*This post is part of a week long series being sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011.*
When favorite players are mentioned some may think it is always the best player of their team. My favorite team growing up was Texas and my all-time favorite Texas player has always been Major Applewhite because I always felt he was more deserving over Chris Simms and could have lead Texas over Colorado and go to the national title game which i think was the Rose Bowl back in the day. Simms was chosen because of his name only, not that he was not good but Applewhite was just a gamer and a stud.
My favorite all-time MWC player could easily be Alex Smith of Utah since he lead my Utes to the 2004 Fiesta Bowl and was an all around stud, but no my favorite player is DB Eric Weddle. He was just a stud and an all around playmaker, plus he was a cool guy to interview when I had the chance while being part of Utah's student radio station.
The main reason is from the 2006 season when the Utes were struggling and coach Kyle Whittingham put the athletic defensive back at quarterback and was one of the first teams besides Arkansas with RB Darren McFadden to run the now famous 'wildcat' position. Actually if I back track to 2003 Utah head coach Urban Meyer use tight end Ben Moa at quarterback for a typical quarterback draw, but in an Air Force game in 2003 Moa faked the dive and did a jump pass on a two point conversion to beat Air Force. However, when the jump pass is mentioned it is always Tim Tebow who gets credit for inventing that play, but if one digs a little deeper Ben Moa was the first guy to run the awkward jump pass.
The thing that was great was because everyone in the stadium knew that Weddle was going to run the ball, but it was not going to be just a straight run outside of the tackle, but Weddle was a former quarterback was able to perform the run option just as good. The play developed when Weddle threw the ball a few times, and it was nearly always a momentum burst for Utes when Weddle entered the game.
The 2006 Armed Forces bowl, which I was lucky enough to cover for the Utah radio station, and saw Weddle take over the game. My brother drove up from Houston with me and I told him that Weddle would recored a sack, a touchdown, and recored a pick or fumble recover which he did. One thing I forgot to mention about Weddle was that during his career at Utah he was return man as well.
Below is a sick interception against BYU in the 2004 Holy War, as Weddle comes out of nowhere to pick of WR Austin Collie who was throwing a deep ball.
Now it is time for our resident UNLV contributor to talk about his favorite Rebels:
Randall Cunningham QB (and sometimes punter)
As I had expanded on in earlier in this series of posts, Randall Cunningham was the greatest UNLV football player in school history. Cunningham is the icon of UNLV football to this today because he is our best player we sent to the NFL. Everyone around the country knows him as an NFL star, we know him as a hometown hero. I know him personally and have hung out with him a lot. I was one of the first people to hear about his baby boy Christian Cunningham passing away and was very grieved by it. Main Point: Cunningham is my favorite player because he helped make the case for us to get out of 1-AA Football, is one of my friends and is the most well known UNLV football player in history.
Ryan Wolfe WR
Once again, I'm referring to an earlier post in which I talked about me having been a fan in 1997 and that dropping off until about 2007. So forgive me if I missed a lot of great talent in that time, but I don't think I did. Ryan Wolfe is one of my favorite players because he was the face of the present UNLV football squad until he graduated. He was the heart of the team, the most talented player on the team and the most well known player for the past few years. He was one of the toughest Wide Receivers I've ever seen... (Terrell Owens is the least for that matter) Wolfe always gave us UNLV fans hope these last few years and that makes him another one of my favorite all-time players.
So who is your all time favorite college football player.