Tony Dorsett & Anthony Munoz...absolute studs both.
And Collin Kaepernick, but we shut them out 35-0
Bryant Young was just at another level on the field, a true man amongst boys. I'll never forget the florida state game when charlie ward ran a bootleg, and only bryant young was there to greet him. He tried to put on a basketball juke and young was so quick, ward quickly realized he was toast and gave up on the play.
Curt Warner, before his knee injury, in a time when knee injuries didn't recover the way they do now, was so quick and instinctual, i believe he would have gone on to a hall of fame career in the nfl, as evidenced by his Offensive Player of the year award in his rookie season.
In 1952 the current and future Heisman winners competed in the first ND game I ever attended. Oklahoma's Billy Vessels ran for two touchdowns and caught a long pass for a third. Lattner seemed to be involved in every play, especially on defense.
On the kickoff after ND tied the game at 21, Dan Shannon hit the OK return man so hard he fumbled and ND recovered. I believe the QB on the winning touchdown drive was Tommy Cary, who handed the ball to Neil Worden about six straight times. They missed the PAT but hung on to win.
If anyone has film or memorabilia from that game I would appreciate hearing from him or her.
The Irish were down 7 points late in the fourth quarter, to Iowa as I recall. Near our own 40, 4th & long. Leahy had Lattner back to punt. What the coach didn't know was in the huddle captain Jungle Jim Mutscheller called for Lattner to pass it to him. He took the responsibility and said if he didn't catch it, he'd keep on running right out of the North end of the stadium. Jim did catch it, we got the TD and the game ended in a tie.
Of course, we students liked the fake punt that worked, but loved it to death when Mutscheller spilled the beans.
I admit that most would choose Montana over Theismann. My bias is that Theismann was a "boyhood hero" for me. Rocket is the best player I have ever seen period.
Joe Montana was absolutely great at Notre Dame, and his comebacks were second to none, but his even greater pro achievements have if anything inflated the well-deserved legend of his ND career.
Joe Theismann was awesome here. Hard as it is to pick, I'd choose Theismann's ND body of work over Montana's. He stepped in at midseason as a sophomore (no freshman eligibility then) for injured senior Terry Hanratty, AHEAD of excellent senior backup Coley O'Brien, and the team didn't miss a beat. In 1970, he carried an otherwise ordinary ND offense to damn near an NC season. As Ara said, "Never overlook the magic of Joe Theismann."
He was a sideline to sideline tackling machine. I can't remember the specific game, but it seemed like he single handedly kept us from winning. Hated him ( yet loved his ability). Would love to have such a player on our team.. Also seem to recall Luke Kuechly also being a similar player..
We took an early 16-0 lead and then Stanford scored 33 unanswered points. Bill Walsh's first season coaching after leaving the NBC booth as the ND game color man. I sat in the first row right behind the Stanford bench and watched Lynch lead that team from the sideline and on the field. Lynch shadowed Bettis and forced a fumble on ND's first play after halftime. Lynch intercepted Rick Mirer in the end zone to spoil a long drive. He finished the game with nine tackles and a hit that fractured Lake Dawson's rib. It seemed he was all over the field - and he raised his entire team that day. I have never seen anything quite like the leadership he showed that day.
We tend to remember players more fondly when they were on good teams. Golden Tate was as exciting to watch as Rocket, although he had a different skillset. (Better hands, tougher to tackle, but not as fast.)
Unfortunately for him, his best years were on teams that always managed to fall apart in November.
ND- Tim Brown, Rocket, Bob Crable, Frank Stams
Luck didn't have a good game when he visited Notre Dame in 2010, but based on his whole college career, he's one of the best I've ever seen. Te'o, of course, is one of the greatest defensive players in college football history.
If we're just talking about greatest single-game performances I've seen in person at ND stadium, Denard Robinson in 2010 and Golden Tate vs. Washington in 2009 definitely top the list.
Then Rocket, Bettis and Mike Alstott
I had to work the Bills' sideline rather than that of the defending Super Bowl champs. Weaseled my way over to stand next to Jim McMahon and catch the ball for him in warm ups. He uttered a different obscenity with every throw, which was pretty cool, as was the way the ball just rocketed out of his hand.
NFL Hall of Famers Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, Andre Reed, Ditka, Walter Payton, Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton, Richard Dent? Or maybe The Fridge?
Nah, Tim Brown and Rocket. Paul Hornung, if almost running into him in the end zone while running a pre-game route for fun counts.
We had a practice in the Stadium and Jim Kelly and Bell spoke to the team afterward
turf has been installed.
Eddie George graduated after winning the Heisman in 95
Leon Hart and Tony Dorsett
Wait, did you say players or playas?
Eddie George looked like the Dad in a Father-Son game.
Pepe Pearson was the RB the year in '96 when they came to The Bend.
I thought Kory Minor was pretty damn good as well.
When they received a punt or kick, their first step would put goosebumps on your arm. Literally take your breath away when they exploded past defenders.
If you want 2 visiting players, Then Tony Dorsett is the second.
Some wag jokingly picked Fralic to the NFL All Pro team when he was a Senior in High School. When Pitt played at ND in the early '80s I decided to focus on Fralic to see what the noise was about. I am not an expert on OL play, but Fralic totally dominated whoever ND put across the line from him. And he seemed to do it with ease.
Rocket was just Rocket - you held your breath every time he touched the ball.
Bubba Smith in the mix.
My faulty memory has an implant of ND students taking their hankies out and waving them at Griese as he was helped off the field after Alan Page decked him.
I should have included Page in my list of greats. He had a lot of hits on qb's. He hit UCLA qb Larry Zeno so hard in the '64 game that Larry's entire family went down.
Does that count?
If not, I'll go with the 1993 ND offensive line and Jerome Bettis.