Guestie: We remember U

Posted: December 29, 2011 by terryvandrovec in Guesties
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

By Dan Frasier
Guest blogger

Tens years ago this bowl season, my Nebraska Cornhuskers rolled into the Rose Bowl ranked fourth in the country. That year, they’d beaten a good Notre Dame team and a No. 2-ranked Oklahoma to be ranked as high as second themselves. However, they were coming off of a blowout loss at the hands of Colorado in Boulder and had fallen to No. 4. Still, a good win over the top-ranked Hurricanes and they would seal up a fourth national title in eight years. Sadly, they hit a buzz-saw.

I remember a few things from that game, but one of that stands out the most is some of the names on the back of the Canes jerseys that year. Names like Portis, Johnson and Taylor. I have heard some vague references to the strength of the Canes team as time has passed, but I couldn’t really get my mind around the enormity of it. So I started digging. The following stats are totally complete and comprehensive. I know this because I personally typed the names into Wikipedia and included both touchdowns AND tackles as categories. OK, so an encyclopedia it is not, but it is all of the players that were on the Canes roster in 2001 that I could find pro stats for and a few of those stats.

The totals are staggering, and the names on the list are shocking. A few highlights: 39 Pros, 17 first rounders and 33 total Pro Bowl appearances. Man. And, let’s not forget, these guys are still playing. Anyway, here is the list of players that made it into the pros. Check it out. Oh, and you think this is the 2011 Alabama team in 10 years?

Now, for fun, let’s see what starting team you could field from this wealth of talent:

Was this the most talented college team ever?


Quarterback: The weak spot would be Ken Dorsey. Despite a brilliant career in college, he really never panned out as a pro, although he stayed in the league for seven years.

Offensive line: You would have Bryant McKinnie, Brett Romberg, Vernon Carey, Rashad Butler and Martin Bibla. There would need to be some shuffling, but you end with 38 cumulative years of professional experience.

Wide receiver: We will go with a two-wide out, two-back set. So your starting receivers are Andre Johnson and Kellen Winslow. I know, I know, Winslow is iffy. But he is listed at receiver so I’m taking him. That’s six pro bowls and 85 pro TDs.

Tight end: We are starting one, so Jeremy Shockey it is. Temperamental? Yes. Productive? Four Pro Bowls and 36 TDs.

Running back: OK, we are starting two and rotating two more. The starters – Clinton Portis and Frank Gore – go for a combined four pro Bowls and 117 TDs. The Back-ups, Willis McGahee and Najeh Davenport, tallied one Pro Bowl and 72 TDs.


I think a 3-4 scheme is in order given how stupid deep the linebacker core is.

D-line looks like: Vince Wilfork, William Joseph and and Jerome McDougal. A little soft – maybe we can trade some DBs for upfront help? – but still three Pro Bowls and 534 pro tackles.

Linebacker: Jonathon Vilma, DJ Williams, Roger McIntosh and Leon Williams. That crew brings three Pro Bowls and 2,263 tackles to the party. (And we all know the old Canes knew how to party.)

Cornerbacks: We’re going with two corners and two safeties. The CBs: Antrel Rolle and Phillip Buchanon. That’s two Pro Bowls, 900 tackles and 34 picks.

Safeties: Ed Reed and Sean Taylor. That’s nine Pro Bowls, 841 tackles and 69 picks even with Taylor only playing a tragically shortened four-year career.

So there you have it. Not a bad all-star team and yet it was an actual team. Mind boggling. I would put them up against more than a few current rosters. I left off some other important stats like arrests, undisclosed suspensions and substance abuse, but, hey, it’s the U – what do you expect?
In fact, in light of recent allegations, it might have been the best college team money could buy. Just sayin’.

Round Drafted Years Played Pro Bowls Touchdowns Tackles
243 33 320 4846
Phillip Buchanon CB 1 10 388
Jeremy Shockey TE 1 10 4 36
Edward Reed S 1 10 7 542
Bryant McKinnie G 1 10 1
Clinton Portis RB 2 9 2 75
Brett Romberg G Undrafted 9
Andre Johnson WR 1 9 5 52
Willis McGahee RB 1 8 1 59
William Joseph DE 1 8 88
Vince Wilfork DE 1 8 3 409
Vernon Carey T 1 8
Kellen Winslow WR 1 8 1 23
Jonathan Vilma LB 1 8 3 826
DJ Williams LB 1 8 806
Roscoe Parrish WR 2 7 11
Orien Harris DE 4 7 14
Najeh Davenport RB 4 7 13
Frank Gore RB 3 7 2 42
Antrel Rolle CB 1 7 2 512
Roger McIntosh LB 2 6 468
Rashad Butler G 3 6
Mike Rumph CB 1 6
Ken Dorsey QB 7 6 8
Kelly Jennings CB 1 6 241
Jerome McDougle DE 1 6 37
Darrell McClover LB 7 6 33
Santonio Thomas DE Undrafted 5 10
Martin Bibla T 4 5
Leon Williams LB Undrafted 5 163
Sean Taylor CB 1 4 2 1 299
Daryl Jones WR 7 4
Kevin Everett TE 3 3
Carlos Joseph G Undrafted 3
Buck Ortega QB Undrafted 3
Andrew Williams DE 3 3 10
Todd Sievers K Undrafted 2
Quadtrine Hill RB Undrafted 2
Jason Geathers WR Undrafted 2
Matt Walters DT 5 1
Marcus Maxey CB 5 1

About the author: Frasier recently attended his first rap concert … just minutes after ordering a $31 bottle of beer with bourbon undertones.

  1. Anonymous says:

    That is a heck of a lot of research. I could have just told you that they were a Kick-Ass team.
    I wonder how many of them were really achedemically eligable.
    Nice piece.

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