clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jumboheroes' Purdue Mount Rushmore

No offense to T-Mill but come on!

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Our benevolent overlords at SB Nation, and their benevolent overlords at the BTN, have decided to lean on the real journalists here at SB Nation to rank the Mt. Rushmore of each B1G school. When T-Mill asked me to write this post my immediate thought was to do a joke list with some big names who had big expectations but failed to live up to their promise. In fact let's do that really quickly before we get into the real list.

Jeff George

You had to know this guy was going to be on here right? One of the most highly touted QB's in the history of QB touting and he was coming to Purdue! George was only at Purdue for a year and left after the Leon Burtnett was fired following a pretty abysmal season. But hey Purdue hired Fred Akers next and we all know things went straight up from there!

Brandon Hance

Another failure of a QB at Purdue. Hance came in immediately following Drew Brees which is just a nightmare scenario for any QB but especially one like Hance who didn't seem to have the best head on his shoulders. He simply wasn't ready to handle the pressure. He was at Purdue for two years before transferring to USC where he eventually won a national championship which he had about as much to do with as I did.

Kyle Williams

No explanation necessary. If you need one use Google. It's not good.

Selwyn Lymon

The guy was an incredibly talented wide receiver and was one of the only players to get to wear the #1 jersey under Joe Tiller. His potential and talent was on display against Notre Dame where Lymon racked up an impressive 238 yards receiving. Unfortunately a strange stabbing at Nick's on the levee and an incident with an air soft gun his Purdue career came to an abrupt end. What a waste.

Now though for the real reason you are here. Who are, in my opinion, the top four Purdue football players of all time. If you'd like to take a look at T-Mill's picks take a look here. Before we go into my top four let's at least list the ten nominees we have to work with.

  1. Mike Alstott
  2. Otis Armstrong
  3. Drew Brees
  4. Bob Griese
  5. Mark Herrmann
  6. Leroy Keyes
  7. Mike Phipps
  8. Duane Purvis
  9. Dave Rankin
  10. Rod Woodson
I'm going to do this ranking based only on what they did at Purdue. It's easy to point to the NFL careers and see what someone was but I'd like to try my best to keep this to the college career only.

Drew Brees

This one is easy. The guy could sling the ball all over the field. Yeah he threw a lot of interceptions but that was just what was going to happen when you throw the ball 30-50 times a game. Drew Brees meant everything to Purdue. For the last 15 or so years he has been the face of Purdue football. That's deserved because of what he did on the field at Purdue. At one time Brees was the conference leader in Passing Attempts, Completions, Passing Yards, Touchdowns, and Total Offense. That doesn't even include all the Purdue records he scorched and still holds. The guy is a legend. Or was he a leader? I always got those two confused.

Leroy Keyes

Two time All-American, second in the Heisman trophy voting, and played in a Rose Bowl. How good was Leroy? The common refrain at games was, "Give the ball to Leroy!" His senior year he rushed for over 1,000 yards. In his first game, against Notre Dame no less, he returned a fumble 94 yards for a touchdown. I'm sure you're thinking wait how did he return a fumble for 94 yards as a running back? Oh yeah he was also a defensive back as well as a kick and punt returner. That's right, he played both sides of the ball and excelled at both. The guy was a machine.

Bob Griese

It's easy to forget about Griese because he wasn't necessarily flashy, he actually ended up with more interceptions, 29, than touchdown, 28, during his time at Purdue. All the guy did was win though including on the big stage at the Rose Bowl. He was a driving force behind the victory and a career regular season record of 21-7-1 during his three years. To add to that he also kicked extra points. You don't see a lot of that these days. Imagine Austin Appleby hopping out there after a touchdown pass. Griese is another member of the college football hall of fame. He also garnered yet another second place finish for Purdue in the Heisman trophy race. Numbers are hard to translate between eras but he was a consensus All-American twice. That gives you an idea of how dominant he was.

Rod Woodson

I know the sexy pick for my last spot would be Mike Alstott. Alstott is my favorite player of all time. He's the reason I'm a fan of the Tampa Bay Bucs, no jokes please, and the first football player I really loved watching. That being said he was on terrible teams and just because I think he's awesome doesn't mean he belongs in the top four. Sorry Mike! Instead I'm putting Rod Woodson here. Woodson was first team all Big Ten three times, and an All-American. Woodson was the type of guy who could do it all. It seems like he was criminally underused on the offensive end. In his final game of his career against IU he played tailback for the first time in his college career. Keep that in mind. All he did during that game was run for 93 yards on 15 carries. This was a season high for any Purdue running back. Seems like maybe he should've been thrown on offensive a little more. He also was a fantastic punt and kick returner. The guy was one hell of an athlete and was probably the best player on the field nearly every time he stepped out there.

So there are my picks. I'm not going to cloud you up with another poll. If you want to vote in the site wide poll head over to T-Mill's post. Debate, comment, and enjoy my beautiful prose.