Best at FCS?June 27, 2013
Best at FCS?
This fall marks Baylor football's 64th and final season at Floyd Casey Stadium before the Bears move back to campus with the opening of Baylor Stadium in 2014.
To celebrate the stadium's history, we asked two longtime Baylor football followers, Bear Foundation Communications Director Jerry Hill and "Voice of the Bears" John Morris, BA '80, to take stabs at drafting their own "All-Floyd Casey" teams from the scores of players who have donned the green and gold since 1950.
Hill has covered the Bears regularly for more than a quarter-century, first as the Waco Tribune-Herald's beat writer and then since 2008 as editor of the Baylor Bear Insider. Morris' voice has been heard on Baylor radio broadcasts since 1987, first alongside the legendary Frank Fallon and as the main play-by-play man since 1995. Both Hill and Morris are closing in on 300 consecutive games covered.
Each was asked to make 10 picks toward a team of the best players in Floyd Casey history as if they were preparing to construct an entire starting lineup. Hill won a coin toss and got the first pick; selections then alternated between the two following the "snake" order common to many fantasy sports drafts. Their selections follow, along with a brief explanation of each pick.
Robert Griffin III, QB (2008-11): "There's your Heisman Trophy. He changed football at Baylor."
Mike Singletary, LB (1977-80): "Leading tackler in Baylor history. Leading helmet cracker in Baylor history. 662 career tackles; second on BU's all-time list has 422."
Walter Abercrombie, RB (1978-81): "Baylor's all-time leading rusher, and a very nice NFL career after that, and now with the Baylor 'B' Association."
Lawrence Elkins, WR (1962-64): "Baylor's first two-time consensus All-American. Still in Baylor's top 10 in career receptions and yardage with numbers that, at the time, were just ridiculous."
Bill Glass, OG (1954-56): "Baylor's first unanimous All-American. College Football Hall of Fame. And later in life, he can come back as team chaplain."
Don Trull, QB (1961-63): "Just elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Led the nation in passing in 1963. Two-time Academic All-American."
James Francis, LB (1986-89): "In my Heisman voting, he was the only defensive guy I ever put in my top three. There were games where he was by far the best player on the field."
Robert Blackmon, SS (1986-89): "He and Francis were such a dynamic duo. One of the top five interceptors in Baylor history, but such a heavy hitter, too."
Thomas Everett, FS (1983-86): "Inaugural Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation's top defensive back. Two-time SWC MVP and nine-year NFL veteran."
Santana Dotson, DT (1988-91): "Finalist for the Lombardi Award. And the first player that Baylor had to hold a press conference announcing he was coming back."
Jim Ray Smith, OT (1952-54): "College Football Hall of Famer. Had a nice NFL career, too. And now I have two offensive linemen to protect Mr. Griffin."
Gerald McNeil, WR (1980-83): "Complement to T-Dub. Great career. Held the Baylor records for career receiving yards and career total yards for almost 30 years."
Kendall Wright, WR (2008-11): "A value pick in the 8th round. Baylor's career leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns."
Vann McElroy, FS (1978-81): "Hard-hitting safety from Uvalde, Texas. Blew up an Arkansas tight end one time and left teeth scattered all over the field."
Daniel Sepulveda, P (2003-06): "He and Singletary are the only two three-time All-Americans in Baylor history. Only person ever to win the Ray Guy Award twice."
Terrance Ganaway, RB (2009-11): "He only had the one year, but he is the single-season rushing leader in Baylor history. And one of the best student-athletes, character-wise, that I've dealt with here."
Since Floyd Casey Stadium debuted in 1950, the Bears have featured six College Football Hall of Famers (including head coach Grant Teaff) and 45 All-Americans. All 20 players chosen in this "draft" earned All-America honors at least once, and the group combined for 27 All-America seasons.
Who should have made one of these teams but didn't? Share your thoughts and memories of Floyd Casey's history with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.