You Make the Call — Inside Linebacker

Inside, BSN's top five Colorado inside linebackers of all time. Follow the link at the bottom of the page to a poll where you can vote your No. 1 and/or make a case for a player left off the list.

The following are BSN's top five Colorado inside linebackers of all-time, listed in alphabetical order.

Greg Biekert
6-3, 230 pounds
1989-92

FORMER BUFFS: Greg Biekert gets the best of Kordell Stewart. (Getty)

Biekert led the Buffs in tackles for three straight seasons, his sophomore through senior campaigns, earning first-team all-Big Eight honors his two final years. He led the conference in tackles (150) as a sophomore. Biekert's 441 career stops rank him third on Colorado all time. He also had 33 tackles for loss. His 19 solo stops at Illinois in 1990 is most in school history. Many Colorado fans remember Biekert for the play in which he picked up a blocked Nebraska extra point attempt and zig-zagged 85 yards for a defensive extra point score. The point was crucial in CU's 19-19 tie that game in 1991. Biekert played nine years with the Oakland Raiders and two with the Minnesota Vikings.

Ted Johnson
6-4, 240 pounds
1991-94

Johnson capped a stellar career at Colorado by leading the Big Eight in tackles in 1994 as a senior (147). A tough run-stuffer, Johnson twice had 20-tackle games — both times (1992, '94) at Nebraska. He caused a key fourth-quarter fumble in the Miracle at Michigan game in Ann Arbor in 1994, in which CU won 27-26 on the famous last second Hail Mary pass from Kordell Stewart to Michael Westbrook. Johnson was named the conference defensive player of the week for his play in that game. He was runner-up for the Butkus Award in '94, as well first-team all-conference and third-team All-American. He is still fourth all time in tackles (409), third in unassisted stops (253). A second-round draft choice by New England, Johnson has three Super Bowl rings and is still playing for the Patriots, amassing 754 tackles and 91 starts so far in his NFL career.

Barry Remington
6-4, 230 pounds
1982-86

Remington played in five seasons after being granted a medical redshirt for an injury-shortened 1983 season. He was a tackle machine from 1984-86, leading the Buffs in stops for those three seasons and becoming the first Colorado player to post three 100-plus tackles seasons. His 493 tackles are the most in school history. Remington had five games of 20 tackles or more, also more than any other Buffalo. The hometown boy was a key figure in helping the program move from the doldrums of the Chuck Fairbanks era to the prominence it experienced under Bill McCartney in the late-1980s and early 1990s. In 1985, Remington led the CU defense in the team's first winning season since 1978. He had nine tackles and an interception in CU's historic 1986 win over Nebraska. Despite all his accomplishments, Remington was sort of snake bit, suffering three significant injuries at Colorado. He played the final seven games of the 1984 with only one good arm (pinched nerve), but still managed to lead the team in tackles.

Joe Romig
5-10, 195 pounds

1959-61

Romig was Colorado's first two-time consensus all-American, earning the feat his junior and senior seasons as a guard. But Romig, who starred in the days when players went both ways, and before tackle statistics were kept, was just as effective as a middle linebacker, according to those who watched him play. His linebacking play at Lakewood High School is what earned him a scholarship offer to CU. The late CU sports historian Fred Casotti wrote: "In the open behind the line (Romig) was a prowling, stalking, ever-hunting defender who could spot a play almost before it developed, and get quickly to the scene to cause a collision." At 195 pounds, Romig was small, even for his era, but the former two-time state champion high school wrestler was tougher than most and smarter than any. The Rhodes Scholar combined his agile mind, great quickness and tremendous upper body strength to, as Casotti wrote, "bound through the secondary, shedding blockers or jumping past them as he zeroed in on a runner."

Matt Russell
6-2, 245 pounds
1993-96

Matt Russell battles Barry Sanders in a 1997 practice. (Getty)
A Sports Illustrated story in August, 1996, called Russell "Wild Thing." The linebacker was notorious for creating fun off the field and creating hell for opponents on the field. Russell capped his career in Boulder by winning the Butkus Award in 1996, and earning first-team all-Big 12 and all-American honors. Led by Russell, the Buffs — who never dropped below No. 12 in the national polls that season — held teams to just 130 yards on the ground per game. Russell finished his career second in tackles (446), a ranking that still stands. He also had 44 tackles for loss. No one has had more unassisted tackles (282) in a Buffaloes uniform. He still holds the record for most tackles by a freshman (85). Russell's NFL career with the Detroit Lions was cut short by knee injuries, and he currently serves as a scout for the New England Patriots.

Honorable Mention
Brian Cabral, 1975-77
Gary Campbell, 1972-75
Ray Cone, 1980-82
Don DeLuzio, 1994-88
Steve Doolittle, 1977-80
Phil Irwin, 1968-70
Michael Jones, 1986-89
Jon Knutson, 1991-94
Rocky Martin, 1967-68
Eric McCarty, 1984-87
Kerry Mottl, 1965-67
Steve Sidwell, 1963-65
Jashon Sykes, 1998-2001

Vote for Colorado's top inside linebacker in Ralphie's Den: MESSAGE BOARD


BuffStampede Top Stories