This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It's the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.
GREATEST COLLEGE PLAYERS WITH QUIETEST NFL CAREERS
NO. 4, KEN DORSEY
This is a tough list to pare down to five names, so we had to make some decisions. And one was that system guys wouldn't make the cut.
Andre Ware, Danny Wuerffel and Hawaii quarterbacks like Colt Brennan and Timmy Chang aren't making it. We kind of understand why they put up great college numbers and didn't make it in the NFL (don't the Lions wish they had figured it out back in 1990, when they made Ware the seventh pick of the draft). They put up monster numbers in a scheme that fit them perfectly. And also, we're leaving off a couple of Nebraska quarterbacks. Tommie Frazier is universally loved, and everyone understands that the offense he played in and some health issues kept him from the NFL.
In the case of Eric Crouch, we feel like Miami's Ken Dorsey was simply a better college quarterback.
Crouch won the Heisman Trophy, which gains him immortality that someone like a Turner Gill doesn't necessarily have. He won the Heisman in a very close vote gaining only about 27 percent of the first-place votes, and he was probably helped a bit by the anti-sophomore bias at the time that probably cost second-place finisher Rex Grossman some votes, and by third-place finisher Dorsey being viewed as a good quarterback with a great supporting cast.
The fact that Dorsey flamed out in the NFL further cemented that reputation, though it's probably not entirely deserved. Dorsey was on perhaps the most talented top-to-bottom college roster of all time, but he was a big part of the reason the Hurricanes were so dominant.
Dorsey finished his career holding Big East career records for touchdown passes, passing yards, pass completions and pass attempts. His touchd0wn-to-interception ratio was 86-28 (As a senior Crouch threw seven touchdowns and had 10 interceptions, which is not impressive even from an option quarterback). He had a 38-2 record as Miami's quarterback, losing once to Washington as a sophomore and again to Ohio State in his last game (Miami fans will still say that late pass interference call is the only reason for that last loss). Even though win-loss records are a bad way to judge any player in a team sport, Dorsey's record is still pretty remarkable. Dorsey finished in the top five in the Heisman vote two times.
Then Dorsey went to the NFL, and allowed everyone to forever overlook what he did for the Hurricanes. Dorsey did get a shot, starting 13 games over his six NFL seasons for Cleveland and San Francisco. He finished with just 2,082 yards, eight touchdowns and 18 interceptions on his 408 NFL attempts, finishing with an anemic rating of 55.2. In his final game he had just 64 yards on 17 attempts, and three interceptions. In his final season he had seven interceptions and no touchdown passes. He simply didn't have the arm strength to make it in the NFL.
It's not unfair to ask if Dorsey was carried along by maybe the greatest supporting cast in college history. Frank Gore, Kellen Winslow and Willis McGahee were all backups on Miami's 2001 national championship offense, after all. But that takes away from what Dorsey did over his career. A bad quarterback, even on a good team, isn't going to have almost 60 more touchdowns than interceptions in his career and finish in the top five of the Heisman voting twice.
Dorsey was a very good college player. He just didn't have the skill set for the NFL.