauty of it was that he starred on both sides of the ball.
Fournet played both offensive guard and defensive tackle in college, while being named an All-American in the 1954 season.
He played on the defensive line for seven seasons in the NFL with the LA Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Texans and New York Jets.
It would be hard to find a more exciting and enjoyable quarterback to watch in the early 2000s than LSU’s Rohan Davey.
Davey got playing time during his junior season and then took the starting reigns his senior season, leading LSU 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. He became the only quarterback in LSU history to throw for over 3,000 yards in a single-season.
Davey was named All-SEC in his senior season before being selected by the New England Patriots, 117th overall in the 2002 NFL Draft.
Ali Highsmith was a joy to watch in college as he anchored a defense that ranked among the top five in the nation from 2005-07.
Highsmith started 38 games while at LSU and totaled 260 tackles and 11 sacks during his time in Baton Rouge. He had 101 tackles in his senior and helped lead the Tigers' to a National Championship.
Highsmith was a first-team All-American in 2007 and was a finalist for the prestigious Butkus Award, given to the top linebacker in college football. Highsmith went undrafted in the 2008 Draft, but he signed with Arizona, and has been in and out of the league ever since.
JaMarcus Russell is well-known for being one of the biggest NFL Draft busts of all time after he was selected with the No.1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders.
But before Russell turned into a bum of an NFL quarterback, he was pretty darn good during his college career at LSU.
Russell was a two-year starter at LSU and finished his collegiate career rankings among the top five in every career-passing category at LSU. He posted a 25-4 career mark as LSU’s starting signal caller, which is the third highest win total for a QB in school history.
He ranks second all-time at LSU in completion percentage and touchdown passes, and third in completion percentage and touchdown passes. He ranks No. 3 in school history with 6,704 yards of total offense at LSU.
If only those stats would have transitioned to the NFL game...
One of the most underrated running backs in college football history, Hester was a standout throughout his career at LSU, including being the lead back on the Tigers' 2007 National Championship team.
Hester closed out his career with 1,780 yards rushing and 20 rushing touchdowns, including rushing for 1,103 yards and 12 scores in his senior year. The 1,103 rushing yards ranks as the ninth-highest total in school history.
Hester was drafted by the Chargers in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft and is still with the team.
This was the original Mike Williams, and not only was he one of the best defensive backs to ever play at LSU; he was also the first African-American football player in LSU history to letter.
Williams was voted as an All-American in 1974 and then went on to be selected 22nd overall in the 1975 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers.
When it comes to big, intimidating defensive ends in college football, there weren’t many better than former LSU standout Jarvis Green.
Green had four outstanding years at LSU where he recorded 20 sacks, which ranks fourth all time in program history. As a senior, he totaled 52 tackles, but as a freshman, Green set an LSU freshman record with eight sacks.
He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots and is a two-time Super Bowl Champion.
Michael Clayton has not turned out in the NFL how many expected him to, but wow, he was special in college.
Clayton started 31 games in his three year college career before bolting to the NFL after his junior season. In those three years, he caught 182 passes for 2,582 yards and 21 TDs. He currently holds the LSU record for career TD receptions with 21 and is second all time in school history in receptions.
Clayton caught a pass in every game he played in during his three years at LSU and is the only player in LSU school history to have at least 700 receiving yards in three consecutive seasons.
Clayton was drafted No. 15 overall by the Tampa Bay Bucs in the 2004 NFL Draft.
Y.A. Tittle was argued by many to be the best quarterback in LSU history.
Tittle was named the MVP of the legendary 1947 Cotton Bowl Classic, which ended in a 0-0 tie with Arkansas during an ice storm.
Tittle went on to play for the Colts, 49ers and Giants, and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
On a long list of great quarterbacks, Tommy Hodson is certainly amongst the best all-time at LSU.
Hodson played for the Tigers for four seasons in the mid 1980s and led LSU to two SEC Championships as a freshman and junior. He passed for 9,115 yards and 69 touchdowns during his collegiate career at LSU, making him the first quarterback in SEC history to pass for more than 8,000 yards and 60 career touchdowns.
He threw for over 2,000 yards in all four years, which makes him the third player in college football history to ever do so. He was also selected as an ALL-SEC member all four years, which marked the first time an LSU player had accomplished that.
Hodson was selected 59th overall in the 1990 NFL Draft by the Patriots and enjoyed a six-year career in the NFL.
When it comes to running backs, there weren’t many better than Dalton Hillard.
The former LSU star was a touchdown machine, ranking fourth all time in the SEC with 44 rushing touchdowns from 1982-1985.
Hillard played for the New Orleans Saints from 1986-1993. He is a member of the Saints Hall of Fame.
Steltz was the ideal safety, playing a major role in LSU’s 2007 National Championship run. He was a two-year starter for LSU, playing in 44 games and starting in 20 of them.
Steltz ranks fifth in school history in passes defended and sixth in interceptions with 11. He was so dominant in his senior season that he was named a Jim Thorp Finalist and was voted as a first-team All-American.
Steltz was drafted in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears.
Lavalais was a dominant defensive tackle and the anchor on LSU’s 2003 team, which was one of the best defensive teams over the past decade. He was a finalist for both the Nagurski and Outland awards, as well as being named a first-team All-American.
Lavalais recorded 202 tackles and 12 sacks in his 41 starts for LSU over his career. Him and Marcus Spears formed the most dominant defensive tackle duo in the nation.
He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth round of the 2004 NFL Draft.
Tyrann Mathieu might be the most popular player on this dominant 2011 LSU defense, but from a skill standpoint, Morris Claiborne is the best of the group.
Mathieu is a lockdown corner who has proved to be the best corner in all of college football this year, taking home the annual Jim Thorpe award.
He has consistently shut down the best receivers in the SEC this season and has a bright future ahead in the NFL considered by many top be a potential top-10 draft pick in 2012.
With a dominant National Championship showing, he could move up this list.
Bowe is arguably the top NFL player from LSU who is currently playing in the league today.
In college, Bowe saw significant playing time all four years and finished his career with 154 catches for 2,403 yards and 26 touchdown receptions, which is an LSU record. He ranks fourth in LSU history in receptions and eighth all time in SEC history in career touchdowns.
Bowe was voted as a third-team All-American during his senior season and was selected in the first round with the 23rd pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He is currently still with the Chiefs and one of the top receivers in the NFL today.
Marcus Spears came to LSU as a tight end, but he moved to the defensive line in his sophomore season and was dominant there ever since.
Spears had an exceptional junior season when he anchored the Tigers’ defensive line to a National Championship. Then in his senior season, he established himself as the top defensive lineman in the country.
Spears was an All-American and a Lombardi Award finalist. He was then drafted in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, where he currently plays.
Wiley is one of the many great defensive lineman at LSU, earning an abundance of awards while wearing the Tigers’ purple and yellow.
Most noticeable is that Wiley was an All-American in 1997, first team All SEC in 1996 and 1997, Second team All SEC in 1995 and Academic All SEC in 1996.
He currently ranks fourth on LSU’s all time sack list with 19, including four in one game, which is the program’s single game record.
Estay was a dominant defensive pass rusher back in the early 1970s and was named an All-American in the 1971 season.
He was named a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
Estay was drafted by the Denver Broncos but spent the majority of his professional playing career in the Canadian Football League with the Edmonton Eskimos.
Anderson was a dominant linebacker in the middle of the Tigers defense in the early 1970s.
Anderson anchored a defense that helped pave the way to an SEC Championship in 1970. He was named a two-time All-American at LSU in both the 1970 and 1971 college football seasons.
Corey Webster is one of the top defensive backs to ever play at LSU.
Webster was a two time All-American for the Tigers in 2003 and 2004 and received All-SEC honors on three separate occasions. He was twice a semifinalist for the Thorpe award, which goes to the nations best defensive back.
Webster was drafted in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He is currently a starting corner for the G-Men.
Davis was a standout wide receiver with the LSU Tigers from 1984-1987 where he was named a two-time All-American.
In 1986, Davis led the Tigers to an SEC title. He ranks second in school history in receiving yards behind Josh Reed, with 2,708 yards,
Davis was a first round pick of the Chicago Bears where he played for six seasons.
Faneca was known as one of the best offensive lineman in the NFL over the past decade and he was equally as dominant in college.
Faneca was named the SEC’s freshman of the year in 1995 and then was an All-American in his sophomore and junior seasons. He was a finalilst for the Outland Trophy in 1997, where he only allowed one sack throughout the entire season.
Faneca was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft.
It would be hard to find a more accomplished running back in all of college football during the late 1990s than Kevin Faulk.
Faulk was a three-time All-SEC selection and received All American honors in three of his four years at LSU, which is incredible in itself. He rushed for 4,557 yards and 46 touchdowns in his college career, making him LSU’s all-time leading rusher ever.
He also finished fourth in NCAA history and first in SEC history with 6,833 all-purpose yards, breaking the former record held by Hershel Walker. He had 53 total touchdowns in his collegiate career.
Faulk was selected by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft, and still plays with the team today as a reserve back.
Charles Alexander was one of the best running backs in all of college football during the mid 1970s.
He was a first-team All-American and All-SEC in both 1997 and 1978.
All-in-all, Alexander set over 20 LSU records during his college career, including the record for the most rushes in a game with 43, most yards in a season with 1,686 and most yards gained per game average in a season with 153.3.
Alexander was drafted in the first round of the 1979 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
McFarland was big, he was intimidating and he was good.
McFarland was a pass rush machine and was also a dominant run stopper from his defensive tackle position. He received All-American and All SEC honors in 1998.
He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft and played eight seasons in the NFL before retiring in 2007.
Yes, Mathieu is still in the midst of his college football career at LSU, but at this point, he is this good. He will likely be moving up this list by his senior season, but keep in mind, this shutdown corner is only a sophomore.
Mathieu had an incredible sophomore season and is a lock to be an All-American after being a Heisman Finalist this year.
In just his 18th career game, Mathieu set a school record with his eighth forced fumble, which he then recovered and ran in for a touchdown. He had two electric punt returns against Arkansas and Georgia in the past two games, which changed the momentum of both games in LSU's favor.
Mathieu is considered to be the top corner in all of college football right now, and some say he will end up being better than former LSU All-American Patrick Peterson.
The sky is the limit for this young stud.
As good as Dwayne Bowe was at LSU, his numbers didn’t even compare to Josh Reed, who basically rewrote the LSU and SEC record books for receiving.
During his 2001 junior season, Reed had 94 receptions, 1,740 receiving yards and a 145 yards per game average. In one game against Alabama that season, Reed caught 19 passes for 293 yards, which are both LSU and SEC single-game records.
Reed was named a first-team All-American and was also the Fred Biletnikoff winner that season after leading the nation in virtually every receiving category.
One of the most feared safeties in college football history, Landry was as good in college as he has been in his impressive NFL career thus far.
Landry hit the scene hard in his freshman season when he started at safety for the 2003 National Championship team. He was named a freshman All-American and received All-SEC honors as well.
In his senior season, Landry was an All-American and a finalist for the Thorpe Award.
He was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft to the Washington Redskins.
It would be hard for anyone to make the argument against Bradie James being the most dominant linebacker in LSU history.
In his four-year career at LSU, James recorded more than 400 tackles, including 154 in his senior year. He was named All-American that season and became the first LSU linebacker to receive All-SEC honors since the early 1970s.
James was a fourth round selection of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2003 NFL Draft.
Perhaps if there is one linebacker to rival Bradie James for the title of best ever at LSU, it would be this man, Al Richardson.
Richardson currently holds the all-time LSU record for career tackles with a whopping 452. He also holds the record for the most tackles in a game when he recorded 21 tackles in his senior season.
He was an All-American in the 1982 season as a senior.
Warren Capone was one of only eight players in LSU program history to be named a two-time All-American.
Capone was a dominant linebacker for the Tigers in the 1970s, receiving All-American honors in 1972 and 1973. He is a current member of the Louisiana State University Athletic Hall of Fame.
There wasn't a single defensive back in all of college football that was as dominant as Patrick Peterson since Charles Woodson won the Heisman Trophy while at Michigan.
In 2010, Peterson was the SEC Player of the Year, an All-American and the winner of both the Thorpe and Bednarik Awards.
He is thought of by many to be the greatest defensive player ever at LSU. Peterson was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Stovall starred at running back for the Tigers in the early 1960s and was an All-American in 1962.
In addition to being an All-American, Stovall also finished as the runner-up for the 1962 Heisman Trophy. He is a member of college football’s prestigious Hall of Fame.
Stovall was the second overall pick in the 1963 NFL Draft to the St. Louis Cardinals.
It’s not often that you see a defensive tackle finish in the top-10 of the Heisman Trophy voting, but that is exactly what Glenn Dorsey did in his dominant senior season.
Dorsey was an All-American selection in both his junior and senior seasons and went on to win the Nagurski, Lott, Outland and Lombardi trophies in his senior season. He is the only player in LSU history to win all four of those awards.
Dorsey was the No. 5 overall pick to the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Bert Jones was one of the greatest quarterbacks not only in LSU history, but in SEC history.
During his career in the early 1970s, Jones completed 53 percent of his passes for 3,225 yards and 28 touchdowns , which at the time was the record for most yards and TDs of any quarterback to wear the purple and gold.
Jones earned All-American honors in 1972 where he became the first LSU quarterback in program history to be named an All-American.
Casanova was one of the most multi-dimensional players in college football history.
During his three seasons at LSU, Casanova was a running back, punt and kicker returner and defensive back. He was the only LSU player in the programs history to be selected as an All-American in three straight seasons.
In 1971, Casanova was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, with the headline: “Tommy Casanova of LSU, Best Player in the Nation.”
In 2000, Casanova was selected as a member of the College Football All-Century Team.
He was selected in the second round of the 1972 draft where he played five seasons and was selected to the Pro Bowl four times.
Cannon was a star running back for the Tigers from 1957-1959. He led LSU to its first-ever AP National Championship in 1958.
That year Cannon became LSU’s first and only Heisman Trophy winner when he received college footballs top award.
Cannon was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983, but had the honor taken away after he was involved in a counterfeiting scheme. The Hall selected him back in 2008.
During his career at LSU, Cannon received over 25 prestigious college football awards, including the Heisman Trophy, two-time All-American and the Player of the Year Award by multiple publications.