Auburn Football: 10 Best Quarterbacks in Tigers History

Ian Berg@@ShugJordanPkwyCorrespondent IApril 6, 2012

Auburn Football: 10 Best Quarterbacks in Tigers History

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    Auburn has been known for its running backs in the past, but there have been some very good signal-callers that have played for the Tigers. Listing the 10 best quarterbacks in history is never an easy task with so much talent that has taken the field.

    Auburn has had two Heisman Trophy winners that have played the quarterback position, with numerous others guiding the Tigers to championships and big wins. The Tigers have had quarterbacks go on to the NFL, while others are still coaches in the college game.

    Looking at the history books and success that the Tigers have had on the gridiron, here are the top 10 quarterbacks in school history.

Travis Tidwell: 1946-49

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    Travis Tidwell was one of the best quarterbacks in Auburn history. His stats are not over the top in the passing game, as passing was a small portion of the T-formation that was the Auburn offense of the day.

    Tidwell was one of two freshmen to ever lead the country in total offense, accomplishing the feat in 1946. Tidwell led the country in total offense a second time in 1949 as a senior.

    Tidwell is also famous for his 27-yard touchdown run that happened in 1949 against Mississippi State. Tidwell, as legend has it, knocked out Jerry Clower and drug him backwards into the end zone. 

Lloyd Nix: 1956-58

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    Lloyd Nix was one of the best position switches in Auburn football history. Nix started his Auburn career at running back, but was moved to quarterback before the 1957 season. He went on to guide the Tigers to their first national title.

    Nix carries a career record of 19-0-1 as a starter. Nix was a great leader for the Tigers and will forever be etched in Tigers history with his astounding record and national championship.

Pat Sullivan: 1969-71

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    Pat Sullivan was the Tigers first Heisman Trophy winner, and the first to win the award for a school that was previously coached by John Heisman.

    Sullivan to Beasley was one of the most well-known calls in college football during the early 1970’s. Pat Sullivan is in the No. 4 position with total passing yardage and completions in his career with the Tigers.

    Sullivan had his best season in 1971 passing for over 2,500 yards and throwing 20 touchdowns. He is now the head coach for the Samford University Bulldogs.

Jeff Burger: 1984-87

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    Jeff Burger was a winner. He didn’t give show-stopping performances, but he won Auburn a lot of ballgames.

    Burger carries a record of 19-3-2. He also is quietly found at the No. 9 position for the Tigers with all-time yardage and completions. His most impressive stat was his career completion percentage that lands him at the No. 3 position all time for the Tigers.

Reggie Slack: 1986-89

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    Before Jason Campbell wore No. 17, Reggie Slack made the jersey famous. Slack is in the top 10 for passing yards, completions and completion percentage for the Tigers all time.

    In the years that Slack was the starter, the Tigers won a share of the SEC title, and they won a Sugar Bowl in 1988. Slack is not an often remembered quarterback for the Tigers, but he was a winner.

    As a starter, Slack was 20-4.

Stan White: 1990-93

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    Stan White led the Tigers during one of the best times for the Tigers. Auburn went undefeated during the 1993 season, led by White. Stan White is the leader for the Tigers all time with completions and passing yards.

    White also had a bit of an interception problem, which doesn’t help his stat line, but White was a leader for an undefeated team that faced a ton of adversity. White will be remembered for his wins and his time with the Auburn Sports ISP Network. 

Dameyune Craig: 1994-97

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    Dameyune Craig was a fiery signal-caller for the Tigers that filled a role from day one for Auburn when he arrived on campus. Craig was not going to unseat Pat Nix from the starting position, but with the running skills that Craig possessed, HC Terry Bowden found a fit.

    Craig is ranked No. 5 all time in touchdown passes, completions and passing yardage. His strongest season was his senior year in 1997 where he guided the Tigers to the SEC championship game.

    Craig sits at the No.1 spot for the Tigers single-season passing yards mark and completions in a season.

    The time that Craig had at Auburn will always be remembered well by the Tigers fans. He was electric and showed a leadership quality that is nearly impossible to match. 

Ben Leard: 1997-00

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    Ben Leard had an on-again-off-again love affair with the Auburn fanbase. The Tigers faced a coaching change during his tenure, and the ups and downs that come with coaching changes fell on the back of the quarterback.

    In his final two seasons with the Tigers, Leard led Auburn to victories that no one expected, but also battled in games that he shouldn’t have, even being unseated by true freshman Gabe Gross after an injury in the 1998 season.

    When 1999 rolled around, Leard returned to the helm and helped guide the Tigers for two more seasons. Leard finished his career No. 4 on Auburn’s all-time list with completion percentage, and in the No. 8 spot for passing touchdowns and passing yardage. 

Jason Campbell: 2001-04

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    Jason Campbell was another quarterback for the Tigers that battled for his position before becoming a star. Campbell was a stud quarterback out of Mississippi when he arrived on the Plains, but was thrown to the fire before he was ready.

    After battling with Daniel Cobb for his starting position, Campbell led the Tigers on one of the most magical seasons in school history, the undefeated 2004 season.

    Campbell managed to finish his career No. 2 in completions, completion percentage, passing yardage and completions. His 2004 performance landed him at the No. 3 position for touchdown passes in a season with 20.

Cameron Newton: 2010

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    Cameron Newton was the most electric player in college football in his one season with the Tigers. After a bombardment of distractions that occurred surrounding his recruitment to Mississippi State and Auburn, Newton pushed forward meticulously, guiding the Tigers to a national title in 2010.

    The Tigers were nowhere near the spotlight when the 2010 season began, but thanks to Newton, they owned it when the year concluded.

    Cameron Newton is the only Heisman winner that has also won a national title for the Tigers. In his one season, he set the season record for touchdown passes and threw for the second-most yards in a season. He also added 20 more rushing touchdowns to his total.

    Newton continues to electrify the game of football in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers. 


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