SI Vault
The Greatest Longhorns of All Time
Gene Menez
January 07, 2006
From incomparable tailbacks to linemen of lore, Texas has seen its share of greats--so many that legend Bobby Layne didn't make this cut
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
January 07, 2006

The Greatest Longhorns Of All Time

From incomparable tailbacks to linemen of lore, Texas has seen its share of greats--so many that legend Bobby Layne didn't make this cut

View CoverRead All Articles
QB VINCE YOUNG 2002- Heisman runner-up is 30-2 as a starter, most wins by a UT quarterback
RB EARL CAMPBELL 1974-77 The 1977 Heisman winner rushed for 4,443 yards and 41 touchdowns
RB RICKY WILLIAMS 1995-98 Set a Division I-A record for all-purpose yards (7,206)
FB STEVE WORSTER 1968-70 Two-time All-America helped lead UT to a pair of national titles ('69, '70)
WR HUB BECHTOL 1944-46 Bobby Layne's ace receiver is one of only two three-time All-Americas at UT
TE PAT FITZGERALD 1994-96 Two-time All-America had 80 career receptions and 12 touchdowns
OL BUD MCFADIN 1948-50 The MVP of the 1951 Cotton Bowl was a two-time All-America
OL BOBBY WUENSCH 1968-70 Longhorns were 30-2-1 when he was in the starting lineup
OL JERRY SISEMORE 1970-72 Huge tackle (6' 4", 260) was a two-time consensus All-America
OL BOB SIMMONS 1973-75 Two-time All-America helped clear the way for Earl Campbell
OL DAN NEIL 1993-96 Finalist for the Outland Trophy in 1996; started 48 consecutive games
WR ROY WILLIAMS 2000-03 Holds UT record for receptions (241) and receiving yards (3,866)
DE KENNETH SIMS 1978-81 UT's first Lombardi winner (1981) was the No. 1 pick of the '82 NFL draft
DT SCOTT APPLETON 1961-63 Won the 1963 Outland Trophy and finished fifth in the Heisman voting
DT STEVE MCMICHAEL 1975-79 Two-time All-America played 16 years in the NFL; later became a pro wrestler
DE BILL ATESSIS 1968-70 Dominant defensive end earned All-America honors in 1970
LB DERRICK JOHNSON 2001-04 Lightning-quick two-time All-America won the 2004 Butkus Award
LB TOMMY NOBIS 1963-65 One of the top defenders ever, he swept the '65 Maxwell and Outland awards
LB BRITT HAGER 1984-88 Holds UT records for tackles in a season (195) and in a career (499)
DB JERRY GRAY 1981-84 Current Bills defensive coordinator was an All-America in 1983 and '84
DB JOHNNIE JOHNSON 1976-79 Two-time All-America was also a standout punt returner
DB RAYMOND CLAYBORN 1973-76 A speedster, he also led UT to two conference track titles
DB MICHAEL HUFF 2002-06 UT's only Thorpe winner holds school record for TDs by a defender (five)
K RUSSELL ERXLEBEN 1975-78 Hit an NCAA-best 67-yarder in 1977, one of three 60-plus kicks that year
P RUSSELL ERXLEBEN 1975-78 Two-time All-America owns school-best 46.6 yards per punt
PR NATHAN VASHER 2000-03 Averaged 14.0 yards on 94 career punt returns; also 17 career INTs as DB
KR MICHAEL ADAMS 1992-96 Owns alltime yards mark (1,591); school-best 27.0 yards per return in 1993
COACH DARRELL ROYAL 1957-76 Went 167-47-5 during his tenure at Texas, including three national titles

RB | CAREER: 1974-77
HIGHLIGHTS: 1977 Heisman winner, 4,443 career rushing yards, 41 career TDs
Dubbed the Tyler Rose, Campbell was a bulldozer in pads. A fullback his first two years and injured most of his junior season, he powered his way to a Southwest Conference-record 1,744 yards in his Heisman-winning year. The following spring Campbell was selected No. 1 by the Houston Oilers, and he played nine years in the NFL.

WR | CAREER: 2000-03
HIGHLIGHTS: 241 receptions, 3,866 receiving yards and 36 receiving touchdowns, all Texas career records An athletic rarity because of his size, speed and jumping ability, Williams broke almost every major receiving record at Texas and earned the nickname the Legend. The Detroit Lions drafted him seventh overall in 2004.

Coach | CAREER: 1957-76
HIGHLIGHTS: 167-47-5 coaching record
Royal, who played quarterback in college for rival Oklahoma, won three national championships and changed football forever in 1968 by installing the wishbone at UT. In 1996 the school renamed its stadium Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

RB | CAREER: 1995-98
HIGHLIGHTS: 6,279 rushing yards (a then NCAA record), 1998 Heisman Trophy winner
Williams had power, balance and breakaway speed and ran his way to 20 NCAA records, including career rushing yards. His 2,124 rushing yards in 1998 was the fifth best in NCAA history.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]


SI's toughest call? Vince Young over Bobby Layne (1944-47), who led his team to Sugar and Cotton Bowl wins. And our offense has 12 men in deference to UT's fondness for fullbacks.

K/P | CAREER: 1975-78
HIGHLIGHTS: 67-yard field goal ( NCAA record), 46.6 average in 1976
His leg was legendary. In 1977 the straight-ahead kicker booted three field goals of at least 60 yards, including the 67-yarder against Rice that remains (tied) atop the NCAA record book. In '76 he also led the nation in punting, once booming a kick 80 yards, the third longest in school history.

WR | CAREER: 1944-46
HIGHLIGHTS: 12 career receiving TDs
During an era in which the forward pass was not heavily used at Texas, Bechtol excelled nonetheless. His mark of 12 career receiving touchdowns stood for 44 years, and his seven TDs in 1945 was not surpassed until '94.

LB | CAREER: 2001-04
HIGHLIGHTS: 458 tackles, 65 tackles for loss, 10� sacks
This explosive linebacker chased ballcarriers from sideline to sideline. In 2004 he won the Butkus Award and became Texas's first two-time consensus All-America since Tommy Nobis in 1964 and '65. His nine forced fumbles in 2004 broke the NCAA single-season record.

DE | CAREER: 1968-70
HIGHLIGHTS: Consensus All-America in 1970
At 6' 3", 255 pounds he was one of the largest Longhorns of his era. A member of the 1969 national title team, Atessis (77) earned All-SWC honors in 1969 and '70. In 1970 he anchored a defense that allowed 12.5 points per game.