LSU football has been around for a long time. Since 1893, to be exact.
In that span, plenty of great football players have come through the program. Before we begin the journey of the 2022 season, I thought I’d take a stab at ranking the 101 best players in LSU history.
I have tried to avoid recency bias as much as possible. It can be hard to get enough information about older players, but I did my best to get them about in the ballpark of where they should be.
Anytime there’s a list this big, people will disagree. There’s so little that separates the 50th player from the 70th, and so on.
I tried to balance consistency over multiple seasons with some players that had one great year. Both have been rewarded here. With that in mind, let’s continue the countdown.
No. 50 - Nacho Albergamo
56 days to kickoff! Nacho Albergamo earned All-SEC, Academic All-America and First-Team All-America honors at center. pic.twitter.com/Cv1dLCJ9zn
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) July 5, 2014
Few offensive lineman in LSU history have been as effective as [autotag]Nacho Albergamo[/autotag]. He was a force at guard. He was an All-American in 1987 and later inducted into LSU’s hall of fame.In 1987, LSU’s offense was second in the SEC in scoring, and Albergamo was a big part of that. He graduated from the LSU School of Medicine and is now a doctor.
No. 49 - Mike Williams
LSU football and LSU athletics salutes Mike Williams and Lora Hinton, the first black players in program history. pic.twitter.com/di5HNZRRUs
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) February 22, 2017
When [autotag]Mike Williams[/autotag] joined the team in 1971, he was one of the first players to break the color barrier at LSU. He was named All-American in 1974, making him the first Black player in LSU’s history to do so.He’s one of the best DBs in LSU history and was named an All-American on three separate occasions. He was selected 22nd overall in the 1975 draft and had a lengthy NFL career.
No. 48 - Eric Martin
Eric Martin led the SEC in receiving in 1983. He was the only player to eclipse 1,000 yards that year. He finished top five in the conference in receptions three times and top five in touchdowns twice.
In 1981, he was one of the best return men in the country as well.
Martin received All-American and All-SEC honors during his time at LSU. At the time his career came to a close, he led the SEC in receiving yards. He’s now third all-time on LSU’s receiving yard list.
He went on to have a successful NFL career with the New Orleans Saints.
No. 47 - Booger McFarland
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
McFarland was an All-American in 1998. He was a key contributor for his entire tenure with the Tigers.
In 1996, he was the defensive MVP of the Peach Bowl and finished his career with 17 sacks. He was drafted 15th overall and played for several years in the NFL.
No. 46 - Lance Smith
ROUND 3 – PICK 72
Lance Smith – G – LSU
Best pick of the Cards draft and possibly the best player in the 3rd round overall. 11 year starter but not much in stats for lineman unfortunately.
Career Average Value: 57
Value to the Cards: 47 pic.twitter.com/wdmLbU29ve
— 🚨Sarver🚨Must🚨Go🚨 (@AZSportsNut11) April 21, 2020
As a guard, [autotag]Lance Smith[/autotag] was All-American in 1984. He was All-SEC twice. He was good enough to be selected in the third round and went on to spend 12 years in the NFL.Smith was a key part of the OL during the [autotag]Dalton Hilliard[/autotag] years, helping Hilliard become one of the most prolific rushers in LSU history.
No. 45 - Bradie James
Scott Halleran /Allsport
James was first-team All-American in 2002. He had 113 tackles that year to go along with a few sacks. He was All-SEC twice in 2001 and 2002.
James made a mark from the moment he stepped on campus, earning a spot as a freshman. He was off to the NFL by 2003, but he helped lay the foundation for what went on to be a title team, much like [autotag]Devin White[/autotag] did in 2018.
No. 44 - Mike Anderson
The unofficial official jersey countdown continues 💜💛🐯🏈
45 days til kickoff 2022
#45 Mike Anderson LB@iSportsLSU @TigerdenLSU @lsu_dailynews @AYSSPORTS @RoodyKrewe @AYSNetwork @Steven71446 @Geauxldenboot @LSUBarstool @dandydonlsu @CoachBrianKelly pic.twitter.com/VJCReHllVJ
— 🐯4everLSU🐯 (@4ever_lsu) July 21, 2022
Mike Anderson was a consensus All-American in 1970 at linebacker for LSU. He was All-SEC in 1968.That 1970 team went 9-3, including 5-0 in conference play, and finished ranked in the top 10. Anderson was a key part of the defense that led the SEC in scoring defense, allowing just 9.4 points per game.
No. 43 - Tommy Hodson
USA TODAY Sports
To this day, [autotag]Tommy Hodson[/autotag] remains atop LSU’s all-time passing yards list with 9,115. In 1989, Hodson led the SEC in yards per attempt and is 22nd all-time in SEC history in yards per play.
He led the SEC in touchdowns on three separate occasions.
With Hodson at QB, LSU finished ranked three times and in the top 10 twice. He was All-SEC four times and was selected in the third round of the NFL draft.
No. 42 - Gabe Northern
Rick Stewart /Allsport
I think there’s a good argument Northern should be higher on this list, but we’re getting up there, and choices are getting tougher. Northern is one of the best defensive linemen in LSU history and one of the best players that came through LSU in the 90s.
He was All-SEC in 1994 and 1995. His 21 career sacks rank third in LSU history. He was selected in the second round of the NFL Draft and spent a few years in the league.
No. 41 - Roy Winston
Herb Weitman-USA TODAY Sports
Winston was a consensus All-American at LSU during the [autotag]Paul Dietzel[/autotag] years. He played linebacker and offensive line. He helped lead LSU to a couple of top-five finishes and was inducted into the LSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
He played 15 years in the NFL, all with the Minnesota Vikings.