This is a great Friday sports debate question. So often we delineate between a player in college and the pros — see Tebow, Tim or Brady, Tom. But who has had the most success at both levels?
Here are my top candidates:
Y'all know where my mind immediately goes first and that is the the legend Peyton Manning. He threw for more than 11,000 yards and 89 touchdowns while leading Tennessee to a 32-5 record in his three full seasons as a starter, falling just short of two national championships in those three years. manning then, of course, went on to become one of the handful of greatest quarterbacks ever in the National Football League and retired with two Super Bowl Rings.
Barry Sanders had a fine first two years at Oklahoma State, rushing for a combined 928 yards and 11 touchdowns, before going on an absolutely unbelievable tear his junior year en route to 2,628 yards, 37 touchdowns and a Heisman Trophy. Those stats don't even look real.
He then went third overall in a 1989 NFL Draft class which featured four Pro Football Hall of Famers selected in the first five picks — Troy Aikman No. 1, Derrick Thomas No. 4 and Deion Sanders No. 5 alongside Sanders. He rushed for more than 15,000 yards in just 10 seasons before retiring at 30 already as one of the greatest to ever do it.
Marcus Allen seems like almost a forgotten name in football history, but he certainly belongs on a list like this. Allen has a pretty impressive stat on his résumé when it comes to his career in its totality:
Yeah, that'll do the trick. The Los Angeles Raiders once had a backfield of Marcus Allen and Bo Jackson. If Jackson never gets hurt, what an all-time tandem that could have been.
And lastly, we have Charles Woodson, who did technically win a Heisman Trophy at the University of Michigan before going on to become one of the greatest defensive backs in NFL history, although his 1997 Heisman is universally regarded as fraudulent and having been stolen from the first person on this list.
Woodson was named to five Pro Bowls and won Super Bowl XLV as a member of the Green Bay Packers. his 65 interceptions rank fifth in NFL history.
— Jim Brown
— O.J. Simpson
— Randy Moss
So who's on your list?