Thursday, June 03, 2010
By David Thurman
June 3, 2010
In our ongoing series it is time to consider the "big uglies" who protect the quarterback and make the running game go. Remember, with each position, we are rating the players based on their college performance, not what they accomplished in the NFL.
10. Jeff Uhlenhake - A four-year starter he moved from guard to center and became an All-American.
9. Rob Murphy - This physical guard was a two-time All-American, but decided to forego his senior season, declaring early for the NFL, which was probably a mistake.
8. Chris Ward - Another two-time All-American, this tackle was praised by Woody for his excellent work ethic.
7. Warren Amling - I doubt anyone reading this actually saw Warren play, but those who did might say we are ranking him too low. He was an All-American as both a guard and a tackle, and actually finished seventh in the Heisman voting in 1945.
6. LeCharles Bentley - As good of a center as I've ever seen play, Bentley has gone on to excell on Sundays as well.
5. Jim Lachey - As great as he was in college, Lachey seemed to only improve once he made it to the NFL. He was big, physical, and fundamentally sound.
4. Korey Stringer - This mammoth tackle worked his way into the starting lineup as a true freshmen and made it look easy. His success continued in the NFL until his untimely death.
3. Jim Parker - Although he played both ways in the 50s, Parker is best remembered as an amazing offensive guard who went on to post a magnificent career with the Baltimore Colts.
2. John Hicks - This road grader opened holes for Archie Griffin and wound up winning the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award, and was actually the runner-up for the Heisman in 1973.
1. Orlando Pace - With a combination of size, strength, and speed, Pace defines the term "super freak," and started from day one of his freshmen season. I am 6'2", 190 lbs, but when I stood next to him I felt like a grasshopper. Not only did he make the term "pancake" popular, Pace won the Outland once and the Lombardi twice, as well as finishing fourth in the voting for the Heisman.