Look, I'm gonna catch some flack for this, but as pure linebackers I think Parsons is only an honorable mention on here, if only because I think the light has JUST started to turn on for Parsons. His second half of this season was incredible (and my god, that Cotton Bowl, *chef's kiss*). But despite leading the team in tackles last year, I felt like much of that was cleaning up messes down the field rather than blowing up plays and getting offenses off schedule. And he'll still get caught out of position on passing plays, I'm not sure he's an asset on passing downs unless he's rushing the passer, whereas almost all of the rest of these guys were great (for linebackers) in coverage too.
His current trajectory would 1000% put him at the top of this list, but based on what he has actually done on the field, I don't think you can put him above those 5 guys.... yet.
I have a pretty serious disagreement with this list. For as good as Parsons was in 19, it isn’t as good as Hodges was in 11 or 12. I wouldn’t put him ahead of Mauti either. He has a long way to go given some of the players we had in the first half if the decade. Let’s see if he can match Gerald Hodges or Mike Mauti next season before even discussing if he can compare to Those that came the decade before.
1. Gerald Hodges
2. Mike Mauti
3. Brandon Bell
4. Mike Hull
5. Jason Cabinda
Success with honor
What's your definition for match? I think Parsons' 2019 matches up pretty well with any of Mauti's seasons. I know Mauti's worth is defined by far more than what he did on the field, but he also couldn't stay healthy, which is absolutely something to consider when discussing him.
Senior Editor, Roar Lions Roar
"I mean, I know that I'mma get got. But I'mma get mine more than I get got, doe." - Marshawn
arguably outplaying Heisman finalist Manti Te'o in 2012
Mauti was outplaying Manti Te'o in 2012. Te'o was only a Heisman finalist because of his sob story catfish girlfriend. Mauti wasn't getting any Heisman hype because the media didn't want to say anything good about us in 2012.
The media stuff added to it all, yes, but Te'o was good in his own right- 113 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 7 INT (that's the big one) is a very, very good college stat line.
Plus, outside of Johnny Football, there was no one in college football that year who would be within the top-5 of a Heisman ballot basically any other year. I'd argue that Marqise Lee (118 receptions, 1,700+ yards, 14 TD) should have finished second to Manziel.
Collin Klein's season was awesome too, I take it back-
2,641 passing yards (64.8 completion %)
920 rushing yards
23 rushing TD