Unless you've lived under a rock the past several months, you've seen Auburn's football team trying to complete one of the greatest single season turnarounds in the sport's history after last years 3-9 debacle. Led by new Head Coach Gus Malzahn, this years Tigers have already won eight games with still three remaining. A bowl game is all fans dreamed about before this season, but this improbable turnaround has Auburn controlling its own destiny and primed for a BCS bowl berth. Like it always does, Auburn has bounced back after a tough season. So in honor of being ranked as high as number seven in the latest AP poll, let's take a look at some of the seven greatest Auburn Tiger football players of all time (This list leaves plenty of room for debate of course. Feel free to comment who you think should have been included/left off! War Eagle).
7. Walter Gilbert: Center (1934-1936)
Although you might have to ask your great grandfather what it was like to watch Gilbert play ball, we have to give some love to Auburn's only three-time All-American. Gilbert was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles and elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1956. After his death in 1979, Auburn began awarding the Walter Gilbert Award to distinguished alumni athletes in his honor.
Named to Auburn's All Decade Team for the 2000s, Rogers anchored Tommy Tuberville's dominant defenses for four seasons. Rogers holds the Auburn record of pass deflections with 40, which ranks second in SEC history. He is also the only Auburn Tiger to win the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back his senior season during Auburn's undefeated season. Rogers was the ninth overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins and currently plays for the San Francisco 49ers.
5. Carnell "Cadillac" Williams: Running Back (2001-2004)
The anchor of the offensive side of the ball on Carlos Rogers' Auburn teams, Cadillac was a nine-time SEC player of the week. A star on Auburn's 2004 undefeated season, he finished his four-year Auburn career with the records for most rushing attempts (741) and most touchdowns (45), passing Joe Cribbs and Bo Jackson respectively. Williams was the fifth overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and last played for the St. Louis Rams in 2011.
In 1993 Rocker was named to the Auburn Football All Century Team after a dominant four-year college career. After his senior season in 1988, he won both the Outland Trophy for the nation's best interior lineman and the Lombardi Award for the nation's best defensive lineman or linebacker, the first SEC player to accomplish this feat. Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004, Rocker has gone on to enjoy a successful coaching career, currently serving as the Tennessee Titans defensive line coach.
Sullivan turned down baseball and basketball scholarships to play quarterback for Shug Jordan at Auburn University. Good decision. In addition to winning Auburn's Heisman Trophy in 1971, Sullivan set the NCAA record at the time by accounting for 71 total touchdowns (53 passing, 18 rushing) in his career. He was also recognized for his work in the classroom, earning Academic All-American. After his playing days were over, Sullivan began his coaching career in 1986 back at Auburn, and he currently serves as the Head Coach at Samford University in Birmingham.
This is a unique case because Newton only played one season at Auburn. But let's be real, Cam is a unique player. Newton is the third player in history to be win the Heisman Trophy, the national championship and be the first overall pick in the NFL draft year in the same one-year span. He will forever be remembered for leading the Tigers to a 28-27 come from behind Iron Bowl victory after trailing Alabama 24-0, the largest comeback in Auburn history. Newton then led the Tigers to an SEC Championship and the program's first National Championship since 1957. Newton currently plays for the Carolina Panthers. War Cam Eagle.
Jackson is arguably the best athlete in any sport of all time. So he undoubtedly forever deserves his place as the number one Auburn football player ever. There simply is not enough space to write all of the accomplishments and legends that come with Bo Jackson. Besides winning the Heisman Trophy and having his jersey retired, Jackson's most historic moment came during his freshmen season when his "over-the-top" touchdown on fourth and one gave Auburn a 23-22 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide. Jackson played professional baseball for the Kansas City Royals and professional football for the Oakland Raiders.