LSU Football: 10 Best Quarterbacks in School History

Jake Martin@JakeMartinSECCorrespondent IIIApril 5, 2012

LSU Football: 10 Best Quarterbacks in School History

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    Considering all of the excitement surrounding Zach Mettenberger's performance in the LSU 2012 spring game, it's a perfect time to look back at the greatest quarterbacks in school history.

    From past greats like Y.A. Tittle and Bert Jones to recent greats like Matt Flynn and JaMarcus Russell, LSU has had their fair share of talented quarterbacks. And don't worry—there will be no Jordan Jefferson anywhere near this list.

    All kidding aside, these are the 10 best quarterbacks in LSU history.

Honerable Mention

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    LSU quarterbacks who just missed the cut:

    • Josh Booty
    • Mike Miley
    • Mike Hillman
    • Jamie Howard
    • Nelson Stokley
    • Paul Lyons
    • David Woodley

10. Alan Risher

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    Alan Risher had a strong arm that produced many yards for the Tigers from 1980-82.

    How many yards, you ask?

    Well, Risher ranks sixth all-time in total yards in his career with 5,127.

    For a man that played quarterback in the early 80s, he produced some pretty hefty stats.

    Risher not only got it done through the air, but he could rush the football, too. Of his 5,127 career total yards, 542 of those came on the ground.

    Risher also took care of the football very well, and he has the record for most consecutive attempts without an interception in school history with 137.

9. Jeff Wickersham

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    Following Risher's successful career at LSU was none other than Jeff Wickersham, and he had an even better career.

    Wickersham excelled in the passing game, as he finished his career at LSU with 6,921 yards through the air.

    To put that in perspective, that's better than JaMarcus Russell, and it ranks second all-time in school history.

    Wickersham wasn't much of a runner, but when he dropped back to pass, opposing teams knew he could light up the scoreboard in the air.

    This was most apparent in his game against Mississippi State in 1983, when he threw for 368 yards.

8. Herb Tyler

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    Herb Tyler was the dual-threat quarterback that LSU fans wanted Jordan Jefferson to be.

    Tyler will always be connected to LSU's biggest upset in school history against the No. 1 Florida Gators in 1997.

    LSU's Mr. Underappreciated's biggest moment came in that game when he gave the Tigers a double-digit lead with 11 minutes left to play on a beautiful quarterback scamper.

    Tyler finished his career at LSU with 6,654 total yards, which is the fourth-best on LSU's all-time list.

    Tyler also finished third in school history in career touchdown passes with 40.

7. Y.A. Tittle

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    We're going old school on this one.

    Y.A. Tittle made a huge splash in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants, but before he was a pro, he was a Tiger.

    Tittle played in the late '40s at LSU, and he was named MVP in the 1947 Cotton Bowl classic between LSU and Arkansas, which ended in a scoreless tie.

    Though he didn't post the gaudy stats at LSU because of the day and age he played in, this list wouldn't be legitimate if it didn't have Tittle among the ranks.

6. Matt Mauck

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    No LSU quarterback has ever had a bigger impact in the first game of their career than Matt Mauck.

    The game I'm obviously referring to is the 2001 SEC Championship game against Tennessee, when Rohan Davey was injured and Mauck replaced him.

    Mauck stepped in against the No. 2 team in the nation and had 43 rushing yards, with two of those coming as touchdowns.

    The Tigers would ultimately win the game, and Mauck would go on to have a very successful career.

    His best season, of course, came in 2003, when he posted the third-best total yards in a season in LSU history with 2,922 total yards.

    Mauck would also go on to lead the Tigers to their second national championship that year.

5. Matt Flynn

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    Matt Flynn might have been the coolest, most calm quarterback I've ever seen put on an LSU uniform.

    His demeanor never changed, and to this day, Flynn carries that same swagger with him in the NFL.

    NFL fans are finally getting to see in him what LSU fans saw in him for years—an explosive quarterback.

    After backing up JaMarcus Russell, Flynn finally got his chance to shine in 2007, and that's exactly what he did.

    Flynn had 2,622 yards that season with 21 touchdowns, and he saved his best performance for last.

    In the 2007 BCS National Championship game, Flynn threw four touchdown passes as the Tigers defeated Ohio State.

4. JaMarcus Russell

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    If you want to talk about pure talent and pure talent alone, JaMarcus Russell was the most gifted quarterback in LSU history.

    People talk about quarterbacks having cannons all of the time, but I've never seen a quarterback with a stronger arm than Russell's.

    Russell had a total of 6,704 yards in his career at LSU, and that's only one yard behind second-highest Wickersham.

    Russell is tied in school history for most touchdown passes in a single season with Matt Mauck, as they both threw 28.

    Russell would go on to become the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NFL draft and fail to live up to the hype because of his personal problems.

3. Rohan Davey

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    Rohan Davey to Josh Reed was the most lethal quarterback-to-receiver connection in LSU history.

    Davey, my all-time favorite LSU quarterback, was a stat machine in 2001, and he had one of the greatest performances in LSU history against Alabama that season.

    Davey threw for 528 passing yards with two touchdowns against the Crimson Tide, and that was just a sample of what Davey did that season.

    Davey's 3,351 total yards in 2001 is the highest total yards in a single season in school history.

    Imagine what Davey could have done in his career if he started ahead of Josh Booty.

2. Bert Jones

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    You can ask just about every LSU fan over the age of 40 who their favorite quarterback is, and they'll tell you Bert Jones.

    I like to point to one moment that reflects that popular opinion.

    That moment came in Jones' senior season against Ole Miss, when Jones hit running back Brad Davis in the end zone as time expired to win the game. 

    Jones would go on to become the first LSU quarterback to be awarded as a consensus All-American in 1972, and he finished fourth in the Heisman voting that year.

1. Tommy Hodson

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    For four seasons, Tommy Hodson dazzled LSU fans, and there's no doubt that he's the best quarterback in school history.

    To this day, Hodson leads all quarterbacks in total yards in school history with 8,938, has the most career touchdowns with 69, has multiple 2,000-plus passing yard seasons, is fourth on most consecutive attempts without an interception and threw four touchdown passes in two games in 1989.

    Hodson was consistently great year after year, and that's why he holds as many records as he does for the Tigers.

    Hodson was without a doubt the best player to take a snap from center in an LSU uniform.