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Texas A&M Football

Aggie Football Top 100: Nos. 19-11

May 14, 2015

There was the Haskell Hurricane. There were the Blitz Brothers. There was Tank. Actually, there were two tanks.

There was DaMonster, Stonewall, Johnny Football and an array of Junction Boys.

In more than a century of college football, Texas A&M has produced hundreds of great — sometimes legendary — football players.

But who are the 100 best?

A TexAgs panel that includes coaches, former players, A&M football historians and media members were tasked with compiling the list of A&M’s 100 greatest players and ranking them in order. The Top 100 will be revealed in groups of 10 over the next two weeks.

Today we reveal Nos. 19 to 11.

19. Sam Adams, 1991-93, DE (842): A heralded recruit who became a three-year starter, Adams combined excellent quickness with great size. A dominant fixture in the Wrecking Crew, he posted 20.5 sacks in his A&M career. He also led the team with 78 tackles in ’93, a rarity for a defensive lineman. He was a consensus All-American in 1993 and was named All-Southwest Conference in ’92 and ’93. In ’93 he was named National Defensive Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated, was named the Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was runner-up for the Lombardi Award.

TexAgs Evans evolved into the most fearsome receiver in the school's history, doing in two years what most had previously failed to do in four. {"Module":"photo","Alignment":"right","Size":"large","Caption":"Evans evolved into the most fearsome receiver in the school\u0027s history, doing in two years what most had previously failed to do in four.","MediaItemID":35584}
Adams finished his A&M career with 169 tackles, 23 for loss, seven forced fumbles, three recovered and two interceptions. He opted to forgo his senior season to enter the 1994 NFL Draft. Adams was a first-round selection (eighth overall) of the Seattle Seahawks. He played 14 NFL seasons, appeared in three Pro Bowls and was a starter on the Baltimore Ravens team that won Super Bowl XXXV.

18. Mike Evans, 2012-13, WR (880): Had Evans played more than two seasons at A&M he’d likely have established receiving records that would never be broken. As a redshirt freshman the Galveston Ball product had 82 catches for 1,105 yards and five touchdowns. He followed that up as a sophomore with 69 catches for a school-record 1,394 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Evans earned All-SEC and consensus All-American honors and was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best receiver. He finished his brief career with 151 catches for 2,499 yards and 17 touchdowns. Despite playing just two seasons he ranks fourth in A&M history in career receiving yardage, fifth in career touchdown catches and fifth in career catches. Evans left A&M after his sophomore season to enter the 2014 NFL Draft and was a first-round selection (seventh overall) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was named to the NFL’s All-Rookie team.

17. Aaron Glenn, 1992-93, CB (903): After earning junior college All-American honors at Navarro College, Glenn arrived at A&M and was quickly established as one of the premier cornerbacks in school history. Twice he was named All-Southwest Conference. He was named consensus All-American and was a Thorpe Award finalist in 1993. Glenn holds the school record for single-season passes broken up with 20 in ’92. He broke up 33 in his two-year career, which is the third most in school history. He had nine interceptions in his career, including one he returned 95 yards for a touchdown against Texas in ’92. He was also dangerous on punt returns and averaged a whopping 19.9 yards on 17 returns in ’93.

Glenn was a first-round selection (12th overall) by the New York Jets in the 1994 NFL Draft. He played in 15 NFL seasons with five teams. Glenn was named All-Pro three times and appeared in three Pro Bowls.

16. Johnny Holland, 1983-86, LB (907): Holland didn’t have a long trip from his hometown of Hempstead to Texas A&M, but he sure went far. A consensus All-American in his junior and senior seasons and a two-time All-Southwest Conference selection, he proved to be one of A&M’s greatest players regardless of position. A dominant linebacker, Holland posted 155 tackles in 1986, which is still the second-highest total in school history. He had 150 tackles in ’85, which remains the school’s fifth-highest total. Holland left A&M as the all-time leader with 455 tackles and is still second on the list.

He was selected in the second round of the 1987 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. Holland played seven professional seasons and posted over 100 tackles in six consecutive seasons. After retiring he pursued a coaching career in professional football. He has been on the coaching staff of five NFL teams and is currently coaching linebackers for the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. Simonini is an indelible part of the legacy of great linebackers that have played at A&M, helping lead a No. 1-ranked defense during his time in Aggieland. {"Module":"photo","Alignment":"left","Size":"large","Caption":"Simonini is an indelible part of the legacy of great linebackers that have played at A\u0026M, helping lead a No. 1-ranked defense during his time in Aggieland.","MediaItemID":34609}
T-14. Ed Simonini, 1972-75, LB (910): Perhaps the most identifiable player on A&M’s great defenses of the mid-‘70s, Simonini was a four-time All-Southwest Conference selection. He was named All-American in 1975 when he headed a defensive unit that led the nation in rushing and total defense and set a modern school record by allowing just 183.3 yards per game.

Simonini led the Aggies in tackles during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons. He holds the A&M freshman record with 98 tackles in a season and remains fourth in school history with 425 career tackles. Simonini was a third-round selection in the 1976 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts. He played seven NFL seasons with the Colts and New Orleans Saints.

T-14. Lester Hayes, 1973-76, S (910): Although he became a legendary cornerback in the NFL, Hayes was a star safety on A&M’s celebrated defensive units of the ‘70s. He was named All-Southwest Conference in ’75 and ’76 and All-American in ’76 when he grabbed eight interceptions. He had 14 career interceptions, which remains the second-most in school history. Hayes was a fifth-round selection of the Oakland Raiders in the 1977 NFL Draft and played 10 seasons. He was named All-Pro six times, appeared in five Pro Bowls and was named by the Associated Press the 1980 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

13. Darren Lewis, 1987-90, RB (926): A two-time All-American and All-Southwest Conference selection in 1988 and ’90, “Tank” remains A&M’s career rushing leader with 5,012 yards. The many records he set include 27 100-yard games, five 200-yard games, a 113.9-yard average per game, most rushing yards by a sophomore and rushing yards in a season with 1,692 in ’88. He holds the two most productive rushing seasons in A&M history with 1,692 in ’88 and 1,691 in ’90. His 44 career touchdowns are the second most in school history. He finished eighth in the 1990 Heisman Trophy voting.

Lewis had off-field issues which resulted in his falling into the sixth round of the 1991 NFL Draft, where he was selected by the Chicago Bears. He played three professional seasons.

12. John Roper, 1985-88, LB (939): Roper came out of Houston Yates High School and teamed with Aaron Wallace to form the famous “Blitz Brothers.” Roper was a major force in the rise of the Wrecking Crew defense. Twice an All-Southwest Conference selection, he was a consensus All-American and was named SWC Defensive Player of the Year in ’87. Roper had two four-sack games that year. He posted 15 sacks in ’87 and ’88 while amassing 36 in his career, which is the third-highest total in A&M history. He led A&M with 104 tackles in ’87. He was selected in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. Roper played five seasons in the NFL with the Bears, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.

Texas A&M Media Relations Among the greatest players from one of the most revered eras of A&M football, Pardee was a leader for Bear Bryant's teams before heading off to a long NFL career. {"Module":"photo","Alignment":"right","Size":"large","Caption":"Among the greatest players from one of the most revered eras of A\u0026M football, Pardee was a leader for Bear Bryant\u0027s teams before heading off to a long NFL career.","MediaItemID":31407}
11. Jack Pardee, 1954-56, FB/LB (943): A star in six-man football at tiny Christoval High School, Pardee arrived at Texas A&M just in time to make the legendary trip to Junction. Of course, Pardee endured coach Bear Bryant’s grueling camp and would go on to create a legend of his own.

Bryant once said Pardee was the best linebacker he ever coached. However, Pardee earned All-American acclaim in 1956 as a fullback. He rushed for 1,017 yards in his career and had an 85-yard run against Houston. He was a co-captain on A&M’s undefeated 1956 team which finished 9-0-1 and ranked fifth in the nation.

Pardee was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and is a member of A&M’s athletic Hall of Fame. He was selected in the second round (14th overall) of the 1957 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He played 16 NFL seasons with the Rams and Washington Redskins despite sitting out the ’65 season to battle cancer. After completing his playing career, Pardee entered a coaching career. He was a head coach in the NFL for the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins. He was also head coach of the University of Houston and was head coach for teams in the World Football League, United States Football League and Canadian Football League.

The Aggie Football Top 100

About the rankings

Panelists include: Jackie Sherrill, Jimmy Wright, Dave Elmendorf, Dennis Goehring, Hugh McElroy, Rusty Burson, Mike Henderson, Tom Turbiville, Brad Marquardt, Bob Spoede, Chip Howard, David Sandhop, Gabe Bock and Olin Buchanan.

Rankings were compiled by a points list in which 100 points were awarded first place, 99 for second place, etc. After a 13-vote total was accumulated, the point values of the highest and lowest votes were eliminated to determine a final point score. Each individual’s final point score is in parentheses.
Discussion from...

Aggie Football Top 100: Nos. 19-11

10,260 Views | 8 Replies | Last: 5 yr ago by wtr1975
Olin Buchanan
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Aggie Football Top 100: Nos. 19-11
KC Aggie
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That's a very salty list!
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Ahhh! Forgot Johnny Holland - apologies!

And where is Keith Woodside, the best combo rushing/receiving back in A&M history? 1700 yards rushing (5.7 ypc) and 1100 yards receiving?
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The top 10:

Luke Joeckel
Von Miller
Charlie Krueger
Jacob Green
Kevin Smith

The top 5:
John David Crow (Heisman)

John Kimbrough (Heisman runner up; national champion)

Johnny Manziel (Heisman)

Ray Childress (consensus all-American, #3 pick)

Dat Nguyen (51 consecutive starts, 517 tackles, led team in tackles all 4 years, won Lombardi and Bednarik awards)

With Childress and Green on the line, Nguyen and Miller at LB, and Smith and Glenn at corner, I'm pretty sure we could roll with those 6 along with 5 traffic cones to fill out the defense.

But instead, I'll add Hayes, Roper, Simonini, Holland, and Adams.

Hayes and Holland would be safeties; Glenn and Smith at CB; Simonini, Nguyen, and Miller at LB; Adams, Green, Childress, and Roper in the front 4.

We may not be a top 5 all-time program, but I'll put those 11 up against anybody.
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Who is left? Manziel, Crow, Woodside, Kevin Smith, Luke Joeckel, Javorskie Lane.
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Sorry - J Train not on the list!!
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Great list and Bios.

For Jack Pardee, however, you left off that Jack Pardee also coached the Houston Oilers, setting all kind of records with their Run & Shoot offense.
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Great interview with Ed Simonini - one of the all time greats. I can still hear CK Eston as he shouted ...... "Ed
Simoniniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii on the tackle..................."

Check out the following interview by Rusty and Gabe from 2013:

His description of the recruiting trip to Jolly Rolly in Spring '72 brings back great memories from my fish year - still remember the recruits coming out onto the court and sawing varisity's horns of in front of the home basketball crowd.
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