Texas Football: The Top 10 Linebackers in Longhorns History
Over the next few weeks we'll take a look at the 10 best Texas Longhorns of all-time at each position, including quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, linebackers, secondary, offensive and defensive linemen, kick returners and, yes, even kickers.
Today's installment of the Texas top 10 focuses on the best linebackers in Longhorns history.
Sit back and enjoy some of the hardest hitters on the Forty Acres!
10. Robin Sendlein (1977-1980)
Another famous No. 60 for the Texas Longhorns, Las Vegas, Nevada native Robin Sendlein was one of the most dominant linebackers in the Southwest Conference during the late 1970s.
Sendlein ranks seventh on the single-season forced fumbles list at Texas—recording five in 1978—and second on the all-time forced fumbles list—recording a total of 12 for his career.
Robin may also be well-known for being the dad of former Texas Longhorn and current Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Lyle Sendlein.
9. Bill Hamilton (1973-1976)
Bill Hamilton was yet another of the outstanding linebackers which Texas' legendary head coach Darrell Royal had the opportunity to work with during the mid-1970s.
Hamilton finished second on the single season forced fumbles list with seven in 1975 and fifth on the single season tackles list with 154 in his senior season of 1976.
8. D.D. Lewis (1998-2001)
D.D. Lewis was one of the most versatile and athletic linebackers of the early Mack Brown era at the University of Texas.
D.D. finished his Texas career first all-time in career fumble recoveries with 10 and his five fumble recoveries during the 2000-2001 season is still a school record.
Lewis' seven-year NFL career included two stints with the Seattle Seahawks and a one-year visit with the Denver Broncos.
7. Doug Shankle (1978-1981)
Known for crushing tackles and intimidating his opponents, Doug Shankle had an excellent career on the Forty Acres.
Shankle's 144 tackles in 1980 is eighth on the all-time single season list, and his total of 478 career tackles is second only to our No. 3 all-time linebacker.
These weren't Shankle's only records during his time in Austin.
His career mark of 325 solo tackles still stands today and will not likely be broken any time soon by future Longhorn linebackers.
6. Ty Allert (1982-1985)
One of the best Texas linebackers of the late Southwest Conference era, Houston native Ty Allert had a nose for the ball and finished his career making a strong mark on the Texas record books.
Allert's 107 solo tackles in 1984 is fourth on the Texas all-time list and his 287 career solo tackles ranks him third among all Longhorn linebackers.
Ty Allert's 27 sacks are good for seventh all-time on the Texas list and his 10.5 sacks in 1985 is one of the top performances for a Texas linebacker.
Allert spent four years in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks and spent some time on the staff of former Texas head coach David McWilliams.
5. Bruce Scholtz (1977-1981)
Another of the great Longhorn linebackers of the 1970s and 1980s, Bruce Sholtz was a dominant force in the burnt orange.
A LaGrange, Texas native, Scholtz has a large place in the Texas Longhorns defensive record books.
Here are four of Bruce's most notable records:
- No. 5 on the all-time fumbles recovered list with seven for his career.
- No. 7 on the single season tackles for a loss list with 21 in 1980.
- No. 8 on the career tackles for a loss list with 50.
- No. 9 on the all-time tackles list with 351 for his career.
Sholtz played seven NFL seasons for the Seattle Seahawks and one for the New England Patriots from 1982-1989.
4. Derrick Johnson (2001-2004)
One of the most recognizable names in the storied history of Texas linebackers, Derrick Johnson was an imposing force for Mack Brown's teams of the early 2000s.
Johnson decorated the Longhorn record books with his outstanding performances over three seasons.
Some of his most notable records include the following:
- All-time leader in interceptions for linebackers with nine.
- Forced nine fumbles in 2004, an all-time record.
- Forced 11 fumbles for his career, good for third on the all-time list.
- All-time leader in career tackles for a loss with 65.
- Third all-time in total tackles with 458.
In the NFL, Johnson has been a mainstay and consistent All-Pro on the defensive side of the ball for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Ask anyone to name one of the top players in Texas history, and you're sure to hear Derrick Johnson's name mentioned.
3. Britt Hager (1984-1988)
Odessa, Texas native Britt Hager was another of the famous No. 60 linebackers in the storied history of the Texas Longhorns.
Hager's career at Texas was one of the most decorated in the school's history.
His records include:
- The best two tackles totals for a single season with 195 in 1988 and 187 in 1987.
- The all-time tackles leader in Texas Longhorns history with 499, 21 more than Doug Shankle.
- Second in single season solo tackles with 120 in 1988.
- 308 solo tackles, second all-time behind Doug Shankle.
Britt Hager went on to play eight seasons in the NFL with three different teams and is universally known as one of Texas' best all-time defenders.
2. Julian "Kiki" DeAyala (1979-1982)
Kiki DeAyala, statistically, was the most dominant linebacker in the history of Texas football.
His records were numerous, including the following:
- Single season record for tackles for a loss in 1982 with 33.
- Second all-time in career tackles for a loss with 60 only behind Derrick Johnson.
- First in single-season quarterback pressures in 1982 with 56.
- Also, second in single-season quarterback pressures in 1981 with 47.
- Single-season record holder with 22.5 sacks in 1982.
- His 40.5 career sacks are an all-time Texas record.
Kiki played one season in the now-defunct USFL and one season with the Cincinnatti Bengals before hanging up the cleats for good in 1986.
He currently runs a commercial real estate development company in Houston.
1. Tommy Nobis (1963-1965)
Tommy Nobis is, well, Tommy Nobis.
Those of you reading probably need no introduction to the No. 60.