Dawgman.com Football 105: 80-71

With fall camp a week away and the summer nearly gone, Dawgman.com has something to unveil that we've been working on the last couple of months. It's the Dawgman 105, a comprehensive list of who we have picked as the greatest Washington football players and coaches of all time.

This list was initially compiled by Dawgman.com Editor-In-Chief Chris Fetters and Andy Poehlman, a longtime contributor to Dawgman.com and Sports Washington magazine. Dave Samek, the Dawgman, broke all ties and put the complete list together. Then it was sent to Dave Torrell, the Curator of the Husky Hall of Fame, for some final tweaking. And what you see today is the third segment of our final list.
Dawgman.com 105: 105-91
Dawgman.com 105: 90-81
80. Tim Meamber - Another linebacker in a long line of big-time hitters and physical specimens, Yreka, California's Tim Meamber might have been one of the more imposing figures in his day. At 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, Meamber was a big linebacker and played big. He was a captain of the 1984 team that defeated Oklahoma in the 1985 Orange Bowl and finished No. 2 in the country. That year he earned All-Pac-10, All-Coast and All-America honors. Meamber is still top-10 all time in total tackles with 376. The Minnesota Vikings were so impressed with Meamber's work at Washington, they selected him in the third round of the 1985 NFL Draft.

79. Hakim Akbar - Akbar, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound safety from Riverside Poly in southern California, is a member of a select group of UW players to wear a Rose Bowl and a Super Bowl ring. Akbar was a monster recruit for Jim Lambright - earning eight votes in the yearly Long Beach Press-Telegram's 'Best In The West' poll - and immediately showed up at Montlake ready to prove his worth. As it turned out, he became one of the first players to forego his final year of eligibility to turn pro. As a true frosh, Akbar started the final four games - part of a run of 26-straight starts. Hakim became a two-time All-Pac-10 performer and was named a first team CNNSI.com All-American as a junior, the same year UW beat Purdue 34-24 to win the Rose Bowl. Akbar was taken in the fifth round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots and ended up playing five years professionally for six teams in the NFL and CFL. Despite not playing that year for the Patriots due to a horrific car accident that almost took his life, the Patriots presented him with a 2002 Super Bowl ring (2001 season).

78. David Rill - Arguably the finest student-athlete Washington has ever produced, Rill - from South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard - is considered the greatest Wolves player of all-time. It's not an idle boast; Benji Olson, Tony Coats, Andrew Peterson and many more prepped at SK. Rill was not only a tackling machine from his linebacker position, but he also was a three time Academic All-Pac-10 and All-American and National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award winner. On the field, the 6-foot, 220-pound Rill was a two-time All-American in 1986 and 87, but it was his emergency start for Joe Krakowski in the 1985 Orange Bowl that propelled Rill toward UW stardom. Back in those days, tackling statistics were handled a little differently, and Rill took full advantage to fill up the record books. His 575 total tackles is only three shy of Michael Jackson's school record and 73 more than the next nearest Husky (502 - Dan Lloyd). Given the way tackling statistics are taken today, it's doubtful anyone will come close to approaching Jackson and Rill's marks.

77. Ernie Conwell - The Kentwood Conqueror did just that at Washington - conquered. Despite playing in the shadow of Mark Bruener, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Conwell still finished all time in the top-10 for receptions, yards and touchdowns for a tight end. Conwell played well enough in the time he did play in 1984 to earn All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention; the next year he was a first team All-Pac-10 and Honorable Mention All-America pick. Unfortunately, many of Conwell's offensive exploits have been overshadowed by his 'international long snap' mishap in Washington's 1995 Sun Bowl loss to Iowa. Conwell went on to a very successful 11-year NFL career, drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 1996. He played seven years for the Rams and four with the New Orleans Saints, eventually earning All-Pro honors in 2001. He was also elected to the Rams' 10th Anniversary Team.

76. Wee Coyle - Coyle was the best quarterback for Gil Dobie and played for the legendary coach from 1908-1911, never losing a game. His exact record was 26-0-1. Coyle was known as the "The quarterback that never made a mistake", and was honored as the first-team quarterback when the All-Time Husky team was voted on by the fans in 1950. One voter said, "Had Coyle's light not been hidden under the bushel of limited competition, much too far out in the Indian country to jolt Walter Camp from the Big Three (Harvard, Yale and Princeton) and Michigan, there is no doubt he would have been acclaimed one of the great quarterbacks of all time." Named part of the 1980 Husky Hall of Fame class.

75. Bob Sapp - "The Beast" - that's almost all that needs to be said about Sapp, a 6-foot-5, 330-pound mountain of a man whose known best for his kickboxing and mixed martial arts career in Japan for anything. But the former Washington offensive lineman had a stellar football career too. He won the Morris Trophy in 1996, one of only 10 UW linemen to ever win that award - given out to the Pac-10 lineman of the year. As a redshirt sophomore, Sapp had his moment in the sun and it's something all linemen dream of - he scored a touchdown. During the famous 'Whammy in Miami' game where UW took down Miami's 58-game home winning streak, Sapp jumped on a Damon Huard option fumble near the end zone. His substantial momentum took him in the end zone, where the recovery was ruled a touchdown. In fact, Sapp is credited with the nickname 'Whammy in Miami' when he said it post-game to reporters.

74. Rick Fenney - Considered one of the top-10 running backs to ever come out of the state of Washington, the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Snohomish native was a huge recruiting coup for Don James. Fenney was a prep All-American, earning a perfect '10' in the Long Beach Press-Telegram's 'Best in the West' poll. Arguably the best pure athlete to ever play the fullback position at Washington, Fenney ran a 4.6 40 and bench-pressed 500 pounds, early running for 1000 yards during his Husky career. Fenney scored the winning touchdown in UW's 28-17 win over Oklahoma in the 1985 Orange Bowl to help the Huskies finish No. 2 in the country. He won the Chuck Niemi 'Big Hit' award and was named an AP Honorable Mention All-American in 1985. In 1987 he was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the 8th round of the NFL draft and played five years, rushing for over 1500 yards and scoring 13 touchdowns.

73. George Fleming - One of the first prominent African Americans to make his mark at Washington along with Charlie Mitchell, Fleming was part of a monster backfield that also included Mitchell and quarterback Bob Schloredt. Fleming, a Dallas native, ended up being a key cog in Washington's two Rose Bowl wins in 1960 and 1961. In the 44-8 pasting of Wisconsin, Fleming won co-MVP honors with Schloredt, and the award was well-deserved. He had three big plays of 50 yards or more, including two punt returns - one for a 53-yard score in the first quarter that helped set the pace. In the 17-7 win over Minnesota the next year Fleming didn't break any big runs but he did kick a 44-yard field goal that proved to be three big points in a low-scoring affair. In 1961, Fleming was the highest-drafted player into the National Football League from the Huskies. He went to the Oakland Raiders as a second-round draft pick with an initial salary of $15,000 and a $3,500 signing bonus. He played pro ball in the NFL and CFL until 1966, when he retired. In 1968, George Fleming was elected to the Washington House of Representatives. Two years later he was the first African American to be elected to the State Senate. While there Fleming served as Vice-Chair of the Democratic Caucus from 1973 to 1980 and as Caucus Chairman from 1980 to 1988. Named part of the 1980 Husky Hall of Fame class.

72. Dennis Brown - A prep All-American at Long Beach Jordan High School, Brown joined the University of Washington in 1986 and immediately made an impact, starting games as a true freshman. Over the course of his UW career, the 6-foot-4, 300-pound Brown became one of the great defensive linemen in Husky history, starting 28 games in his UW career. Brown won All-Pac-10 and All-Coast honors in 1988 and All-America honors in 1988 and 1989. Brown went on to a stellar NFL career, getting drafted by the San Francisco 49'ers in the second round of the 1990 Draft. His first year in San Francisco he was named Rookie of the Year and ended up playing seven seasons in the Bay Area, starting in Super Bowl XXIX in 1995, a game won by the 49'ers 49-26.

71. Jerome Pathon - One of a handful of Canadians that have gone on to success, not only in American college football but also the NFL, Pathon joined the Washington Huskies in 1995 from one year at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, where he had 868 receiving yards was named Rookie of the Year for both the Atlantic University Sport Association the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Association. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Pathon immediately went to work, catching 15 passes as a reserve - but one of those was a 30-yard strike from Shane Fortney in the 1995 Sun Bowl. Pathon went on to have a top-10 career all time as a Husky receiver, catching 138 passes for 2275 yards and 17 touchdowns, most of those yards and scores coming from Brock Huard. Pathon won All-Pac-10 and All-America honors in 1997, eventually getting drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the 1998 NFL Draft. Pathon played eight seasons in the NFL for four teams, catching 260 passes for 3350 yards and scoring 15 times.


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