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Top 10 UK Football Players of All Time

This morning on KSR, Mike DeCourcy’s Top 10 UK Basketball Players of All Time was a great history lesson. Not to be outdone by The Sporting News, here’s my Top 10 UK Football Players of All Time:

  1. DE Steve Meilinger
  2. OT Lou Michaels
  3. QB Babe Parilli
  4. QB Tim Couch
  5. T Bob Gain
  6. DE Art Still
  7. KR Derek Abney
  8. WR Randall Cobb
  9. HB Rodger Bird
  10. T Sam Ball

Started with 25 names. Narrowing to 10 was a challenge. Thoughts?

*Note-this list was derived from UK career and does not reflect eventual NFL success. Thoughts?

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

32 Comments for Top 10 UK Football Players of All Time

  1. Sgt. Stadenko
    5:02 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Dermonti Dawson

  2. Nupe1911
    5:08 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Artose Pinner – SEC Offensive Player of the Year or Mark Higgs??

  3. BurpinTurpin
    5:13 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Hall of Famer Dermontti Dawson has to be on there.

  4. DylanG
    5:14 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Dermontti Dawson needs to be on there. He’s in NFL HOF and CFB HOF.

  5. Stewart
    5:15 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    I would have to agree with the list. Still, though, it’s hard not to have Moe Williams, Craig Yeast, and especially James Whalen on the list.

  6. scr3amingeagle
    5:16 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    how do you leave Dermonti Dawson (12 years in the NFL & NFL Hall of Fame member) or George Blanda (26 years with the NFL & NFL Hall of Fame member) out of the list?

    • DylanG
      5:21 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

      I second this and Craig Yeast. I love Cobb but you can’t just leave out UK’s all time WR record holder.

  7. Scott
    5:27 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Moe Williams or Sonny Collins
    Didn’t get to see Sonny play, but Moe could carry a team to victory .. and did

    • Chuck Brittain
      11:26 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

      Is Sonny Collins #11 on list?

      Start a new list like The Top Ten Fun To Watch Players in Kentucky History

      Sonny Collins
      Craig Yeast
      Derek Abney
      Art Still
      Jared Lorenzen
      Mike Fannuzi
      Derrick Ramsey
      Babe Parilli
      Mike Siganos

  8. Dave
    5:28 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Danny Trevathan led the SEC in tackles two years in a row. I believe he deserves a spot

    • DylanG
      5:30 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

      Same for Wesley Woodyard and Avery Williamson

  9. DylanG
    5:30 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Another one that deserves a spot, Jacob Tamme.

  10. eric
    5:36 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Derrick Ramsey was the quarterback and the leader on 1978 team that went 10-1, he needs to be on the list before Derrick Abney….

    • fatbrat
      6:32 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

      I think you mean the 1977 team that was so amazing and went 10-1.

  11. DylanG
    5:43 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    What about Andre Woodson? Was huge for us in the Brooks era.

  12. Stephen Brooks
    5:48 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Lyons not on there? The dad…not his kid. The guy did EVERYTHING! Larry Seiple? Warren Bryant? Collins? I can think of plenty that should be ahead of Couch…he was good, but a product of the system!

  13. theWilkman
    6:05 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Great list, Freddie. Especially want to thank you for including your criteria, something that was missing from the basketball list.

    To others: It’s a list of 10, you can’t include everyone. Couch was good enough that he was the #1 draft pick. If my memory serves, he was the only #1 pick we’ve ever had. He deserves his spot on this list, and if it was ranked 1-10 should probably be #1.

    Dermontti Dawson should probably be on the list, although his biggest collegiate accolade was a second-team All-Southeastern Conference nod his senior season. I could find no mention of him being in the college football hall of fame, although we did retire his number.

    George Blanda was an obvious pro-level stud but it was so long ago that I can make no judgement on his collegiate career.

    Craig Yeast is one I would have put on the list, although I’m not sure who I would sub him for. Definitely not Cobb, he rightfully earned his spot there considering the fact that he was basically the only offensive weapon on the team at the time.

  14. Drew Franklin
    6:10 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    I don’t know the best players, but the best Doritos Locos Tacos are at Mandalay Bay Taco Bell
    Thry add Beluga Caviar, Italian Summer Truffles and sprinkle them with gold dust. I wash then down with extra large jug of Dom Perignon.

    Three goggle

  15. BobHarrisKY
    6:13 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Freddie, how do you leave out Craig Yeast? Seriously? He’s UK’s all-time leading WR record holder.

  16. fatbrat
    6:35 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Looks pretty good. You could argue Alfred “Sonny” Collins or Big George Adams deserve a spot on a all Kentucky squad.

  17. fatbrat
    6:48 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    This is why Alfred “Sonny” Collins deserves a spot on the all UK team.
    Collins finished his career as the SEC’s all-time rushing leader with 3,835 yards and was named an All-American in 1973 and ’75. He missed a portion of the 1974 season with a leg injury.
    Collins was a first-team All-SEC selection in 1973, 1974 and 1975 and was the SEC Player of the Year in 1973.
    Despite a number of runners UK has produced that have gone on to the NFL, Collins still owns the Kentucky career record for rushing yardage and also holds school records for rushing attempts (777), rushing touchdowns (26) and 100-yard rushing games (18).
    He was selected by the Atlanta Falcons as the 8th pick of the 2nd round of the 1976 NFL draft. In a game against San Francisco, Collins set a then-team record when he rushed 31 times for 107 yards. A knee injury ended his pro career after one year.
    A native of Madisonville, Collins is a member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.

  18. Jewelielou
    6:51 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    I would have also included Dermontti Dawson, but I realize that most of his success comes from his NFL career. And, I think Matt Roark should be on the list for leading the UK team to their first win over Tennessee in 20+ years.

  19. Mike Ranney
    7:12 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    I won’t argue why this player and not this one as some will do. But how do you not have Bob Gain, the only UK player to ever win one of the major College football awards, higher on the list.

  20. pb
    7:24 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Howard Schnellenberger?

  21. CB3UK
    7:24 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Can’t argue against anyone on the list,I just think we need to add some new names to the list of a more recent vintage in the coming years.

  22. Harry
    7:37 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Dawson, Warren Bryant, Yeast

  23. JATR4
    8:20 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Irv Goode. 13 yrs in the NFL. On the Dolphins 1973 Super Bowl team. Twice selected for the pro bowl.

  24. TRainey
    8:21 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    been a season ticket holder since Stoll field. I like this list. In my opinion Art Still and Rodger Bird are the two best football players to ever wear the blue and white.

  25. Flippy23
    8:48 pm July 20, 2015 Permalink

    Howard Schnellenberger, Sonny Collins………obvious omissions………

  26. Football Fan
    12:09 am July 21, 2015 Permalink

    I would like to see a larger list like the top 50 or top 100 UK Football players of all time.

    Sonny Collins should be in the top 10. I remember growing up as a youngster and listening to all the hype on TV about how great Sonny Collins was during the Coach Fran Curci Days in the early 70’s. Every kid in Kentucky wanted to be the next Sonny Collins. He was a Heisman Trophy Candidate at the time. But the leg injury his Senior year ended his dream of winning a Heisman Trophy at UK.

    Lastly, It’s always a joy to see the picture of Steve Meilinger on KSR. He is one of the few players alive today that played for the Bear at UK. I bet he would be great in a interview by KSR. He generated a lot of laughs from the media when he was elected to the Hall of Fame a couple of years ago and he still lives in Lexington…

  27. D
    9:55 am July 21, 2015 Permalink


  28. skip humelsine
    6:01 am July 23, 2015 Permalink

    Sonny Collins