Tom Colton: Top 5 Notre Dame Football Players Ever
It’s no secret that Notre Dame Fighting Irish has one of the biggest fan bases in the league, to the point that it’s even become a family tradition for some. Tom Colton believes all this support has helped ND attract young, talented players each year because no player in his right mind would turn down the opportunity to play for a school that shows such zeal and energy.
Tom Colton says it also shouldn’t come off as a surprise that the list of the best ND players in history is longer than your weekly grocery list. Here’s the ardent supporter’s list of his top 5 Notre Dame football players ever full stop in no particular order:
1. QB Joe Montana – Joe Cool’s success story in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers is one for the books. Tom Colton says the star Notre Dame quarterback was picked at the end of the third round, believe it or not, as the 82nd overall pick. Montana, however, showed tremendous growth that after his rookie year he became the 49ers starting quarterback and the rest is history — San Francisco had a turn-around season, finishing 13-3. The following season, under Montana’s leadership, the 49ers made it all the way to the Super Bowl and won! In honor of Montana’s contributions, San Francisco has retired his jersey No. 16.
2. WR Golden Tate – Tom Colton points out it’s almost criminal how underrated Golden Tate is in the NFL. During his time at Notre Dame, Tate claimed one record after the next, including 22 receptions of at least 20 yards in his first two seasons as a Fighting Irish. He ranks 8th in kickoff returns and 9th in kickoff return yardage in ND history, but what lands him on this list is his showmanship and consistency in the game. Tom Colton believes Tate deserves better than being with the Lions.
3. DE Justin Tuck – Another one of the relative newcomers in the discussion of the GOAT in ND is Justin Tuck. Tom Colton can’t say this enough, but Justin Tuck is Tom Brady’s worst nightmare! Tuck is the only player in NFL history to have multiple sacks in multiple Super Bowls — if that isn’t GOAT material, then Tom Colton doesn’t know what is. Tuck is a 2x Super Bowl and 2x Pro Bowl champion.
4. WR Tim Brown – Hands down next to Golden Tate, Tim Brown is one of the best receivers to ever suit up for ND. A 9x Pro Bowl player, Brown is the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy in 1987. While he’s never made it all the way to the Super Bowl, his achievements in the NFL speak for themselves. Tom Colton says Brown holds the NFL record for consecutive starts by a wide receiver, and the only player to have 1,600 receiving yards against four different teams.
5. DE Ross Browner – No top 5 list will be complete without Ross Browner. His career perfectly sums up why college football is exciting. Tom Colton finds him a legend among legendary defensive end players in history for the Fighting Irish. Browner is a recipient of the Outland Trophy, UPI Lineman of the Year, Maxwell Award, and a 2x All American player.