The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

The Top 44 Football Players in Syracuse Football History

The legend of the number 44 and Syracuse is well-known to any fan that watches an ESPN game featuring Syracuse.  If you need more, see here.  In any event, with 44 such a crucial number for Orange fans, it only stands to reason that all lists involving Syracuse should be the “Top 44.”  And so it is.  Here are the top 44 Syracuse Orange football players–based on their college, rather than professional, accomplishments:

  1. Ernie Davis–the sole Heisman Trophy winner at Syracuse and the first African-American to win the award, as well as the second legendary #44.  Oh, and he was part of the 1959 National Championship team.
  2. Jim Brown–almost a #1 based on his dominance and status as the first legendary #44.
  3. Floyd Little–the third of the trio of #44 backs that dominated the 1950’s and 1960’s, Floyd Little cements his status by being a constant contributor to the program decades later.
  4. Don McPherson–of all the QBs in Syracuse history, McPherson was the one that went 11-0-1 and had Syracuse finish in the top 5.  That had not happened since the top 3 were on the field and has not happened since (1987 to present).
  5. Tim Green–this local phenom helped restore Syracuse by deciding to stay home and wear the Orange.  The Syracuse defense under Coach Dick MacPherson was stout and it began with Green and company.  45.5 sacks is still atop the Syracuse list.
  6. Donovan McNabb–two BCS bowl appearances and four years at starting QB have McNabb way up the list.  Next to McPherson, Syracuse accomplished much under McNabb, including some HUGE wins.
  7. Joe Morris–the Syracuse leaderboard still has Joe Morris at #1…. above all the legendary #44’s and others.
  8. Marvin Graves–2nd in all-time passing yardage and led Syracuse to consecutive 10-2 seasons.  A very, very good QB that gets overshadowed by McPherson and McNabb.
  9. Marvin Harrison–while Art Monk had a notable pro career rivaling Harrison and played in less pass-happy times, one cannot deny Harrison’s numbers atop of the Syracuse record charts.
  10. Dwight Freeney–while Green was tough, Freeney’s speed is unlike anything ever seen before or after.  He could dominate games and did.
  11. Walter Reyes
  12. Larry Czonka
  13. Art Monk
  14. Markus Paul
  15. Dan Conley
  16. Ted Gregory
  17. Ryan Nassib
  18. Donovin Darius
  19. Darryl Johnston
  20. Kevin Abrams
  21. Bill Hurley
  22. Jim Collins
  23. Anthony Smith
  24. Alec Lemon
  25. Tommy Myers
  26. Arthur Jones
  27. Chandler Jones
  28. Rob Moore
  29. Shelby Hill
  30. Qadry Ismail
  31. Quinton Spotwood
  32. Jim Ridlon
  33. Keith Bullock
  34. John Mackey
  35. Scott Schewedes
  36. David Bavaro
  37. Rob Drummond
  38. Kevin Mitchell
  39. Tony Romano
  40. Jim Ringo
  41. Terry Wooden
  42. Kevin Johnson
  43. Joe Alexander
  44. Vic Hanson

Obviously, there are more than one way to list 44 players…. so what do you think?  Did we miss anyone deserving–especially old and recent… seemed like a bias towards the early Carrier Dome era (1980-2000)?  Could have spent additional hours on this–making sure nobody was missed.  How about the rankings?   Is your top 10 different?


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