Was Texas the Defensive Back or Lineman U of the Past Decade?

Lindy’s College Football Preview includes an interesting article that explores how the classic labels Tailback U and Linebacker U applied in the last decade. The piece by Anthony Gimino awards a top school of the decade for each position. The usual suspects USC, Ohio State, Miami, Penn State, and Georgia all made the cut but the Horns were left out, only being named runner-up. It’s easy to concede that USC has produced more than its fair share of quarterbacks and Ohio State had more great linebackers than you can shake a stick at. It's also hard to deny that Texas has had its fair share of talent as well. For comparisons sake, I wanted to match up Texas’ linemen with Georgia’s and Texas’ defensive backs to Miami’s to see how we matched up. It's nearly impossible to compare past, present, and future careers but something has to get us through the offseason. Results after the jump.

Defensive Linemen

Georgia’s Top 5

1. Richard Seymour (1st round, 2001)

                -2x 1st Team SEC, 1st Team All-American, 5x Pro Bowl, 3x Super Bowl, 3x 1st All Pro

2. Johnathan Sullivan (1st, 2003)

3. Marcus Stroud (1st, 2001)

                -1stTeam All-Pro, 3x Pro Bowl

4. Charles Grant (1st, 2002)

                -Super Bowl Champion, 21 career sacks

5. Quentin Moses (3rd, 2007)

                -1st Team All-SEC, 1st All-American

Texas’ Top 5

1. Brian Orakpo (1st, 2009)

                -Nagurski Trophy, Hendricks Award, Lombadi Award, Willis Award, Big-12 Def. POY, Pro Bowl

2. Marcus Tubbs (1st, 2004)

                -205 tackles, 19.5 sacks

3. Casey Hampton (1st, 2001)

                - 1st Team All-American, Big-12 Def. POY, 5x Pro Bowl, 2x Super Bowl Champion

4. Sergio Kindle (2nd, 2010)

                -1st Team All-American, 3x 1st Team Big-12

5. Tim Crowder (2nd, 2007)

                -1st Team Big-12

Others of note: Roy Miller (3rd), Frank Okam (5th), Brian Robison (4th), Rod Wright (7th), Cory Redding (3rd), Shaun Rodgers (2nd), Cedric Woodard (6th), Lamarr Houston (2nd)

Analysis:Seymour, Stroud, and Moses have all had or are having legendary NFL careers. If Orakpo carries his momentum into next season and beyond, he has potential to reach the same pinnacle. I don't think there was an award he has been eligible for that isn't sitting on his mantle. Most of Georgia’s top talent came at the start of the decade while Texas’ emerged mostly at the end. With Okafor and Jeffcoat in development and Muschamp at the helm, the trend could continue well into the next decade. Verdict: Georgia had better quality talent in Seymour and Moses. Texas has deeper talent. I'll be biased and call it a tie. 

 

Defensive Backs

Miami’s Top 5

1. Sean Taylor (1st, 2004)

                -1st Team All-American, Big-East Def. POY, 10 Int, 2x Pro Bowl, All-Pro

2. Antrel Rolle (1st, 2005)

                -1st Team All-American, Pro-Bowl

3. Phillip Buchanon (1st, 2002)

                -1st All-American

4. Ed Reed (1st, 2002)

                -6x Pro-Bowl, 6x All-Pro, NFL Def. POY

5. Brandon Meriweather (1st, 2007)

                -1x Pro Bowl, 2x 1st Team All-ACC, All-American

Others of note: Mike Rumph, Kelly Jennings, Kenny Phillips

Texas’ Top 5

1. Michael Huff (1st, 2006)

                -Thorpe Award, 1st All-America,

2. Earl Thomas (1st, 2010)

                -1st Team All-American

3. Michael Griffin (1st, 2007)

                -1st Team All-American

4. Aaron Ross (1st, 2007)

                -Thorpe Award, 1st All-American, Big-12 Def. POY, Super Bowl Champion

5. Quentin Jammer (1st, 2001) 

                -1st Team All-American,

Others of Note: Tarell Brown (5th), Cedric Griffin (2nd), Nathan Vasher (4th), Rod Babers (4th)

Analysis:The Longhorn's excelled at developing defensive talent in the second half of the decade. A member of the current unit--Gideon, Williams, or one of the Browns--could be talented enough to add his name onto this illustrious list. Despite Texas’ collection of Thorpe Awards, Miami definitely wins this competition. The last time there wasn't a Hurricane DB in the Pro-Bowl was 2002. These were players that didn't just lead championship teams, they built a dynasty in Coral Gables. 

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