Top 101 LSU football players of all time: No. 20-11

The countdown is heating up.

With 70% of the list in the rearview mirror, we’re starting to look at not just the best in LSU history, but some of the best the SEC and country as a whole have seen.

Today’s list is full of offensive playmakers, but before we get started, here’s a reminder of the criteria used when putting the list together.

  • I’ve tried my best to avoid recency bias.

  • Emphasis was placed on players who received all-American honors and other accolades. Leaders of championship teams received a boost as well.

  • I gave coach and eyewitness quotes about players significant emphasis.

  • Players who made significant contributions over multiple years were given priority over single-season stars. Production mattered more than talent.

Without further adieu, we begin with one of the most talented players to ever put on an LSU helmet and a current NFL superstar.

No. 20 - Ja'Marr Chase

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Chase took over games. He only had one great season, but it might be one of the greatest receiving seasons the sport has ever seen.

Chase was LSU’s top playmaker in 2019 and his 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns are both single-season records for LSU. Chase had his biggest games in the biggest moments, putting up 221 yards in the national title and 140 against Alabama.

He had a five-game stretch in 2019 where he averaged 166.2 yards per game. Had Chase played in 2020, he would have likely become LSU’s all-time leader in receiving yards and touchdowns and could have even caught Wendell Davis’ receptions record.

That resume would have put him much higher on this list, potentially in the top five.

No. 19 - Wendell Davis

USA TODAY Sports

Davis is LSU’s all-time receptions leader. He’s second all-time on LSU’s receiving yards list with 2,708 and his 19 touchdowns rank eighth. At the time he left LSU, he was first in yards and touchdowns, too.

He led the SEC in catches twice and led the entire country in yards in 1986. In 1987, Davis was named the SEC’s player of the year and helped lead LSU to a top-five postseason ranking, something that’s happened just 10 times in LSU history.

Davis was a playmaker who produced at a level that was unseen before.

No. 18 - Jimmy Taylor

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Fullbacks deserve some love, too. [autotag]Jimmy Taylor[/autotag] is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and was a four-time NFL champ, but at LSU, he was a force in the backfield.

Taylor’s career at LSU almost never was. He left the school his sophomore year due to academic issues before returning a year later. Despite sharing a backfield with [autotag]Billy Cannon[/autotag], he was an All-American in 1957.

He led the conference in points in 1956 and 1957, and [autotag]Paul Dietzel[/autotag] called Taylor one of the best backs he’d ever seen.

No. 17 - Justin Jefferson

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

The youngest of three Jefferson brothers that played for LSU, Justin Jefferson is one of the most revered players in Tiger history and he’s only been gone for a few years.

He’s above Chase because he produced at a high level for two years. Jefferson emerged as LSU’s top receiver in 2018 and helped LSU to a 10-win season and Fiesta Bowl win.

In 2019, he was a member of LSU’s earth-shattering offense and led the country in catches with 111. He had 18 touchdowns, including four in LSU’s playoff win.

Jefferson has emerged as one of, if not the, top receivers in the NFL and is on a record-setting pace to begin his career.

No. 16 - Abe Mickal

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Another throwback here. Mickal played in the 30s and was all-conference three times. He earned All-American honors in 1935 and led the Tigers to a Sugar Bowl appearance.

LSU lost just four times with Mickal, and this was the era where LSU really began to emerge. Prior to Mickal’s time with the program, the 1908 squad was the only one that did something of national relevance.

LSU joined the SEC in 1933 and didn’t lose a game its first year in the conference, large in part due to Mickal’s play.

No. 15 - Tyrann Mathieu

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

If this list was just based on pure talent and ability, Mathieu would be top five.

He’s one of the best football players to ever come through the program. His 2011 season was something special. Very few times in the history of the sport has a non-offensive player impacted the game as much as Mathieu did in 2011.

His ability to create turnovers and make stops was unmatched. He was a dynamic threat on special teams too, giving LSU a chance to score in the return game.

He was a Heisman finalist and led one of the best defenses in LSU history. He’s gone on to have a lengthy career in the NFL and currently resides with the New Orleans Saints.

No. 14 - Charles Alexander

(AP Photo)

Alexander is third on LSU’s all-time rushing yards list. He’s one of just three backs in Tiger history to rack up over 4,000 yards on the ground. He did that despite having to share the backfield with other stars for part of his time at LSU.

In 1977, he led the conference in rushing yards and helped LSU put together the top-scoring offense in the SEC. He was a consensus All-American twice and was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in 1979. He played over half a decade in the NFL.

No. 13 - Josh Reed

Scott Halleran /Allsport

Reed is LSU’s all-time leading receiver, being the only Tiger to pass the 3,000-yard mark. In 2001, he was a consensus All-American and won the Biletnikoff Award.

He’s seventh on the SEC’s all-time receiving yards list and ranked top 10 in touchdowns in 2000 and 2001. Reed wasn’t apart of any title teams like other receivers on this list, but he did help lead LSU to an SEC Championship and Sugar Bowl victory.

His production paired with the success of the 2001 team makes him the top receiver on this list.

No. 12 - Jerry Stovall

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports Copyright © 2007 John David Mercer

Offense was a little different back when [autotag]Jerry Stovall[/autotag] played in the early 60s, so his numbers aren’t as prolific as some of the backs that would follow, but he was one of the best of his time.

In 1961, he led the SEC in yards per attempt. Stovall was a unanimous All-American in 1962 and finished second in Heisman voting. He was in the SEC’s top five in scrimmage yards in 1961 and 1962.

He made contributions on both sides of the ball and punted too. Stovall was a top-five pick in the NFL and AFL drafts. He’d later go on to serve as LSU’s head coach.

No. 11 - Dalton Hilliard

(AP Photo/Joe Holloway Jr.)

[autotag]Dalton Hilliard[/autotag] went over 1,000 yards from scrimmage on three separate occasions. He would have gone 4/4 but came up five yards short in his sophomore campaign.

That level of production put Hilliard atop LSU’s all-time scrimmage yards leaders. His 5,183 total yards remain the record today.

He finished top six in the conference in scrimmage yards every year he was at LSU. He’s the only Tiger to have 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in his career.

His best year was 1984. He helped lead LSU to a Sugar Bowl appearance behind 13 rushing touchdowns and 1,472 total yards.

Previous Rankings

[listicle id=55160]

[listicle id=55176]

[listicle id=55301]

[listicle id=55405]

[listicle id=55803]

[listicle id=56161]

[listicle id=59804]

[listicle id=62469]

Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire