NEW ORLEANS — Georgia legend Herschel Walker finished as the No. 2 All-Time player in the history of the college football, according to an ESPN panel of voters honoring the 150th anniversary of college football.
Walker, the three-time SEC Player of the Year, a three-time All-American and the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, was honored at halftime of the CFP Championship Game along with No. 1 selection, Jim Brown.
Brown was a two-way player at Syracuse before his an NFL career that left an impression with many that he was the most dominant in the professional ranks.
From the ESPN 150 entry on Brown:
“Brown was the greatest all-around athlete in Syracuse history — and perhaps in all of collegiate sports … . he earned 10 varsity letters in four sports at Syracuse — basketball, football, lacrosse and track…. He led the nation in kickoff return average in 1955 and rushing TDs in 1956, when he became Syracuse’s first unanimous All-American”
Walker, meanwhile, is widely considered the best college football player in the modern era.
ESPN noted Walker set 41 Georgia, 16 SEC and 11 NCAA records, and UGA was 33-3 the three seasons he played.
Two-way player Champ Bailey, who played at Georgia from 1996-98, was the only other Bulldogs player in the Top 150 — coming in at 149.
Bailey played alongside Georgia coach Kirby Smart in the UGA secondary, winning the Nagurski Award as college football’s best defensive player in 1998. But he also led the Bulldogs with 744 yards on 47 catches that season.
Earlier on Monday, Walker was recognized at the FWAA Awards Breakfast as the inaugural winner of the Freshman Legend Award.
Walker led Georgia to the 1980 national championship with an inspiring performance that saw him overcome a dislocated shoulder against Notre Dame.
It’s not likely that Walker will lose any sleep over his runner-up finish in the all-time greatest results after ESPN’s very thorough, but very subjective, voting process.
Walker defined “success” for DawgNation at the end of a revealing interview session.
“I think success is when you can lay your head on your pillow at night and sleep, sleep in peace,” Walker said. “And I think you gotta remember that success is what you feel, not what someone else does.”
Former Georgia quarterback Buck Belue, who handed off to Walker in the national championship game, shared a sentiment on Monday night many Bulldogs’ fans will likely agree with.
#1 in my book!
— buck belue (@buckbelue8) January 14, 2020
Jim Brown rushing at Syracuse
1954: 75 carries, 439 yards, 4 TDs; (three interceptions on defense)
1955: 128 carries, 666 yards, 8 TDs, (two interceptions on defense)
1956: 158 carries, 986 yards, 13 TDs, (three interceptions on defense)
Herschel Walker rushing at Georgia
1980: 274 carries, 1,616 yards, 15 TDs
1981: 385 carries, 1,891 yards, 18 TDs
1982: 335 carries, 1,752 yards, 16 TDs
Top 10 players of all-time, per ESPN CFB 150 vote
1. Jim Brown, Syracuse (1954-56)
2. Herschel Walker, Georgia (1980-82)
3. Bo Jackson, Auburn (1982-85)
4. Archie Griffin, Ohio State (1972-75)
5. Jim Thorpe, B, Carlisle (1907-12)
6. Red Grange, Illinois (1923-25)
7. Earl Campbell, Texas (1974-77)
8. Dick Butkus, Illinois (1962-64)
9. Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State (1986-88)
10. Gale Sayers, Kansas (1962-64).