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Virginia Football: All-Time Top 25 Cavaliers

Yahoo Contributor Network

Football has a proud history at the University of Virginia, dating back to 1888. It's one of the most tradition-rich programs in all of college football, but U.Va. has also experienced several extended periods of drought.

Through the highs and the lows, there have been a great number of standout student-athletes at U.Va.

Here's a take at ranking the top 25 Cavalier players of all time:

1. Bill Dudley, RB (1939-41): One of the best to play the game. He was a dual threat running and passing and a standout on defense. In 1941, scored 134 points (18 TDs, 23 extra points, 1 FG), which remains the U.Va. season record, and led nation with 1,674 all-purpose yards. Earned college football's highest honor, receiving Maxwell Award as the national player of the year. Selected as the #1 overall pick in the NFL draft and was NFL MVP in 1946. Member of the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame.

2. Jim Dombrowski, OT (1982-85): Four-year starter helped lead resurgence of program under coach George Welsh, including U.Va.'s first bowl appearance. Unanimous All-American as a senior, and two-time winner of the Jacobs Trophy as the ACC's best blocker. Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame.

3. Shawn Moore, QB (1987-90): U.Va. career leader in total offense with 7897 yards, which includes 1268 rushing yards. In 1990, led U.Va. to the Sugar Bowl and a three-week run as the nation's #1-ranked team. That season he led the nation in passing efficiency, was named the first-team All-American QB and ACC Player of the Year, and finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

4. Herman Moore, WR (1988-90): Teaming with Shawn Moore (no relation), could outrun DBs on deep routes or use his height to outleap them on alley-oops. In 1990 season, had 13 receiving TDs and 1,190 yards -- both U.Va. records. That season named consensus All-American and finished sixth in Heisman Trophy voting. Holds Detroit Lions career receiving records for receptions, yards and TDs.

5. Thomas Jones, RB (1996-99): Surpassed Tiki Barber as U.Va.'s all-time leading rusher with 3,998 yards. Senior season in 1999 had school record 1798 yards -- more than 400 yards greater than previous mark -- and was named consensus All-American. Amassed more than 10,000 rushing yards over 12 seasons in NFL.

6. Chris Slade, DE (1989-92): First U.Va. player to be two-time, first-team All-American. Runaway school leader in career sacks (40) and tackles for loss (56).

7. Anthony Poindexter, DB (1995-98): First-team All-American in both 1997 and 1998, and first-team All-ACC for three seasons. In 1995, in one of program's most memorable plays, teamed with Adrian Burnim to stop Warrick Dunn inches from the goal line on game's final play as U.Va. defeated #2 Florida State and handed Seminoles their first-ever ACC loss. Holds U.Va. career record with seven fumble recoveries.

8. Tiki Barber, RB (1994-96): Had most 100-yard games (19) in school history, including eight consecutive games in 1996. Excelled in the spotlight, including memorable performances in the 1995 win over #2 Florida State and in a demolition of #13 Texas the following year.

9. Chris Long, DE (2004-07): Known for a relentless motor, could dominate games from the defensive line. In 2007, named unanimous All-American, won Ted Hendricks Award as the top DE in the nation, and finished 10th in Heisman Trophy voting. Drafted as the #2 overall pick by St. Louis Rams.

10. D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT (2002-05): Started 49 games on the offensive line for U.Va . Consensus All-American as a senior.

11. Joe Palumbo, DL (1949-51): Led defense that recorded seven shutouts over three seasons. First-team All-American in 1951. Member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

12. Ray Roberts, OT (1988-91): First-team All-American as a senior, and two-time winner of the Jacobs Trophy as the ACC's top blocker. Started 116 games in the NFL.

13. Buck Mayer, RB (1912-15): Still the U.Va. career leader in rushing touchdowns with 46, and scored five touchdowns in two different games. In 1915, scored U.Va.-record 36 points against Richmond, and became first player from a Southern school to be named first-team All-American.

14. John Papit, RB (1947-50): Holds the highest career rushing average at U.Va. at 6.0 yards/carry. Also holds the highest single-game rushing total in school history, running for 224 yards against Washington and Lee in 1948.

15. Frank Quayle, RB (1966-68): Excelled running, receiving and returning kicks; holds U.Va. career mark with 4,981 all-purpose yards. In 1968 averaged 6.9 yards/carry and was named ACC Player of the Year. Also well-known as the team's longtime radio color analyst.

16. Heath Miller, TE (2002-04): Excellent as both a receiver and blocker. In 2004, named unanimous All-American and won Mackey Award as the top TE in the nation.

17. Matt Schaub, QB (2001-03): Career passing leader in attempts (1069), completions (716), yards (7502), and TDs (56). Known for his accuracy, also career leader with 67.0 completion percentage. In 2002, threw for school record 2,976 yards and 28 TDs.

18. Tom Scott, DE (1950-52): Two-way player is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. In 1952, was an All-American football player and was also a member on U.Va.'s national champion lacrosse team.

19. Bob Davis, QB (1964-66): Over three seasons, amassed 3,095 yards passing and 930 rushing. In 1966, became the first Cavalier named ACC Player of the Year

20. Terry Kirby, RB (1989-92): Rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a sophomore in 1990 season as U.Va. rose to #1. Averaged 5.9 yards/carry over his career.

21. Elton Brown, OG (2001-04): Two-time winner of the Jacobs Trophy. In 2004, did not allow a single sack and was consensus All-American.

22. Jamie Sharper, LB (1993-96): U.Va. career leader with 435 tackles.

23. Ray Savage, LB (1986-89): Led defense on 1989 team that was one of program's finest, as U.Va won 10 games and captured its first-ever ACC championship.

24. Jim Bakhtiar, RB (1955-57): Played fullback, linebacker and kicker. In 1957, led ACC in rushing and named first-team All-American.

25. Billy McMullen, WR (1999-2002): U.Va. career leader in both receptions (210) and yards (2,978). Had U.Va. season-record 83 receptions in 2001.

Honorable Mention (alphabetical order): DB Ronde Barber, QB Aaron Brooks, OL Mark Dixon, LB James Farrior, WR John Ford, K Connor Hughes, DE Patrick Kerney, RB Wali Lundy, OL Eugene Monroe, RB Alvin Pearman

SOURCES:

University of Virginia Athletics: U.Va. Football History

University of Virginia Athletics: U.Va. Football Record Book

KW Rosenfeld is a graduate of the University of Virginia and a football season-ticket holder. As a student he covered U.Va. sports for a Charlottesville radio station, highlighted by the football team's run in 1990 as the #1-ranked team in the nation.

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