There's been a little section in the Sunday sports section of the Morning News for the last few years after Arkansas football games. It's called "Gimme Five."
Basically, it's a quick hitter type notes column. I like
those sort of things.
It's a fun read and a good idea from Chip Souza, the Morning News sports
editor. There are few rules on what it takes to be part of "Gimme Five,"
but they can be five short stories, or five notes, five different quotes.
Those putting it together in the press box after the game get a lot of
Five is a good number. It's what we have on most of our hands. We talk
about needing five minutes. It's a number that pops out of our mind more
times than not.
Maybe that's why Alex Abrams, the Razorback beat writer for the Morning
News, asked for the top five Razorback quarterbacks of all time for a nice
layout on the paper's football preview set for Sunday. I was part of the
panel of "oldtimers" asked to pick the QBs.
It wasn't an easy task, although I've seen most of them play. I could come
up with about 10 that should be considered. I won't scoop Alex' story.
You'll have to wait until Sunday to see what his panel -- and it's a great
panel -- voted as the top five QBs in UA history.
I'll give you mine, and why. Billy Moore was my number one. I had two
simple reasons: Billy Moore (1960-62) is the only UA quarterback since
World War II to make All-America and no one was tougher. Moore was just as
good on defense as offense.
The rest: Quinn Grovey (two Cotton Bowls), Bill Montgomery (28 victories),
Fred Marshall (national championship) and Clint Stoerner (best of the SEC
I wouldn't argue against Joe Ferguson (best pro, best arm), Matt Jones
(pure excitement), Brad Taylor (flexbone wiz), Jon Brittenum (first to
surpass 1,000 passing yards in back-to-back years) and Kevin Scanlon (SWC
most valuable player, UA record holder for completion percentage in a
season at .662). Heck, they wrote a song about Brittenum, the
Grovey was the most fun to watch. And, some might say he was as tough as
Moore. He did some things with his feet that would take your breath away
and how he made himself into a competent passer was amazing.
Some of the ways a quarterback is judged has as much to do with what they had
around them as their own ability. Marshall's national championship probably
had more to do with the defense pitching five straight shutouts to close
the regular season than what he did under center. But he's the only QB with
a national crown.
I've participated on other similar polls of late and not just concerning
the QBs. Pat Jones, radio talk show host in Tulsa, asked me to pick the top
five best all-time Razorbacks, regardless of position.
I tend to gravitate towards defensive tackles, or tackles period. If you
are good there, the team is going to be solid. I started with Loyd
Phillips, Dan Hampton, Wayne Martin and Henry Ford. I'd throw in Shawn
Andrews since he would have been a great defensive tackle.
Add Darren McFadden to that group and I'd be set.
Some would argue for
Lance Alworth, perhaps the Razorback with the most successful pro career.
Alworth was a difference maker, just like McFadden, but he played in a
college era before his skill was best utilized. Alworth was a receiver
playing tailback. But he did a lot of other things to help his team win: punt,
return kicks and catch the ball.
I know, I gave you seven names. Pat, UA grad and Little Rock native,
pointed that out on live radio. The number was five and I went over. I even
threw in Moore as a great leader/player, running my list of greatest five
to eight. He didn't argue. We even thought about adding Wayne Harris, a linebacker, on the list.
There are all kinds of "best five lists" you can do. There is room for
argument with all of my picks.
Best receivers: Anthony Lucas, Chuck Dicus, Marcus Monk, Mike Reppond,
Best linebackers: Wayne Harris, Cliff Powell, Dennis Winston, Caleb Miller,
Best defensive backs: Steve Atwater, Ken Hamlin, Greg Lasker, Kenoy
Kennedy, Billy Moore.
Best kicker/punter: Ish Ordonez, Todd Wright, Kendall Trainor, Steve
Little, Pete Raether.
Best backs: McFadden, Felix Jones, Barry Foster, Ben Cowins and Alworth.
Best offensive linemen: Andrews, Leotis Harris, Freddie Childress, Jonathan
Luigs, Bud Brooks.
How about top five players on the 2009 team: Ryan Mallett, Michael Smith,
D. J. Williams, Adrian Davis, Malcolm Sheppard. The player on the verge of
cracking that top five is Jake Bequette.
There are other lists, too. Can't get to all of them. They might cover
coaches (head and assistants). How about top five radio calls? My favorite
five Razorback moments? I feel another column about to happen, maybe five!
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