The BYU Cougars have spent the good part of the last 50 years playing great football, thanks to the performances of some remarkable athletes. There have been all-conference selections on both sides of the ball and on special teams. There have been conference players of the year, All-Americans and national record holders. The Cougars have also had their fair share of national award winners, including the Sammy Baugh Trophy, Davey O'Brien Award, Outland Trophy, Doak Walker Award and the Heisman Trophy. This list ranks the best of the best of those players — the ones who led BYU to national stardom.

Here is my list of the best football players in BYU history.

Note: These rankings are based on numerous factors, including national standings, all-conference recognition, school records, awards and impact on the success of the Cougars. It is also important to note that only what each player did at BYU was taken into consideration.

Stats and award information comes from Sports-reference.com, BYUCougars.com and SLTrib.cougarstats.com.

100. Jamaal Williams, running back (2012-14)

Williams had three impressive seasons in the Cougar backfield. His most productive season to this point came as a sophomore in 2013 when he carried the ball 217 times for 1,233 yards and seven touchdowns. He also totaled 18 receptions for 125 yards.

For his BYU career, he had 492 carries for 2,526 yards and 23 touchdowns to go along with 53 catches for 487 yards and another score.


99. Justin Ena, linebacker (1998-2001)

Ena had a terrific career as a linebacker for the Cougars. He was a four-year contributor and a three-time all-conference selection. One of his most productive seasons came in 2000 when he had 107 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, three sacks and three forced fumbles.

For his BYU career, he recorded 279 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, 10 pass breakups, six forced fumbles and four sacks.


98. Omarr Morgan, defensive back (1996-97)

Morgan had two really impressive campaigns in the Cougar secondary. He was a two-time first-team All-WAC selection and an honorable mention All-American. His most productive season came in 1996 when he totaled 54 tackles, 10 pass breakups and four interceptions.

For his BYU career, he recorded 85 tackles, 18 pass breakups and four interceptions.


97. Ryan Denney, defensive end (1998-2001)

Denney had three good seasons on the defensive line for the Cougars. His best year came in 2001 when he was first-team All-MWC and The Sporting News fourth team All-American after he registered 68 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, eight pass breakups and seven sacks.

For his BYU career, he had 156 tackles, 40 tackles for loss, 16 sacks, 13 pass breakups and six forced fumbles.


96. Pat Thompson, punter (1986-88)

Thompson was the Cougars' starting punter during all three seasons. He led the conference in punting average two straight years. His best year came in 1988 when he averaged 44.8 yards per punt to earn first-team All-WAC. Those numbers were also good enough to be named a first or second-team All-American by five different publications.

For his BYU career, he had an average of 43.1 yards on 177 punts.


95. Casey Tiumalu, running back (1982-83)

Tiumalu might not be the most recognizable name to BYU fans, but he was a great back during his two seasons. His most productive season came as a senior in 1983 when he finished eighth in the nation in yards from scrimmage with 1,434 and was named first-team all-WAC. That year, he carried the ball 139 times for 851 yards and three touchdowns as well as catching 60 passes for 583 yards and three more scores.

For his BYU career, he had 249 carries for 1,516 yards and 11 touchdowns to go along with 80 receptions for 766 yards and five scores.


94. Paul Linford, defensive tackle (1972-74)

Linford was a dominant presence on the defensive line for the Cougars and a three-time first-team All-Western Conference performer. One of his best seasons came in 1974 when he had 53 tackles, seven sacks, seven tackles for loss and six quarterback hurries.

For his BYU career, he registered 201 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, 22 hurries, seven sacks and four forced fumbles.


93. Byron Frisch, defensive end (1996-99)

Frisch was a top-notch performer on the defensive line during his time as a Cougar. He was a two-time second-team All-WAC performer and a first-team All-MWC selection as a senior. One of his best seasons came in 1999 when he had 55 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 14 quarterback hurries, eight sacks and two forced fumbles.

For his BYU career, he recorded 210 tackles, 46 hurries, 43 tackles for loss, 25 sacks and seven forced fumbles.


92. Tom Holmoe, defensive back (1978-82)

Holmoe was a big contributor for the Cougars during his last three seasons on the field. One of his most productive seasons came in 1982 when he was first-team All-WAC and an AP honorable mention All-American after he registered 54 tackles, five pass breakups and three interceptions.

For his BYU career, he totaled 180 tackles, 18 pass breakups, 13 interceptions and five tackles for loss.


91. Lee Johnson, kicker/punter (1980-84)

Johnson had a tremendous career as a kicker and punter with the Cougars. One of his best seasons came in 1984 when he led the team in scoring with 74 points while hitting 13-for-17 field goal attempts to earn All-WAC second-team honors. He was also an AP All-American honorable mention with a punting average of 45.5 yards.

His 47 yards per punt is still the highest average in school history.


90. Chad Lewis, tight end (1993-96)
Mark Philbrick/BYU

Lewis was a big-time target for Cougar quarterbacks from the moment he stepped on campus. He was named all-WAC first or second-team each of his last three years. One of his best years came in 1995 when he had 31 catches for 456 yards and two touchdowns to earn UPI All-American honorable mention.

For his BYU career, he caught 111 passes for 1,376 yards and 10 touchdowns.


89. Jake Kuresa, offensive line, (2002-06)

Kuresa was a very effective lineman during his time with the Cougars. He was a second-team all-MWC selection during his junior season after starting 11 games. A year later, he was first-team all-conference and a College Football News second-team All-American.


88. Dallas Reynolds, offensive line (2005-08)

Reynolds was a great player during all four seasons with the Cougars. He was a two-time first-team all-MWC selection and earned All-American recognition during his freshman and senior years. His best year came in 2008 when he was first-team all-conference and third-team All-American by the College Football News.


87. Byron Rex, tight end (1986, 1989-1992)

Like many of the other Cougars on this list, Rex was a two-time first-team all-WAC performer. His most productive year came in 1992 when he was named UPI second-team All-American after he caught 45 passes for 612 yards and five scores.

For his BYU career, he had 87 receptions for 1,209 yards and seven touchdowns.


86. Trevor Matich, center (1979-1980, 1983-84)

Although it took a few years for Matich (No. 50 in photo) to earn the full-time starting job at center, he ended his time at BYU with a dominating senior year for the national championship team. He was an all-WAC first-team selection and Associated Press third-team All-American.


85. Evan Pilgrim, guard (1990-94)

Pilgrim was a big piece of some really good offensive lines. He started for much of his career and earned plenty of recognition along the way. He was a Football News second-team sophomore All-American, as well as first-team all-WAC and AP second-team All-American as a senior in 1994.


84. Itula Mili, tight end (1991, 94-96)

Although he played with a pair of other great tight ends during his time as a Cougar, Mili still managed to put up some monster numbers. His best year came as a senior in 1996 when the American Football Coaches Association named him first-team All-American and first-team all-WAC after he caught 46 passes for 692 yards and three touchdowns.

For his BYU career, he had 125 receptions for 1,763 yards and 11 touchdowns.


83. Matt Payne, kicker/punter (2000-04)

Payne is one of the most decorated players in school history. He was a great kicker and punter and could also make a huge tackle or two. He was a three-time first-team all-conference punter and led the team in scoring and punting in three straight seasons. One of his best seasons came in 2004 when he was named first-team All-American punter by The Sporting News.

For his BYU career, he finished with 312 points and a punting average of 45.4 yards. That average is the highest in MWC history and the third highest in the NCAA since 2000.


82. John Walsh, quarterback (1992-94)

Walsh's name often slips through the cracks when talking about great BYU quarterbacks, but he did enough to earn a spot on the list. He had two tremendous seasons before he declared for the NFL draft following his junior year. His best of the two came in 1994 when he led the nation in passing yards (3,712) and passing touchdowns (29) for the 10-3 Cougars.

For his BYU career, he completed 60.2 percent of his passes for 8,390 yards and 66 touchdowns.


81. Glen Kozlowski, wide receiver (1981, 83-85)

Kozlowski was one of the best receivers in the WAC during his time at BYU. His most productive season came as a junior when he earned first-team all-WAC and honorable mention All-American by the AP, UPI and Football News. That year, he finished second in the conference in catches (55) and receiving yards (879) while leading the conference and finishing second in the nation with 11 touchdowns.

For his BYU career, he caught 136 passes for 2,223 yards and 23 touchdowns.


80. Todd Watkins, wide receiver (2004-05)

Watkins only spent two seasons on the field for BYU, but both were memorable. His most impressive seasons came as a junior when he led the MWC in yards per reception (20.0) and was the regular season leader in receiving yards to earn first-team all-WAC. That year, he caught 52 passes for 1,042 yards and six touchdowns.

For his BYU career, he recorded 101 receptions for 1,720 yards and 15 touchdowns.


79. James Dye, returner/receiver (1995-96)

Dye was a dynamic play-maker during both of his seasons on the field for the Cougars. He was a two-time first-team All-WAC selection as a returner and tied the school record with four punt return touchdowns. In 1995, he was WAC special teams player of the year after he led the nation with 21.9 yards per punt return.

For his BYU career, he has a school record 19.8 yards per punt return. He also averaged 25.7 on 23 kick returns with another touchdown. He also chipped in as a receiver with 16 catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns.


78. Brady Poppinga, linebacker/defensive line (2001-04)

Poppinga was one of the best Cougar defensive players in school history. He is one of only a handful of players to earn first-team all-conference three times. One of his best seasons came as a junior in 2003 when he had 55 tackles, including 13 for loss as well as six sacks and two pass deflections.

For his BYU career, he had 193 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 19 sacks, nine quarterback hurries and four forced fumbles.


77. Trevor Molini, tight end (1985-86)

Molini was the next in a long line of Cougars tight ends from the 1980s who earned All-American honors. His most productive season came in 1985 when he was third-team Football News All-American after he caught 63 passes for 849 yards and three touchdowns.

For his BYU career, he had 105 receptions for 1,355 yards and five touchdowns.


76. David Mills, tight end (1979-1981, 83-84)

Mills only saw significant time during one season at BYU (thanks to the depth the Cougars had at tight end), but it was a memorable one. He led the Cougars in catches (60) and receiving yards (1,023) while adding seven touchdowns during the run to the national championship. Those numbers were good enough to earn first-team all-WAC and Athlon magazine first-team All-American.

For his BYU career, he caught 69 passes for 1,121 yards and nine touchdowns.


75. Jim Herrmann, defensive end (1980-84)

Herrmann played four years on the defense line for the Cougars. As a junior, he had 46 quarterback hurries, 36 tackles and 16 sacks to earn second-team all-conference. The following year, he was first-team All-WAC and honorable mention All-American after he recorded 62 tackles, 29 hurries, 10 tackles for loss and six sacks.

For his BYU career, he totaled 106 sacks, 76 quarterback hurries, 26 sacks, 12 tackles for loss and six forced fumbles.


74. Brandon Flint, defensive end (1980-83)

Flint terrorized opposing quarterbacks during his time with the Cougars. He led the team in sacks each of his last three seasons. One of his best years came in 1983 when he was an AP All-American after he recorded 57 tackles, 31 quarterback hurries and 12 sacks.

For his BYU career, he totaled 194 tackles, 64 quarterback hurries, a school-record 35 sacks and 14 tackles for loss.


73. Ray Feinga, offensive line (2004-08)

Feinga had an outstanding career protecting Max Hall and John Beck. He was a two-time first-team all-MWC selection at left guard. His best year came in 2007 when he didn't allow a sack, according to BYUCougars.com, and was an SI.com second-team All-American.


72. Mark Bellini, wide receiver (1982-86)

Bellini had three very productive seasons as a Cougar, including two years as a first-team all-WAC performer. His best year came as a junior in 1985 when he was named second-team All-American by UPI and third-team All-American by the AP. That year, he led the nation in touchdown catches (14) and finished sixth in receiving yards (1,008).

For his BYU career, he caught 146 passes for 2,429 and 23 touchdowns.


71. Reno Mahe, wide receiver (1998-99, 2001-02)

Mahe made the switch to wide receiver when he returned to BYU and had an instant impact. His best season came as a junior in 2001 when he earned first-team all-MWC honors after putting together one of the best statistical seasons in BYU history. That year, he led the conference in receptions (91), receiving yards (1,211) and touchdowns (nine). Those numbers were good enough to finish fifth in the nation in receptions and 10th in receiving yards.

During his two seasons as a receiver, he caught 150 passes for 1,982 yards and 11 touchdowns.


70. Derwin Gray, defensive back (1989-1992)

Gray had three fantastic seasons in the secondary for the Cougars. He earned All-WAC recognition his last two seasons and was a UPI honorable mention All-American. His best statistical season came in 1991 when he had 128 tackles, nine pass breakups, three tackles for loss, three interceptions and two forced fumbles.

For his BYU career, he totaled 283 tackles, 25 pass breakups, 14 interceptions, nine tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and two touchdowns.


69. Kurt Gouveia, linebacker (1982-85)

Gouveia (No. 34 in photo) had two very good seasons as a starting linebacker. In 1984, he earned second-team All-WAC after he recorded 107 tackles, 21 quarterback hurries, seven sacks, five tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. A year later, he was first-team all-conference and AP honorable mention All-American after he had 98 tackles, seven tackles for loss, five pass breakups and three sacks.

For his BYU career, he had 224 tackles, 34 hurries, 13 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and six forced fumbles.


68. Dave Atkinson, defensive back (1970-73)

Atkinson was a big part of the secondary for the Cougars during each of his three years. His most productive season came in 1972 when he was first-team All-WAC after he recorded 68 tackles, nine pass breakups, eight interceptions and two tackles for loss.

For his BYU career, he totaled 179 tackles, 22 pass breakups, a school-record 20 interceptions and five tackles for loss.


67. Brad Anae, defensive end (1979-1981)

Anae was a terrific pass rusher during his time with the Cougars. He was two-time first-team All-WAC selection and an AP honorable mention All-American. His most productive season came in 1980 when he had 37 tackles, 30 quarterback hurries, nine sacks, five tackles for loss and an interception return for a touchdown.

For his BYU career, he recorded 94 tackles, 51 hurries, 21 sacks, 14 tackles for loss and six forced fumbles.


66. Paul Allen, returner/running back (1959-61)

Allen was a special teams legend and a solid running back during his time with the Cougars. His best year came in 1961 when he returned three kicks for touchdowns and set an NCAA record in average yards per return. He also chipped in with 35 carries for 140 yards and three touchdowns as well as five receptions for 261 yards and three more scores.

For his BYU career, he totaled 275 yards and three touchdowns with 10 catches for 372 yards and four scores. His 40.1 kick return average in 1961 is still the top mark in NCAA history today.


65. Dana Wilgar, defensive back (1973-76)

Wilgar had four very productive seasons in the Cougar secondary. He was a two-time first-team All-WAC performer and AP honorable mention All-American. One of his best seasons came in 1975 when he had 93 tackles, three interceptions, a pass breakup and a forced fumble.

For his BYU career, he totaled 280 tackles, 14 pass breakups, eight interceptions and six forced fumbles.


64. Randy Brock, defensive end (1991-94)

Brock starred all four seasons on the defensive line. He was a Football News freshman and sophomore first-team All-American selection and an All-WAC first-team honoree in 1994. One of his best years came as a senior when he had 53 tackles, 22 quarterback hurries, 13 tackles for loss, eight sacks and seven forced fumbles.

For his BYU career, he had 175 tackles, 59 hurries, 46 tackles for loss, 28.5 sacks and 12 forced fumbles.


63. Ronney Jenkins, running back (1996-98)

Even though Jenkins played just two seasons before he left, he is one of the best backs the Cougars have ever seen. His best season came as a junior when he led the WAC in rushing yards as well as yards from and touchdowns from scrimmage. That year, he carried the ball 252 times for 1,307 yards and 13 touchdowns while adding 34 receptions for 349 yards and two more scores.

For his BYU career, he had 380 carries for 2,040 yards and 24 touchdowns to go along with 48 receptions for 538 yards and five scores. He also averaged 26.8 yards on 19 kick returns.


62. Larry Carr, linebacker (1971-1974)

Carr had three great seasons as a Cougar linebacker. One of his most productive seasons came in 1974 when he earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference after he registered 137 tackles, five pass breakups, five quarterback hurries, four interceptions and four forced fumbles.

For his BYU career, he had 389 tackles, 16 pass breakups, eight interceptions, eight tackles for loss and six forced fumbles.


61. Glen Titensor, defensive line (1978-1980)

Titensor had two great seasons during his time with the Cougars. He was a two-time first-team All-WAC selection and an AP honorable mention All-American. One of his best years came in 1980 when he totaled 41 tackles, 38 quarterback hurries, 13 sacks and five tackles for loss.

For his BYU career, he recorded 88 tackles, 57 hurries, 17 sacks, 12 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.


60. Andy Boyce, wide receiver (1984, 1987-1990)

Boyce had a tremendous career as a Cougar even though he didn't record his first catch until his junior year. His most productive season came as a senior in 1990 when he earned first-team all-WAC. That season, he finished second in the nation in receptions (79) as well as third nationally in both receiving yards (1,241) and receiving touchdowns (13).

For his BYU career, he caught 118 passes for 1,953 yards and 15 touchdowns.


59. Bill Schoepflin, defensive back (1977-1980)

Schoepflin had three impressive seasons in the Cougar secondary. He was a two-time first-team All-WAC selection and earned honorable mention All-American status his last two years. One of his best seasons came in 1979 when he recorded 65 tackles, six pass breakups, five interceptions and four tackles for loss.

For his BYU career, he totaled 187 tackles, 14 pass breakups, 10 interceptions, eight tackles for loss and five forced fumbles.


58. Matt Bellini, running back (1986-1990)

While he wasn't used as a traditional running back, Bellini made some huge contributions coming out of the backfield as a Cougar. He finished on the all-WAC first or second-team his last three years on campus and earned honorable mention All-American honors multiple seasons. His most productive season came as a sophomore in 1988 when he carried the ball 98 times for 488 yards and seven touchdowns as well as catching 51 passes for 786 yards and four more scores.

For his BYU career, he had 214 carries for 931 yards and 14 touchdowns to go along with a then BYU record 204 receptions for 2,635 yards and 15 scores. He also returned 28 punts for 195 yards.


57. Todd Shell, linebacker (1980-83)

Shell was an impressive linebacker during his time in Provo. He was a two-time first-team All-WAC selection and an AP All-American. One of his best seasons came in 1983 when he had 110 tackles, 29 quarterback hurries, 14 sacks, four tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.

For his BYU career, he had 275 tackles, 46 hurries, 20 sacks, 11 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles.


56. John Ogden, running back (1964-66)

Ogden did some amazing things during his three seasons on the field at BYU. He led the WAC in rushing yards for three consecutive seasons and earned first-team all-WAC during his junior and senior seasons. His most productive year came as a senior in 1966 when he carried the ball 204 times for 906 yards and four touchdowns.

For his BYU career, he had 535 carries for 2,376 yards and 11 touchdowns to go along with two receptions for 30 yards and a score.


55. Dan Hansen, safety (1968-1972)

Hansen had an incredible career in the secondary for the Cougars. He was a two-time first-team All-WAC performer and an AP All-American. One of his best years came in 1970 when he registered 119 tackles, 10 pass breakups and eight interceptions.

For his BYU career, he recorded 369 tackles, 29 pass breakups, 18 interceptions and two touchdowns on interception returns.


54. Marv Allen, linebacker (1978,1981-84)

Allen had three fantastic years as a Cougar linebacker. His best year came in 1984 when he was an AP All-American and a first-team All-WAC performer after he had 131 tackles, seven quarterback hurries and four tackles for loss.

For his career, he registered 354 tackles, 19 hurries, seven tackles for loss and four sacks.


53. Margin Hooks, wide receiver (1996-2000)

Hooks had three very productive seasons at BYU. His most impressive campaign came as a junior in 1999 when he earned first team all-MWC after he led the conference in receptions (60) and receiving yards (1,067) and finished second in touchdowns (seven).

For his BYU career, he caught 189 passes for 2,841 yards and 14 touchdowns.


52. Kyle Whittingham, linebacker (1978-1981)

Whittingham, pictured at right, had two really good seasons as a Cougar linebacker. His best year came in 1981 when he was first-team All-WAC, conference Co-Player of the Year and an AP honorable mention All-American. That season, he totaled 132 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, nine quarterback hurries, eight pass breakups and seven sacks.

For his BYU career, he registered 272 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 23 hurries, 10 sacks and six forced fumbles.


51. Jeff Blanc, running back (1973-76)

Blanc was the first great dual-threat back the Cougars had. He earned first-team all-WAC in his last two seasons and finished as the BYU career leader in rushing yards and touchdowns. His most productive season came as a sophomore in 1974 when he carried the ball 199 times for 784 yards and six touchdowns while catching 32 passes for 442 yards and four more scores.

For his BYU career, he had 625 carries for 2,718 yards and 21 touchdowns to go along with 74 receptions for 886 yards and eight scores.


50. Wayne Baker, defensive tackle (1972-74)

Baker spent three years on the defensive line for the Cougars. His best year came in 1974 when he was a second-team All-American after he had 82 tackles, 10 sacks, nine quarterback hurries, four tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.

For his BYU career, he had 179 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, nine quarterback hurries and four forced fumbles.


49. Leon White, linebacker (1982-85)

White was a very impressive linebacker during his four seasons with the Cougars. He was a two-time honorable mention All-American and a first-team All-WAC performer. One of his best seasons came in 1983 when he had 87 tackles, 19 quarterback hurries, nine sacks, three tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.

For his BYU career, he had 249 tackles, 42 hurries, 20 tackles for loss, 19 pass breakups, 17 sacks and seven forced fumbles.


48. Lakei Heimuli, running back (1983-86)

Another one of the impressive dual-threat backs, Heimuli was first-team all-WAC in his last two seasons and left BYU as one of the leading rushers in school history. His most productive season came as a junior in 1985 when he finished sixth in the nation in rushing touchdowns and ninth in receptions. That year, he carried the ball 188 times for 857 yards and 14 touchdowns while catching 66 passes for 459 yards.

For his BYU career, he had 605 carries for 2,710 yards and 30 touchdowns to go along with 139 receptions for 1,123 yards and two scores.


47. Shay Muirbrook, linebacker (1993-96)

Muirbrook was a significant contributor each of his four years with the Cougars. He was second team All-WAC as a sophomore and a first team selection each of his last two seasons. His best year came as a senior when he was the WAC Defensive Player of the Year and the MVP of the Cotton Bowl after an epic six-sack performance. That year, he had 97 tackles, nine sacks, eight tackles for loss and six pass breakups.

For his BYU career, he recorded 345 tackles, 29 quarterback hurries, 23 tackles for loss, 19 sacks, 13 pass breakups and six forced fumbles.


46. Glen Redd, linebacker (1976-1980)

Redd had three impressive seasons as a Cougar linebacker.He was a two-time first-team All-WAC performer and one of the best tacklers in school history. One of his best seasons came in 1980 when he was an AP honorable mention All-American after he had 148 tackles, six pass breakups, four forced fumbles, two sacks and two tackles for loss.

For his BYU career, he had 384 tackles, 18 pass breakups, 12 forced fumbles and 10 tackles for loss.


45. Mekeli Ieremia, defensive end (1974-77)

Ieremia had three fantastic seasons on the defensive line while in Provo. He was a two-time first-team All-Western Athletic Conference performer and a two-time AP honorable mention All-American. One of his best seasons came in 1976 when he had 95 tackles, 17 quarterback hurries, a single-season school-record 17 sacks and eight tackles for loss.

For his BYU career, he had 257 tackles, 42 hurries, 27 sacks, 15 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles.


44. Shawn Knight, defensive tackle (1983-86)

Knight was a very good player on the defensive line during his last two seasons with the Cougars. His best year came in 1986 when he was an AP third-team All-American after he totaled 60 tackles, 16 sacks, eight quarterback hurries and four tackles for loss.

For his BYU career, he had 126 tackles, 27 hurries, 23 sacks, seven tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.


43. Jonny Harline, tight end (2004-06)
Mark Philbrick/BYU

Harline was a first-team all-MWC performer twice during his time as a Cougar. His best year came as a senior in 2006 when he was named first-team All-American by five different publications. That season, he caught 58 passes for 935 yards and 12 touchdowns. Those numbers were good enough to lead the conference and finish seventh nationally in receiving touchdowns. He also led the MWC in receiving yards.

For his BYU career, he had 121 receptions for 1,788 yards and 17 touchdowns.


42. Jan Jorgensen, defensive line (2006-09)

Jorgensen was a huge part of the Cougars front seven during each of his seasons at BYU. After earning third-team freshman All-American honors, he was an All-MWC first-team performer during each of his last three years. His best season came as a sophomore in 2007 when he had 77 tackles, including 20 for loss and 13.5 sacks.

For his BYU career, he had 221 tackles, including 44 for loss to go along with 30 sacks, 22 quarterback hurries, four passes defended and two forced fumbles.


41. Pete Van Valkenburg, running back (1969-1972)

After two solid years, Van Valkenburg gave BYU one of the special seasons by a back in school history as a senior in 1972. That year, he led the nation in rushing with 1,386 yards to go along with 12 touchdowns even though he wasn't even in the top 10 in carries. He also finished second in yards from scrimmage to earn first-team all-WAC and AP third-team All-American.

For his BYU career, he carried the ball 456 times for 2,392 yards and 24 touchdowns to go along with 25 catches for 280 yards and two scores.


40. Bart Oates, center (1977, 1980-82)

Oates was a huge part of some very successful BYU squads during his time in Provo. His best year came in 1982 when he was a first-team all-WAC selection at center and a second-team All-American. He was inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame in 1992.


39. Steve Sarkisian, quarterback (1995-96)

Sarkisian was under center for one of the best years in BYU history. He led the Cougars to their most wins in school history (14) as a senior while he put up huge numbers. His best season came in 1996 when he led the nation in completion percentage (68.8) and passing efficiency rating (173.6) while throwing for 4,027 yards and 33 touchdowns. Those numbers were good enough to secure the WAC offensive player of the year and the Sammy Baugh Trophy awarded to the nation's most outstanding passer.

For his BYU career, he completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 7,464 yards and 53 touchdowns.


38. John Beck, quarterback (2003-06)

Beck saw action during all four seasons at BYU and was one of the best the school had ever seen by the time he was done. His best season came in 2006 when he led the Cougars to a 11-2 record and an MWC championship. That year, he completed 69.3 percent of his passes for 3,885 yards and 32 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. He also registered six scores on the ground to earn MWC offensive player of the year.

For his BYU career, he completed 62.4 percent of his passes for 11,021 yards and 79 touchdowns.


37. Jamal Willis, running back (1991-94)

Willis had two great years during his time as a Cougar. He was the first BYU back to cross the 1,000-yard plateau on two occasions and finished his career as the school's all-time leader in rushing yards and touchdowns. His best season came as a senior in 1994 when he earned first-team all-WAC and finished top 10 in the nation in yards and touchdowns from scrimmage. That year, he carried the ball 204 times for 1,042 yards and 12 touchdowns as well as catching 33 passes for 525 yards and two more scores.

For his BYU career, he had 594 carries for 2,970 yards and 35 touchdowns to go along with 77 catches for 1,095 yards and five scores.


36. Eric Drage, wide receiver (1989-1993)

Drage is one of five BYU receivers to earn first-team all-conference at least twice and the only Cougar to have more than 1,000 yards receiving more than once. His most impressive season came as a junior in 1992 when he was first team all-WAC after catching 56 passes for 1,093 yards and 12 touchdowns. Those numbers placed him second in the nation in receiving touchdowns and ninth in receiving yards.

For his BYU career, he caught 162 passes for 3,065 yards and 29 touchdowns. He also returned 18 punts for 142 yards.


35. John Tait, offensive line (1993, 1996-98)

Tait showed off his tremendous ability during his time on the line with the Cougars. He was a two-time first-team all-conference performer and a Sporting News freshman All-American. He was inducting in the BYU Hall of Fame in 2012.


34. Max Hall, quarterback (2006-09)

Hall was a star from the moment he stepped on the field for the BYU Cougars. In fact, he won at least 10 games in each of his three seasons and finished with the most wins of any BYU signal caller in school history (32). His best statistical season came in 2008 when he completed 69.2 percent of his passes for 3967 yards and 35 touchdowns as the Cougars went 10-3.

For his BYU career, he completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 11,365 yards and 94 touchdowns as well as seven rushing scores.


33. Shad Hansen, linebacker (1989-1992)

Hansen was a tackling machine during his time with the Cougars. One of his best statistical seasons came in 1991 when he earned second-team All-WAC after he recorded a school record 193 tackles to go along with 13 quarterback hurries, five sacks and four tackles for loss. The next season, he was first-team All-WAC and a third-team Football News All-American after he recorded 95 tackles, including three for loss with two sacks.

For his BYU career, he registered 407 tackles, 16 quarterback hurries, 12 tackles for loss and nine sacks.


32. Chris Farasopoulos, defensive back, returner (1968-1970)

Farasopoulos was great in the secondary and as a return specialist. He was a two-time first-team All-WAC selection in his three years on the field. One of his best seasons came in 1969 when he had 80 tackles, 13 pass breakups and four interceptions. He also led the nation in punt returns and set the NCAA record for combined punt and kick return yards for a season with 1,075.

For his BYU career, he had 168 tackles, 23 pass breakups and eight interceptions. He also still holds the BYU record with 27.27 yards per kick return.


31. Curtis Brown, running back (2002-06)

Brown was a do-everything back during his time in Provo. He was the first player to have back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and earned first-team all-MWC twice. His most productive season came as a junior in 2005 when he rushed for 1,123 yards and 14 touchdowns while catching 53 passes for 454 yards and two more scores.

He finished his BYU career, with 641 carries for 3,221 yards and 31 touchdowns to go along with 157 catches for 1,309 yards and five scores. He also returned 22 kicks for 466 yards.



30. Bob Davis, linebacker (1987-89)

Davis is one of the great Cougar linebackers. He was the team's leading tackler in back-to-back seasons and a two-time first-team All-Western Athletic Conference selection. One of his best years came in 1989 when he was an AP third-team All-American after he had 137 tackles, six sacks, five quarterback hurries, four pass breakups and three tackles for loss.

For his BYU career, he registered 349 tackles, 17 hurries, 12 sacks and seven tackles for loss.


29. Matt Reynolds, offensive line (2008-11)

Reynolds started all 52 games he played and is one of the most decorated linemen in school history. He was a first-team all-MWC performer during his sophomore and junior seasons and an all-independent selection as a senior. He also earned All-American recognition as both a freshman and a sophomore.


28. Jason Coloma, defensive back/returner (1975-78)

Coloma was a really good defensive back and solid return man during his time with the Cougars. He was a two-time first-team All-WAC selection and an AP third-team All-American. His best season came in 1978 when he had 69 tackles, seven tackles for loss, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two interceptions. He also returned 23 punts for 196 yards.

For his BYU career, he had 136 tackles, nine tackles for loss, six interceptions, six pass breakups and two forced fumbles.


27. Chris Smith, tight end (1987-90)

Smith had two legendary seasons during his time in Provo. He was a two-time, first-team all-WAC selection who earned All-American honors during his junior and senior seasons. His best year came in 1990 when he was a consensus All-American after he broke the NCAA record in receiving yards for a tight end (1,154), according to BYUCougars.com.

For his BYU career, he caught 137 passes for 2,367 yards and eight touchdowns.


26. Gordon Gravelle, offensive line (1967-71)

Gravelle had a terrific career as a Cougar lineman. His best year came in 1971 when he was WAC Lineman of the Year. He also earned second-team All-American recognition from the AP, UPI and Universal Sports. He was inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame in 2012.


25. Eldon Fortie, tailback/quarterback (1960-62)

He ran the offense for the Cougars in the single wing where he played tailback/quarterback and had a very successful career. His best year came in 1962 when he earned All-American recognition after throwing for 811 yards and seven touchdowns to go along with 199 carries for 1,039 yards and 14 touchdowns in the running game.

For his BYU career, he completed 39.6 percent of his passes for 1,209 yards and 12 touchdowns. He added 328 carries for 1,463 yards and 15 scores. He was inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame in 1977.


24. Brad Oates, tackle (1973-75)

He spent three years at BYU after transferring from Duke and was a phenomenal tackle. He was a two-time first-team all-WAC selection and one of the team's captains in his last two years. His best year came in 1975 when he was an Associated Press second-team All-American. He was inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame in 1988.


23. Harvey Unga, running back (2006-09)

When Unga was on the field, he was one of the most dominant backs BYU fans have ever seen. During his time as a Cougar, he won MWC Freshman of the Year, was second-team all-MWC as a sophomore and first-team all-MWC as a junior. His most productive statistical season came as a freshman in 2007 when he carried the ball 244 times for 1,227 yards and 13 touchdowns while catching 44 passes for 655 yards and four more scores.

For his BYU career, he carried the ball 696 times for a school record 3,455 yards and 36 touchdowns to go along with 102 catches for 1,085 yards and nine scores.


22. Cody Hoffman, wide receiver, returner (2009-13)

Hoffman had a spectacular career as a Cougar as a receiver and return man. In fact, he owns the BYU school records for receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. His best season came as a junior in 2012 when he registered 100 receptions for 1,248 yards and 11 touchdowns to earn all-Independent first-team.

For his BYU career, he caught 260 passes for 3,612 yards and 33 touchdowns. He added 53 kick returns for 1,331 yards and another score.


21. Nick Eyre, offensive tackle (1976-80)

Eyre was one of the best tackles that the Cougars have ever had. He was a three-year starter and a team captain. He was a two-time first-team all-WAC honoree and the first lineman from BYU to earn consensus All-American. He was inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame in 1990.


20. Virgil Carter, quarterback (1963-66)

While his numbers won't blow you away, Carter was the first in a long line of great passers to play in Provo. His most impressive season came in 1966 when he led the nation in total yards (2,545) and total touchdowns (30). That year he completed 48.1 percent of his passes for 2,182 yards and 21 touchdowns while adding 363 yards and nine scores on the ground to earn WAC offensive player of the year for the second consecutive season.

For his BYU career, he completed 44.4 percent of his passes for 5,125 yards and 50 touchdowns. He also managed 1,225 yards and 18 touchdowns in the running game.


19. Gary Sheide, quarterback (1973-74)

Sheide only spent two years as the starting signal caller, but that was all he needed to make his mark. While he put up spectacular numbers in 1973, he earned most of his recognition in 1974. That season, he completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 2,174 yards while leading the nation with 23 touchdown passes for the WAC champs. Those numbers were good enough to earn WAC Offensive Player of the Year and place him eighth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy.

For his BYU career, he completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 4,524 yards and 45 touchdowns. He also tallied eight rushing scores.


18. Rod Wood, linebacker (1975-78)

Wood was a huge contributor for the Cougars during his time in Provo. He was a first-team All-WAC selection and garnered All-American honors during two different seasons. One of his most productive seasons came in 1978 when he was a Churchmen's All-American after he registered 157 tackles, six tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries.

For his BYU career. he totaled 394 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 11 hurries, nine sacks and five forced fumbles.


17. Phil Odle, wide receiver (1965-67)

Although he isn't close to the top of the BYU leader board for receivers anymore, Odle is still one of the best Cougar receivers ever. He earned first-team all-WAC honors three straight years and finished in the top 10 in the nation twice each in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He also ended his BYU career at second on the all-time list for receptions in college football, according to BYUCougars.com. His most productive season came as a senior in 1967 when he caught 77 passes for 971 yards and nine touchdowns to earn first-team All-American by Dell Sports.

For his BYU career, he caught 183 passes for 2,548 yards and 25 touchdowns.


16. Kyle Morrell, defensive back (1981-84)

Morrell had a great career in the secondary for the Cougars. His best year came in 1984 when he was first-team all-conference, WAC Defensive Player of the Year and an AP first-team All-American after he had 70 tackles, six pass breakups and three interceptions.

For his BYU career, he had 232 tackles, 16 pass breakups, eight interceptions, four tackles for loss and three sacks.


15. Mo Elewonibi, guard (1988-89)

After starting one game as a junior, according to BYUCougars.com, Elewonibi stepped up as a senior and had one of the best years of any lineman in school history. He was a consensus first-team All-American and won the Outland trophy as the best interior lineman in the nation.


14. Gifford Nielsen, quarterback (1973-77)

While his BYU career ended prematurely, Nielsen was a dominant force when he was on the field. His best statistical season came in 1976 when he led the nation in passing yards (3,401) and passing touchdowns (30). In recognition of his terrific season, he was named WAC offensive player of the year and finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

For his BYU career, he completed 59 percent of his passes for 6,039 yards and 56 touchdowns. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.


13. Kyle Van Noy, linebacker (2010-13)

Van Noy is one of the best linebackers to ever suit up for the Cougars. He was a three-time first-team All-Independent selection, the Independent Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 and a second-team All-American. His most dominant season came in 2012 when he finished with 53 tackles, including 22 for loss with 13 sacks, six forced fumbles, two interceptions and two touchdowns. His sack and tackles for loss totals placed him in the top five in the nation in both categories.

For his BYU career, he registered 226 tackles, including 62 for loss as well as 30 quarterback hurries, 26 sacks, 12 forced fumbles, seven interceptions and five touchdowns.


12. Dennis Pitta, tight end (2004, 07-09)

Pitta was an extraordinary offensive weapon during his time as a Cougar. He was a three-time, first-team all-MWC selection and a consensus All-American in 2009. His best statistical season came in 2008 when he caught 83 passes for 1,083 yards and six touchdowns.

For his BYU career, he had 221 receptions for 2,901 yards and 21 touchdowns.


11. Austin Collie, wide receiver, returner (2004, 07-08)

Even though he only played three seasons as a Cougar before he moved on to the NFL, Collie is the best receiver that BYU has ever had and a great kick returner. His best year came as a junior in 2008 when he earned first-team all-MWC and first-team All-American from CBSSports.com after he finished with 106 receptions for 1,538 yards and 15 touchdowns.

For his BYU career, he caught 215 passes for 3,255 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also averaged 26.1 yards on 49 kick returns.


10. Rob Morris, linebacker (1993, 1996-99)

Morris had a fantastic career as a linebacker for the Cougars. He was a two-time first-team all-conference performer, a two-time All-American and the 1998 WAC Defensive Player of the Year. One of his best seasons came in 1998 when he was a first-team Football News All-American after he had 147 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 11 quarterback hurries, six sacks and four pass breakups.

For his BYU career, he had 333 tackles, 35 tackles for loss, 21 hurries, 13 sacks and three forced fumbles.


9. Clay Brown, tight end/punter (1976-1980)

While a lot of fans remember him for just one play, Brown was a dominant force as a tight end and punter. He was first-team all-WAC two straight seasons as a tight end and a very accomplished punter. His best year came in 1980 when he caught 48 passes for 1,009 yards and 15 touchdowns. Those numbers were good enough to lead the nation in touchdowns, finish third in receiving yards and ninth in yards-per-catch (21). He also led the nation in punting in 1979 when he averaged 45.3 yards per attempt.

For his BYU career, he had 88 receptions for 1,691 yards and 17 touchdowns while averaging 41.8 yards on 118 punts.


8. Luke Staley, running back (1999-2001)

Staley did three things at BYU that set him apart from all other running backs. He won the MWC Offensive Player of the Year Award, was a consensus first-team All-American and won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's most outstanding running back. All of those honors came as a junior in 2001 when he led the nation in rushing touchdowns (24) and touchdowns from scrimmage (28). He also finished second nationally in rushing yards (1,596), yards per carry (8.1) and yards from scrimmage (1,930).

For his BYU career, he had 418 carries for 2,507 yards and 41 touchdowns to go along with 86 catches for 1,000 yards and seven scores. His 48 touchdowns are still a school record.


7. Marc Wilson, quarterback (1975-79)

While he only started one full season at BYU, Wilson was one of the best signal callers in school history. Although he won the WAC Offensive Player of the Year in 1977 after stepping in for an injured Gifford Nielsen, Wilson had his best year in 1979. That season, he earned consensus All-American honors, finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting and won the Sammy Baugh Trophy after he led the nation in passing yards (3,720), total yards (3,580), passing touchdowns (29) and total touchdowns (33).

For his BYU career, he completed 57.1 percent of his passes for 7,637 yards and 61 touchdowns. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996.



6. Steve Young, quarterback (1980-83)

While not the first great running quarterback at BYU, Young was the best. While he was known for his great running skills, he was also a tremendous passer. His best season came in 1983 when finished second in the Heisman voting, won the Davey O'Brien and Sammy Baugh awards and was a consensus All-American after he led the Cougars to an 11-1 season and a Holiday Bowl victory. That year, he completed 71.3 percent of his passes for 3,902 yards and 33 touchdowns to go along with 444 yards and eight scores on the ground.

For his BYU career, he completed 65.2 percent of his passes for 7,733 yards and 56 touchdowns. He added 1,084 yards and 18 scores in the running game. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.


5. Jason Buck, defensive tackle (1985-86)

Buck dominated for the Cougars for two seasons. He was the 1985 WAC Defensive Player of the Year, a two-time All-American and the 1986 Outland Trophy winner. In 1986, he was a consensus All-American after he had 59 tackles, 17 quarterback hurries, 13 sacks and 13 tackles for loss.

For his BYU career, he had 112 tackles, 44 hurries, 25 sacks and 20 tackles for loss.


4. Robbie Bosco, quarterback (1981-85)

Bosco led the Cougars to the pinnacle of the college football world in 1984 and won the Sammy Baugh Trophy along the way. That season, he completed 61.8 percent of his passes while leading the nation in passing yards (3,875), passing touchdowns (33) and total touchdowns (35) to finish third in the Heisman Trophy voting as BYU won its only national championship in football.

For his BYU career, he completed 64 percent of his passes for 8,400 yards and 66 touchdowns.


3. Gordon Hudson, tight end (1980-83)

Hudson produced for the Cougars no matter who was throwing him the football. He was a two-time, first-team all-WAC selection and a two-time consensus All-American. One of his most impressive statistical seasons came in 1981 when he caught 67 passes for 960 yards and 10 touchdowns.

For his BYU career, he had 178 receptions for 2,484 yards and 22 touchdowns. He ended his time as a Cougar as the all-time NCAA leader in receiving yards by a tight end, according to BYUCougars.com. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009.


2. Jim McMahon, quarterback/punter (1977-1981)

McMahon won just about every award he could win while at BYU outside of the Heisman Trophy (he finished third in the voting in ’81 and fifth in ’80). He won the Davey O'Brien and Sammy Baugh awards and was a consensus All-American in 1981 as a senior, but had arguably a better year as a junior. That season, he completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 4,571 yards and 47 touchdowns for the 12-1 Cougars.

For his BYU career, he completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 9,536 yards and 84 touchdowns as well as 10 rushing scores. He also averaged 38.4 yards on 105 punts. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.


1. Ty Detmer, quarterback (1987-1991)

Detmer had three legendary seasons as a signal caller at BYU and is the only player in school history to win the Heisman Trophy. On top of that, he was a two-consensus All-American who won the Sammy Baugh Trophy, the Maxwell Award as the college football player of the year and was the first two-time winner of the Davey O'Brien Award in college football history. One of his extraordinary seasons came in 1990 when he completed 64.2 percent of his passes for 5,188 yards and 41 touchdowns for the 10-3 Cougars.

For his BYU career, he completed 62.6 percent of his passes for 15,031 yards and 121 touchdowns to go along with 14 scores on the ground. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2012.



Jay Yeomans is a courier by day and a freelance writer by night. He is the creator and lead writer of the website jmoneysports.com. Contact him at jmoney34