Top 10 college football players of the 2000s

  • By Mike Huguenin
  • College Football 24/7 writer
  • Published: July 1, 2014 at 09:47 a.m.
  • Updated: July 1, 2014 at 10:28 a.m.

QB Tim Tebow had a magical career at Florida, but he didn’t have staying power in the NFL.

Last week, College Football 24/7 took a look at the 10 greatest college football players from the 1990s; today, we’re looking at the 10 best from 2000-09.

Important to note: This is about college careers, not what the players did/have done in the NFL. We focused on value to team and dominant play over at least three seasons. Raw statistics also were a consideration.

10. OT Jake Long, Michigan


Long redshirted as a true freshman, then was a four-year starter for the Wolverines at left tackle. In his final two seasons, Long was penalized once in 1,743 plays. He was the Big Ten’s Offensive Lineman of the Year as a junior and senior, then became the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft.

 9. RB Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma


Peterson rushed for an NCAA-freshman-record 1,925 yards in 2004, when he was second in the Heisman voting and helped OU reach the BCS national championship game. He battled injuries (to his ankle and collarbone) as a sophomore and junior, but still reached the 1,000-yard plateau in both seasons. He finished his career with 4,045 rushing yards, 73 yards short of OU’s career record set by Heisman recipient Billy Sims, and 41 rushing TDs. He was a first-round pick in the 2007 draft, going No. 7 overall to the Minnesota Vikings.

8. QB Pat White, West Virginia


West Virginia was one of the few major programs that recruited White, from Daphne (Ala.) High, as a quarterback. Then-Mountaineers coach Rich Rodriguez knew what he was doing, as White fit perfectly in RichRod’s run-heavy version of the spread. White, the only starting quarterback in NCAA history to win four bowl games, finished his career with 4,480 rushing yards, an NCAA record for a quarterback. He also is one of just four quarterbacks ever to rush for 4,000 yards and pass for 6,000 yards, joining Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick, Michigan’s Denard Robinson and Missouri’s Brad Smith. None of the others did it with quite the style of White. White was drafted in the second round by the Miami Dolphins in the 2009 draft.


7. DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska


Suh was as dominant as any defensive linemen in college history in 2009, when he became the first defensive player to earn AP College Player of the Year honors; that season, his fourth-place finish in Heisman voting was the highest by a defensive lineman since Nebraska’s Rich Glover placed third in 1972. Suh won the Outland, Lombardi, Bednarik and Nagurski awards as a senior. He was a backup as a redshirt freshman, was a solid starter in ’07, then blossomed into a star. He led Nebraska in tackles as a junior and senior, becoming the first Huskers defensive lineman ever to do that in consecutive seasons. He was a first-round pick in the 2010 draft.

6. SS Eric Berry, Tennessee


Berry was a three-year starter — and a three-year star — for the Vols. He picked off 14 passes in his career and ranks second in NCAA history with 494 interception-return yards, including three returns for TDs. He won the 2009 Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back. He finished his career with 245 tackles, 17 pass breakups, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. Berry was a freshman All-America in 2007 and a consensus All-America selection in ’08 and ’09; he was the SEC defensive player of the year in ’08, when he had seven interceptions. Berry was a first-round pick in the 2010 draft.


5. QB Matt Leinart, USC(2002-05)

He replaced Heisman winner Carson Palmer as USC’s starting quarterback — and made Trojans fans quickly forget Palmer. Leinart was 37-2 in three seasons as a starter and led the Trojans to the 2003 AP national championship and the BCS championship in 2004; he also won the Heisman in 2004. He led the Trojans to the national-title game against Texas in ’05, but was outdueled in that all-time classic by Texas’ Vince Young. He threw for 10,693 yards and 99 touchdowns in his career, and was a first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2006 draft.

4. RB Reggie Bush, USC


While the Heisman Trust has expunged any record of his winning the Heisman in 2005, his on-field play that season (and in the previous two seasons) was quite memorable. He was the most electrifying player of the decade. As a junior in ’05, Bush had 1,740 rushing yards and 478 receiving yards and 19 total touchdowns. Bush finished his career with 3,169 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns while sharing carries with LenDale White; he also had 95 career receptions, 13 receiving touchdowns, three punt-return touchdowns and one kickoff-return TD. He was a first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in the 2006 draft.

3. RB Darren McFadden, Arkansas


McFadden finished his three-season career with a school-record 4,590 rushing yards — that’s No. 2 in SEC history, behind only Herschel Walker — and set an SEC record by gaining 2,310 all-purpose yards as a junior in 2007. He rushed for 1,830 yards that season, the second-highest total in SEC history. He finished second in the Heisman balloting in each of his last two seasons. McFadden, who rushed for 41 yards in his career, also threw seven career touchdown passes and had two TD receptions. He was a first-round pick of the Oakland Raiders in the 2008 draft.

2. QB Vince Young, Texas


Texas won the national title in 2005 and it was all because of Young. He was the No. 1 national prospect in the 2002 signing class, but it took him a while to live up to the hype. He redshirted as a true freshman in ’02 and struggled as a passer as a redshirt freshman in ’03. But he began to hit his stride as a sophomore in ’04, winning Rose Bowl MVP honors in a victory over Michigan that capped off the season. He had a huge season in 2005, culminating in a masterful performance in the championship-game victory over USC. He was 30-2 as a starting quarterback, and passed for 6,040 yards and 44 TDs and rushed for 3,127 yards and 37 TDs in his career. He was a first-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in the 2006 draft.

1. QB Tim Tebow, Florida


Tebow had a magnificent college career. He was a key backup as a true freshman on a national-title team in 2006 (he ran for a TD and also threw for a score as Florida steamrolled Ohio State in the ’06 national championship game), then started in his final three seasons with the Gators. He won the Heisman in 2007, the first sophomore to win the award; that season, he became the first player in NCAA history with at least 20 TDs as a runner (23) and passer (32) in the same season. In his final two seasons, Tebow guided Florida to a 26-2 record, including the national title in 2008. He was a Heisman finalist as a junior and senior, and finished his career with 9,285 passing yards, 2,947 rushing yards, 88 passing TDs and 57 rushing TDs. He is second in NCAA history in career passing efficiency and is one of only two players in NCAA history to run and pass for at least 50 TDs each and to account for at least 300 points as a runner and 500 as a passer. In four bowl games, he accounted for 12 TDs. He was a first-round pick of the Denver Broncos in the 2010 draft.

Tim Tebow on ‘Hannity’

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Minnie Pearl

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Kate Upton In Florida

Maybe at Least we will get a few Comments You All seem to Be asleep.

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Strength of Tim Tebow (HD) .

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No Tebow, but many diners at new PDQ(People Dedicated to Quality)



Customers eat their lunches during the opening day of the new PDQ.

Amy L. Stuart/Correspondent

By Rick Allen

Published: Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 6:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 23, 2014 at 4:23 p.m.
    OK, so maybe sports icons Tim Tebow and Vinny Testaverde didn’t show up for the new PDQ restaurant opening Sunday in Ocala.



Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day
Where: 3410 SW College Road, Ocala
Cuisine: Chicken tenders, sandwiches and salads
Info: 484-0365 or

But a lot of other people did. They were lining up before the doors officially opened at 10:30 Sunday morning.

Once the doors opened, the new eatery, at 3410 SW College Road, was busy until 10 that night.

“I’m hoping to see Tebow,” declared Robin Clinton of Ocklawaha.

Clinton and her daughter, Katrina Wiseman, and two grandchildren — Makayla Carter and Christopher Carter — were decked out in University of Florida orange and blue — and were among the first customers through the door.

“If he’s here, I’ll be happy,” Clinton shrugged. “If not, I’ll still be happy.”

That’s the spirit!

Tebow, the Heisman Award-winning quarterback of the Gators, and Testaverde, the Heisman Award-winning quarterback of the University of Miami Hurricanes, are part of the ownership squad of this and several other PDQ restaurants in northern Florida. Both also played in the NFL.

With the rest of their team, they’re going in on another PDQ, this time in Gainesville at 34th Street and University Avenue; its opening is planned for the end of the year.

“That’s as close as we can get to the university and still have a drive-thru,” said ownership partner Todd Alley, a Tampa lawyer.

Inside is bright, open and airy; all food prep and cooking is done in full view of any customer who might want to watch. The drive-thru eliminates the “squawk box” at too many fast-fooderies; instead, a real human will take their motoring customers’s orders.

Things You Are Wrong About in Sports


By , Featured Columnist
  • ‘They’ NEVER Said Tim Tebow Couldn’t Do Anything
'They' NEVER Said Tim Tebow Couldn't Do Anything

In 2011, Florida Gator great Tim Tebow and the folks at FRS Energy decided to completely rewrite history with a very memorable and compelling commercial that was completely devoid of fact.

Quote from the spot: 

They said I couldn’t be a high school quarterback. They said I couldn’t get a D-1 scholarship. ‘You can’t make it. You’re not good enough. You’re not skilled enough.’ They said I couldn’t win a Heisman. They said I couldn’t win a national championship. They said I wouldn’t be a first-round draft pick. They said I couldn’t play in the league. Appreciate that.

Poor Tim Tebow! Sounds like he had it rough.

Except he didn’t. 

Nobody said he couldn’t be a high school quarterback, and if they did, they were quickly humiliated because the home-schooled superstar was an absolute legend—so good at sports in general that he was nearly drafted by the Los Angeles Angels. 

Nobody said he couldn’t be a D-1 quarterback. In fact, Tebow was one of the most highly recruited players in the country in 2005. LSU, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State, USC, Clemson and Notre Dame were among the schools interested in securing his services. Ultimately, Florida landed Tebow, but he almost signed with Alabama—like most underdogs!

Nobody said he couldn’t win a Heisman. Tebow was one of the top quarterbacks in the country, and Florida was one of the top football programs in the country. Literally nobody drew a line in the sand and declared Tebow forever unworthy of a Heisman Trophy. Ditto with the national championship. 

As for the first-round draft pick bit, there were some people who said he would never be drafted in the first round. But for every Tebow “hater” there was a devotee like Sports Illustrated’s Kerry Byrne, who believed him to be the most underrated athlete in the history of sports. Not just football…like all sports. 

And as for those who said he couldn’t play in the league? Well, the 26-year-old is currently employed by ESPN and hasn’t started an NFL game at QB since January 2012. So it seems that maybe they were right on that one. 


Tim Tebow – Desire to Succeed (HD)

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Tim Tebow his 2010 Denver Starts

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Kate Upton

Blame Brandi

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No Links to Minnie Pearl

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