Top 10 D2 Football Players of All-Time - Fan Arch

Top 10 D2 Football Players of All-Time

Top 10 D2 Football Players of All-Time

Division II football has been a breeding ground for exceptional talent and has produced some of the greatest players in the history of the sport. While these players may not have received the same level of recognition as their Division I counterparts, their skills, dedication, and achievements are undeniable. In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 D2 football players of all time, highlighting their contributions to the game and their impact on the sport.

1. Harlon Hill

Harlon Hill is widely regarded as one of the greatest D2 football players of all time. Playing for the University of North Alabama in the 1950s, Hill dominated the field as a wide receiver. He won three consecutive Harlon Hill Trophies, which are awarded to the best player in Division II football. Hill's exceptional speed, agility, and catching ability made him virtually unstoppable on the field.

2. Danny Woodhead

Danny Woodhead had a remarkable career as a running back for Chadron State College. Despite being undersized for his position, Woodhead's speed, agility, and determination allowed him to excel on the field. He set numerous records, including the all-time rushing record in Division II and the all-time all-purpose yards record. Woodhead went on to have a successful career in the NFL, proving that his skills translated to the professional level as well.

3. Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo gained recognition for his outstanding performance as a quarterback at Eastern Illinois University. He shattered numerous records during his time in college and won the Walter Payton Award, which is given to the most outstanding offensive player in Division I and Division II football. Garoppolo's accuracy, decision-making, and leadership skills led him to a successful professional career, where he became the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.

4. Brian Westbrook

Brian Westbrook made a name for himself as a running back at Villanova University. His versatility and explosiveness on the field set him apart from his competitors. Westbrook had the ability to both run the ball effectively and catch passes out of the backfield. He was a multi-dimensional threat and won numerous accolades, including the Walter Payton Award. Westbrook's success at the college level translated to a successful career in the NFL.

5. Zach Wiegert

Zach Wiegert was a dominant offensive lineman for the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He was a two-time winner of the Harlon Hill Trophy, making him the only offensive lineman to ever win the award. Wiegert's strength, technique, and intelligence on the field made him an invaluable asset to his team. He went on to have a successful career in the NFL, where he played for several teams and earned a Pro Bowl selection.

6. Michael Strahan

Michael Strahan is perhaps best known for his time in the NFL as a defensive end for the New York Giants. However, before his professional career, Strahan played college football at Texas Southern University. He was a dominant force on the field, earning All-American honors in his senior year. Strahan's exceptional skills and work ethic carried over to the NFL, where he became one of the most feared pass rushers in the league.

7. Brian Urlacher

Brian Urlacher had a remarkable career as a linebacker at the University of New Mexico. His combination of size, speed, and intelligence made him a force to be reckoned with on the field. Urlacher was a two-time finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, which is given to the most outstanding defensive player in Division I and Division II football. He went on to have a Hall of Fame career in the NFL, solidifying his status as one of the greatest linebackers of all time.

8. John Randle

John Randle is widely regarded as one of the greatest defensive tackles in the history of the NFL. Before his professional career, Randle played college football at Texas A&I University, now known as Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He was a dominant force on the field, earning All-American honors and the J. C. "Jake" Gaither Award, which is given to the most outstanding defensive lineman in Division II football. Randle's skills and tenacity made him a Hall of Fame player at both the college and professional levels.

9. Jeff Garcia

Jeff Garcia had a standout career as a quarterback at San Jose State University. Despite being overlooked by many Division I programs, Garcia proved his critics wrong by excelling on the field. He was a two-time winner of the Walter Payton Award and set numerous school records. Garcia's determination and leadership skills propelled him to a successful professional career, where he played for several NFL teams and earned multiple Pro Bowl selections.

10. Phil Hansen

Phil Hansen had a remarkable career as a defensive end at North Dakota State University. He was a dominant force on the field, earning All-American honors and multiple conference Defensive Player of the Year awards. Hansen's skills and work ethic led him to a successful professional career, where he played his entire career for the Buffalo Bills. He was a Pro Bowl selection and a key contributor to the Bills' success in the 1990s.

These top 10 D2 football players of all time have left an indelible mark on the sport. They have showcased their exceptional skills, dedication, and determination both at the college level and in the professional ranks. While their names may not be as widely recognized as those from Division I, their impact on the game is undeniable. These players have proven that greatness can be achieved regardless of the level of competition, and they serve as an inspiration to future generations of D2 football players.


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