Yahoo Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo every day. Learn more »Yahoo Contributor Network
Top five NFL players from the University of Colorado
The University of Colorado Buffaloes football team, in the Pac-12 as of 2011, have an impressive history of success in the Big 12 and Big 8 conferences. The Buffaloes earned top five rankings in ten seasons from 1971 to 2001 including a national championship in 1990. Over 200 Colorado alumni have reached the NFL. The top NFL football players from the University of Colorado include former All-Pros Cliff Branch, Dick Anderson and Chad Brown.
Three-time First-Team All-Pro Cliff Branch stands out as the greatest offensive NFL player from the University of Colorado. Branch broke into the NFL with the Oakland Raiders as a fourth round pick in 1972. By 1974, he earned his first Pro Bowl invite by leading the league with 1,092 receiving yards and 13 touchdown receptions. Branch caught three touchdowns in three Super Bowl Championships with the Raiders in 1976, 1980 and 1983.
Former Defensive Player of the Year Dick Anderson was a top defensive back in the 1970s. After leaving the Buffaloes, Anderson became a starting safety for the Miami Dolphins in 1968. As a rookie, he picked off eight passes and led the NFL with 230 interception return yards. He went on to anchor a great Dolphins' defense that was a dominant force in the early 1970s. Anderson won a pair of Super Bowl rings and First-Team All-Pro honors in 1972 and 1973. The 1973 Defensive Player of the Year totaled 34 interceptions, recovered 16 fumbles and ran back four defensive touchdowns in his nine-year career.
Recent two-time All-Pro linebacker Chad Brown was one of the best defensive players from the University of Colorado. The Pittsburgh Steelers made Brown a second round pick in the 1993 NFL Draft. He became a starter as a rookie, went to the Super Bowl with the Steelers in 1995, and earned an invite to his first Pro Bowl in 1996. In 13 NFL seasons, Brown racked up 79 quarterback sacks, 15 fumble recoveries and six interceptions.
Three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Mark Haynes was a First Team All-Conference defensive back at the University of Colorado. Haynes joined the New York Giants as the eighth pick of the 1980 NFL Draft. He was twice named a First-Team All-Pro cornerback as he tallied 17 interceptions in ten seasons. Haynes went to three Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos in the late 1980s, though they came up short in each contest.
Former Pro Bowler Kordell Stewart was the most successful NFL quarterback to graduate from Colorado. Stewart was one of the most versatile players in recent NFL history. He totaled 14,746 passing yards, 2,874 rushing yards, 658 receiving yards, and 212 punting yards in 126 NFL games from 1995 to 2005. He began his career as a part-time wide receiver, but became the Steelers' starting quarterback in 1997. Stewart posted two 3,000 passing yard seasons and ran for 38 touchdowns, the second most by a quarterback.
Colorado Buffaloes, College Football, Sports-Reference.com
Colorado Players/Alumni, Pro-Football-Reference.com
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.