10. Jim Brown, RB, Syracuse (1954-56)
As mentioned in the intro, this list does not include any athletes who played in college prior to 1970. Due to a lack of competition and participation, we didn’t think it was far to include those players. However, Brown is our one exception to the rule. He’s too iconic to leave off this list, or any other list that talks about all-time great football players. It’s hard to believe Jim Brown arrived at Syracuse without a scholarship and the only black player on the freshman team. But Brown made the No. 44 jersey at Syracuse an honor to wear, and he is considered the greatest all-around athlete in SU history after earning 10 varsity letters in four sports (basketball, football, lacrosse and track). There are many who believe Brown should have won the 1956 Heisman Trophy, but instead it went to Paul Hornung from a Notre Dame team without a winning record. Apparently, voters weren’t ready to give the award to a non-white player. Brown actually finished fifth in the balloting, as many voters also doubted the strength of opponents the Orange played. He finished with 2,091 rushing yards and 26 total touchdowns.