BYU football: Ranking the best offensive players in school history

The Cougars have been loaded with offensive talent long before the program made it onto the national stage. There have been plenty of award winners along the way. There have been all-conference performers, All-Americans, Sammy Baugh Trophy and Davey O’Brien Award winners, Doak Walker and Outland Trophy honorees and even a Heisman Trophy winner.

This list ranks the best of the best of those Cougar offensive players. Those players that BYU fans both young and old cheered to greatness.

These rankings are based how each player performed against their peers, including awards, all-conference and All-American recognition as well as overall impact to the Cougars.

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

Statistical information from Sports-reference.com. Award information from BYUCougars.com.

H.M. Eddie Stinnett, running back (1982-83)

While he never got to carry the load for the BYU ground game during his two seasons, he sure knew what to do when he got the ball. His most productive season came as a senior in 1983 when he averaged 8.6 yards per carry on his way to 475 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. He was also a huge threat in the passing game with 50 receptions for 458 yards and another score.

For his BYU career, he carried the ball 101 times for 742 yards and nine touchdowns to go along with 64 catches for 585 yards and two more scores.

H.M. Doug Jolley, tight end (1997-2001)

Jolley had good hands and was a very key contributor at the goal line. His best season came as a senior when he earned all-MWC first-team after he caught 32 passes for 492 yards and seven touchdowns. Those numbers were good enough to place second in the conference in receiving touchdowns and eighth in yards-per-reception (15.4).

For his BYU career, he had 52 receptions for 768 yards and 11 touchdowns.

H.M. Kalin Hall, running back (1992-93)

Splitting time with one of the best backs in school history limited Hall’s production, but he still made a huge impression during his two seasons in Provo. As a junior in 1993, he rushed for 742 yards and four touchdowns. A year later he finished sixth in the WAC with nine rushing scores.

For his BYU career, he carried the ball 251 times for 1,309 yards and 13 touchdowns to go along with 31 receptions for 338  yards and two scores.

H.M. Andrew George, tight end (2005-09)

Although he played with one of the best tight ends in school history, George was too good to keep off the field. His best season came in 2009 when he earned second-team all-MWC after he caught 30 passes for 408 yards and five touchdowns.

For his BYU career, he had 70 receptions for 827 yards and 11 touchdowns.

H.M. Waymon Hamilton, running back (1980-1983)

While the Cougars had plenty of options during his time at BYU, Hamilton was the one who found the end zone the most. His best season came as a sophomore in 1981 when Led the WAC in touchdowns and rushing touchdowns. That season he carried the ball 96 times for 394 yards and 14 touchdowns to go along with 32 receptions for 387 yards and two more scores.

For his BYU career, he had 218 carries for 1,064 yards and 29 touchdowns. He added 70 receptions for 819 yards and three scores.

H.M. J.J. Di Luigi, running back (2007-2011)

While the production never really matched the hype he received coming out of high school, Di Luigi was a very good back for the Cougars. His best season came as a junior in 2010 when he earned second-team all-MWC. That season, he rushed for 917 yards and eight touchdowns while catches 45 passes for 443 yards and another score.

For his BYU career, he carried the ball 352 times for 1,797 yards and 14 touchdowns to go along with 96 catches for 990 yards and five more scores.

H.M. Darren Handley, tight end (1985-88)

Handley was a very consistent performer during his time with the Cougars. His most productive season came in 1987 when he led the team with 52 receptions for 636 yards and three scores. Those numbers placed him seventh in the WAC in catches and 10th in receiving.

For his BYU career, he caught 97 passes for 1,244 yards and five touchdowns.

H.M. Manase Tonga, running back (2005-07, 2009)

Tonga never put up huge stats, but he made a big difference for the Cougars in all aspects of the game. He was a great blocker who could make plays in the running and passing game. His most productive season came as a junior in 2007 when he carried the ball 88 times for 305 yards and eight touchdowns while chipping in with 27 receptions for 248 yards.

For his BYU career, he had 178 carries for 678 yards and 16 touchdowns to go along with 85 receptions for 799 yards and six more scores.

H.M. Ray Oliverson, fullback (1948-51)

Oliverson was one of the best backs from the early days of Cougar football. His most productive season came in 1951 when he set the BYU single season rushing and scoring records. That year, he recorded 822 yards and 15 touchdowns.

He left BYU as the all-time leading rusher with 1,311 yards and 18 touchdowns.

H.M. Scott Phillips, running back (1977-1980)

While he never had a monster year in the ground game, Phillips made nice contributions every season he was on the field for the Cougars. His most productive year came as a senior in 1980 when he carried the ball 50 times for 330 yards while making 60 catches for 689 yards and seven touchdowns.

For his BYU career, he had 212 carries for 1,157 yards and seven touchdowns to go along with 131 receptions for 1,551 yards and 11 scores.

H.M. Fred Whittingham, running back (1984, 1987-89)

Whittingham was another back who could get it done on the ground and as a receiver. His most productive season came as a senior in 1989 when he carried the ball 109 times for 582 yards and eight touchdowns. He also chipped in with 34 catches for 465 yards and three more scores.

For his BYU career, he had 351 carries for 1,580 yards and 14 touchdowns to go along with 97 receptions for 1,015 yards and five scores.

H.M. Owen Skousen, end (1951-52)

Skousen was a big-time playmaker for BYU during the early 50’s. His best year came in 1952 when set the school record for catches (32), receiving yards (439) and tied the school record with three touchdowns.

For his BYU career, he caught 60 passes for 896 yards.

H.M. Tod Thompson, tight end (1974-78)

Thompson was one of the first huge offensive threats from the tight end spot at BYU. His season came as a junior in 1997 when he had 37 catches for 602 yards and eight touchdowns. He followed that up in ’78 be placing in the top four in the WAC in receiving yards (560), yards-per-reception (16.5) and receiving touchdowns (five).

For his BYU career, he caught 87 passes for 1,452 yards and 16 touchdowns.

75. Hema Heimuli, running back (1991-95)

While he was on the roster with Kalin Hall and Jamal Willis, Heimuli still provided the Cougars with two big seasons. His most productive year came as a junior in 1994 when he had 126 carries for 552 yards and four touchdowns. He added 40 receptions for 456 yards and six more scores.

For his BYU career, he carried the ball 329 times for 1,426 yards and 11 touchdowns to go along with 115 catches for 1,272 yards and 10 scores.

74. Brandon Doman, quarterback (1998-2001)

While Doman only started 16 games for BYU, he was still a very special quarterback. He did most of his damage as a senior when he completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,542 yards and 33 touchdowns with only eight interceptions. He added 141 carries for 503 yards and eight touchdowns in the running game.

For his BYU career, he threw for 4,354 yards and 35 touchdowns to go along with 673 rushing yards and 11 scores.

73. Peter Tuipulotu, running back (1987-1991)

While the Cougars had plenty of talented backs on the roster during his time at BYU, Tuipulotu led the rushing attack for two straight seasons. He had a very good season in 1990 when he finished fifth in the nation with 6.5 yards per carry. That year, he also finished third in the WAC with nine rushing touchdowns. A year later, he had 125 carries for  619 yards and six touchdowns to go along with 41 receptions for 587 yards and two more scores.

For his BYU career, he carried the ball 277 times for 1,528 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also added 82 catches for 965 yards and five scores.

72. Lloyd Jones, wide receiver (1976-1980)

While Jones never caught more than 33 passes in any single season, he was the deep threat that every team needs because of his speed. His most productive season came as a junior when he earned his first of back-to-back all-WAC selections after leading the conference in yards per reception (22.3) while finishing second in receiving yards (735).A year later, he led the conference and finished third in the nation with 22.8 yards per catch.

For his BYU career, he caught 69 passes for 1,544 yards and seven touchdowns.

71. Todd Christensen, running back (1974-77)

While he never got full-time touches in the running game, Christensen was fantastic catching the ball out of the backfield. One of his most productive seasons came as a senior in 1977 when he earned first-team All-WAC. That year, he had 79 carries for 290 yards and three touchdowns while making 50 receptions for 603 yards and five more scores.

For his BYU career, he carried the ball 276 times for 1,072 yards and eight touchdowns to go along with 158 catches for 1,619 yards and 13 scores.

70. Homer Jones, running back (1979-1980)

Even though his raw numbers look like much, Jones did some impressive things during his two years with the Cougars. His best season came as a junior in 1979 when he finished seventh in the nation with 7.3 yards per carry and led the WAC in receptions. That season, he carried the ball 75 times for 546 yards and seven touchdowns while catching 46 passes for 404 yards and four more scores to earn first-team all-WAC.

For his BYU career, he had 107 carries for 709 yards and nine touchdowns to go along with 78 receptions for 795 yards and six scores.

69. Chuck Cutler, wide receiver (1985-88)

Cutler was one of the favorite targets for Sean Covey and Ty Detmer during the 1988 season. That year, Cutler finished second in the WAC in receptions (64), receiving yards (1,039) and receiving touchdowns (10) to earn first-team all-conference. Those numbers were also good enough to finish top 10 in the nation in receiving touchdowns (seventh) and receiving yards (10th).

For his BYU career, he caught 97 passes for 1,496 yards and 13 touchdowns.

68. Eric Lane, running back (1979-1980)

Like Jones, Lane spent two seasons with the Cougars and was a huge piece to some very good teams. He led the WAC in rushing touchdowns during both his seasons and finished eighth in the nation in touchdowns from scrimmage in 1980. His most productive season came as a junior in 1979 when he had 94 carries for 595 yards and 12 touchdowns while recording 39 receptions for 477 yards and another score.

For his BYU career, he carried the ball 190 times for 1,062 yards and 22 touchdowns to go along with 82 catches for 904 yards and five scores.

67. Jay Miller, wide receiver (1973-76)

Miller was one of the first great wide receivers at BYU. His best season came as a sophomore in 1973 when he earned first-team all-WAC after he led the nation in receptions (100) and receiving yards (1,181). He also finished fourth in receiving touchdowns (eight).

For his BYU career, he caught 115 passes for 1,326 yards and eight touchdowns.

66. Brian McKenzie, running back (1996-97)

While McKenzie only spent two seasons on the field in Provo, both of them were memorable. He led the team in rushing and had at least 11 touchdowns each season. His most productive season came as a senior in 1997 when he 218 carries for 1,004 yards and 12 touchdowns. He added 15 receptions for 123 yards.

For his BYU career, he carried the ball 385 times for 1,954 yards and 23 touchdowns to go along with 23 catches for 212 yards.

65. Dan Plater, wide receiver (1978-1981)

While Plater had three productive seasons, his best year came as a senior in 1981. That year, he earned first-team all-WAC after he finished fourth in the conference in receptions (62), third in receiving yard (891) and fifth in receiving touchdowns (five).

For his BYU career, he caught 124 passes for 1,979 yards and 16 touchdowns.

64. Naufahu Tahi, running back (1999, 2002-05)

While his overall numbers don’t compare to some of the players already on the list, the reason why he is this high is because he was also an incredibly gifted blocker. His best season came as a senior in 2005 when he had 97 carries for 497 yards and six touchdowns. He also manged 41 catches for 375 yards and another score.

For his BYU career, he carried the ball 326 times for 1,358 yards and 14 touchdowns to go along with 81 receptions for 730 yards and five scores.

63. John Van Der Wouden, wide receiver  (1974-77)

Van Der Wouden had three impressive seasons for the Cougars catching passes from Gifford Nielsen and Marc Wilson. His most productive season came in 1977 when he caught 42 passes for 669 yards and eight touchdowns to go along with a score in the running game. His eight receiving touchdowns were good enough for seventh in the nation.

For his BYU career, he caught 114 passes for 1,951 yards and 18 touchdowns.

62. Calvin Close, offensive line (1976-77, 1980-81)

Close was a three-year starter on the offensive line and did an excellent job protecting Jim McMahon. He was a back-to-back first-team all-WAC selection and was honorable mention All-American in 1980.

61. Mike Chronister, wide receiver (1976-78)

Chronister had three special seasons in Provo. He placed top 10 in the nation in a different category each of his three seasons, including 10th in receptions in 1978, sixth in yards per reception in ’76 (21.9) and fourth in receiving touchdowns in ’77 (11). He was first-team all-WAC and AP All-American honorable mention in each of his last two years. His most productive year came in 1978 when he led the WAC in receptions (52) and receiving yards (850).

For his BYU career, he caught 123 passes for 2,222 yards and 21 touchdowns.

60. Taysom Hill, quarterback (2012-current)

Hill is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks the Cougars have ever seen. Even though he missed parts of two seasons with serious knee injuries, he still has done enough to crack the list. His best season to this point came as a sophomore when he threw for 2,938 yards and 19 touchdowns while recording 1,344 yards and 10 touchdowns in the running game.

In 24 games as the BYU signal caller, he has completed 57.1 percent of his passes for 4,338 yards and 30 touchdowns to go along with 388 carries for 2,140 yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground.

There is no doubt that he will jump up this list with a solid senior campaign.

59. Weldon Jackson, running back (1956-58)

While his numbers aren’t massive, what Jackson did in the context of when he played was enough to prove that he was a great back at BYU. His best season came as a senior in 1958 when he finished third in the nation with 6.9 yards per carry and seventh in rushing yards. That year, he carried the ball 101 times for 698 yards and six touchdowns.

For his BYU career, he had 292 carries for 1,449 yards and nine touchdowns to go along with 14 receptions for 81 yards.

58. Kevin Feterik, quarterback (1996-99)

Feterik spent three years as the BYU starter and was a very accurate quarterback. He completed better than 60 percent of his passes in each of his three seasons under center. His best season came in 1999 when he completed 61.3 percent of his passes for 3,554 yards and 25 touchdowns for the MWC Co-Champions.

For his career with the Cougars, he completed 60.7 percent of his throws for 8,065 yards and 53 touchdowns as well as five scores in the running game.

57. Jamaal Williams, running back (2012-current)

While he has already done some really nice things during his time at BYU, Williams will vault up this list if he has a good senior year. 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.

To this point in his BYU career, he has 492 carries for 2,526 yards and 23 touchdowns to go along with 53 catches for 487 yards and another score.

56. 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 some scrimmage with 1,434 and was named first-team all-WAC. That year, 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.

55. Chad Lewis, tight end (1993-96)

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.

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

Kuresa was a very effective lineman during his time at 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.

53. 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.

52. 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.

51. Trevor Matich, center (1979-1080, 1983-84)

Although it took a few years for Matich to earn the fulltime starting job at center, he ended his 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.

50. 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.

49. 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 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.

48. 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.

47. 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.

46. 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.

45. 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.

44. 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.

43. 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 didnt allow a sack, according to BYUCougars.com and was a SI.com second-team All-American.

42. 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.

41. 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.

40. 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 2040 yards and 24 touchdowns to go along with 48 receptions for 538 yards and five scores.

39. 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.

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

While he wasn’t used as a traditional running back, but Bellini made some huge contributions coming out of the backfield as a Cougar. He finish 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.

37. 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.

36. 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.

35. 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.

34. 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.

33. Jonny Harline, tight end (2004-06)

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.

32. 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.

31. 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 in the BYU Hall of Fame in 1992.

30. Clay Brown, tight end (1976-1980)

While a lot of fans remember him for just one play, Brown was a dominant force as a tight end. He was first-team all-WAC two straight seasons as a tight end and also 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)

For his BYU career, he had 88 receptions for 1,691 yards and 17 touchdowns.

29. 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.

28. 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 a MWC championship. That year, he completed 69.3 percent of his passes fo 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.

27. 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 1042 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.

26. 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.

25. 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.

24. 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.

23. 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.

22. Matt Reynolds (2008-2011)

Reynolds started all 52 games he played and is one of the most decorated lineman 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.

21. Chris Smith, tight end (1987-1990)

Smith had two legendary seasons during his time in Provo. His 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.

20. 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.

19. 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 in the BYU Hall of Fame in 1977.

18. 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 a Associated Press second-team All-American. He was inducted in the BYU Hall of Fame in 1988.

17. Harvey Unga, running back (2006-2009)

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.

16. Cody Hoffman, wide receiver (2009-2013)

Hoffman had a spectacular career as a Cougar. 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.

15. Nick Eyre, tackle (1976-1980)

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 in the BYU Hall of Fame in 1990.

14. 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.

13. 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.

12. 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.

11. 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.

10. 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 in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

9. 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.

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

Even though he only played three seasons as a Cougar before he moved on to the NFL (and now CFL), Collie is the best receiver that BYU has ever had. 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.

7. 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 lead 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.

6. 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.

5. 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.

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 in the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

2. Jim McMahon, quarterback (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 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 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.

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