Here's my ballot for the best players of the 00's. This was a very hard list to compile, and in the end, I tried to find who was the most dominant in their college career, and, when an extra push was needed, who most exemplified the sport. So, while a player I passed up might have been more athletically talented, the one I chose might have character, leadership, or other intangibles working in their favor. I've also cheated and thrown in some extra positions, athletes, wildcards and honorable mentions. Enjoy...and before you comment on how mortified you are that Orlando Pace or Charlie Ward didn't make the list, please remember that this is a 00's list!
QB: Tim Tebow, Fla - Chosen over Vince Young.
RB's: Darren McFadden (Ark) and Adrian Peterson (Okl)
Reggie Bush just missed the cut.
FB (BOOM!): Brian Leonard, Rut. - So versatile (HB, h-B, FB, TE, etc.) I had to include him.
T's: Jamaal Brown (Okl.) and Jake Long (Mich.)
G's: Shawn Andrews (Ark.) and Max Jean-Gilles (UGA)
C: Greg Eslinger (Minn.) - Close call over Ryan Kalil
TE: Heath Miller, UVa - Winslow's a touch too douchey.
WR's: Braylon Edwards (Mich.) and Dwayne Jarret (USC)
Lots of great talent here I know I passed up. Read the explanation up top.
ATH: Tedd Ginn, Jr., OSU
Wildcard: Jeremy Maclin, Mizz - Great for the slot or as a returner/athlete.
K: Mike Nugent, OSU...Sorry, Billy.
DE's: Erasmus James (Wisky) and Terrell Suggs (ASU)
There's lots of talent to chose from in this spot, but these two made the final cut.
Motor/Heart: David Pollack, UGA - Couldn't pass him up. A coach could always find a spot for a player like this.
DT's: Glenn Dorsey (LSU) and Ndomakung Suh (Neb) - With apologies to Mt. Cody.
LB - Rocky Calmus, Okl
LB - Patrick Willis, Miss
LB - James Laurinaitis, OSU
And, in case you need to run a 3-4: AJ Hawk, OSU
CB's: Lito Sheppard (Fla) and Malcolm Jenkins (OSU)
If you need a nickel: Terence Newman, KSU. Sorry, Carlos.
S's: Ed Reed (Mia) and Eric Berry (Tenn)
P: Daniel Sepulveda, Bay - I was VERY tempted to take Drew Butler.
RET: Santana Moss, Mia
Longsnapper: Ryan Pontbriand, Rice - Why not? Gotta give the ignored some love...
Coach: Nick Saban - VERY close call over Pete Carroll.
Things that stand out to me right away: There's A LOT of Ohio State talent on this list. Also, there's not nearly as much SEC talent as I thought would come from 4 (maybe 5?) National Titles. So far, the only unanimous picks are Tebow, McFadden, Dorsey and Willis. Three of those are SEC players and both LTDx and I are SEC fans...coincidence? I honestly think not; these are some of the most dominant players to EVER play at their positions. Well, I hope we see a few more entries into the ALL-DECADE BONANZA by next week...I've really enjoyed it so far.