[This was originally written in 2008. We're re-publishing it today since Tommie Fraizer was inexplicably left out of the college football Hall of Fame. Here's who made it: Charles Alexander, RB, LSU (1975-78);Otis Armstrong, RB, Purdue (1970-72); Steve Bartkowski, QB, Cal (1972-74); Hal Bedsole, WR, USC (1961-63); Dave Casper, TE, Notre Dame (1971-73); Ty Detmer, QB, BYU (1988-91); Tommy Kramer, QB, Rice (1973-76); Art Monk, WR, Syracuse (1976-79); Greg Myers, DB, Colorado State (1992-95); Jonathan Ogden, OT, UCLA (1992-95); Gabe Rivera, DL, Texas Tech (1979-82); Mark Simoneau, LB, Kansas State (1996-99); Scott Thomas, S, Air Force (1982-85); John Wooten, OL, Colorado (1954-57).]
Over the weekend, this quote from the Miami Herald made the rounds: FSU coach Bobby Bowden said of Tebow: “He brings a little Bronko Nagurski to the quarterback position.” This led to much fawning from the announcers (Gary Danielson and Verne Lundquist) of the SEC title game, who were in left in awe of Tebow’s impressive performance in defeating Alabama. He’s already got a title and a Heisman, and there’s an outside chance he secures another of each this season. There have been no indications that he’d leave early for the NFL, meaning there’s a chance Tebow does the impossible and wins three Heismans and/or National titles. That would definitely put him on the short list of greatest college football players, ever.
For now, we’ll just compare him to perhaps the finest college player (not talent or winner or stat-monger) in the last three decades (going back to 1980): Nebraska’s Tommie Frazier.
For those of you running around in diapers when Frazier was running the option for Tom Osborne, here’s a primer:
* Started as a true freshman in 1993, went 9-3. One of the highlights was this 52-7 rout of a highly-ranked Colorado team. Lost the Orange bowl to Florida State, 27-14.
* Took Nebraska to the title game as a sophomore, and the Cornhuskers missed a field goal at the end and lost to Florida State. Frazier was named Nebraska’s MVP in the loss.
* Struggled through blood clots and missed some time in the regular season. Nebraska managed to get to the title game (thanks, Lawrence Philips), and the Cornhuskers topped a Warren Sapp and Ray Lewis-led Miami defense. Frazier was named Nebraska’s MVP.
* Won back-to-back titles with a romp over Florida. Victory included “the run” which is below. Won a third straight national title game MVP award. This team was considered one of the greatest in college football history. The backfield consisted of Phillips and Ahman Green.
How did Frazier not win a Heisman? He wasn’t going to get it as a freshman. Tough to argue against Charlie Ward leading the ‘Noles to the National title. Salaam rushed for over 2,000 yards, and the three guys who did it before him (Marcus Allen, Mike Rozier, Barry Sanders) all won the hardware. George rushed for over 1,900 yards, had three 200-yard games, including one against Notre Dame. He narrowly won the Heisman over Frazier in 1994.
1992 Gino Torretta Miami (Fla) QB Sr. (2nd – Marshall Faulk)
1993 Charlie Ward Florida State QB Sr. (2nd – Heath Shuler)
1994 Rashaan Salaam Colorado RB Jr. (2nd – Ki-Jana Carter)
1995 Eddie George Ohio State RB Sr. (2nd – Frazier)
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