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Author Topic: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?  (Read 2129 times)

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Sweet Feet

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Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« on: March 18, 2019, 01:32:25 pm »

Offense we know it's likely McFadden, but who would you take as the best defensive player in Razorback history?
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East TN HAWG

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2019, 01:34:40 pm »

Billy Ray Smith Jr. 

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311Hog

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2019, 01:37:39 pm »

Wayne Martin

Rudy Baylor

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2019, 01:41:34 pm »

Billy Ray Jr

CuttheNutts

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2019, 01:58:14 pm »

Dan Hampton. Chicago Bears Super Bowl.

rmcchris

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2019, 02:37:54 pm »

Billy Ray Smith Jr.
My first thought, Billy Ray, but then Dan Hampton's body of work is impressive.  I will go with Dan.

Seebs

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2019, 02:38:50 pm »

Robert Paulson
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East TN HAWG

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2019, 02:50:59 pm »

My first thought, Billy Ray, but then Dan Hampton's body of work is impressive.  I will go with Dan.
There should be probably a clarifcation on whether its thier entire career or only college.  No doubt, if you include professional career either Dan Hampton, Steve Atwater and maybe a case for Wayne Martin would all triumph over Billy Ray. 
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ErieHog

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2019, 02:53:04 pm »

Shocked that no one has mentioned Lloyd Phillips.

Outland trophy winner, two time consensus All-American, and College Football Hall of Famer.

The most decorated defender in Hog history.

EastexHawg

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2019, 02:54:57 pm »

Ronnie Caveness, a tackling machine if there ever was one.

ivanhog

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2019, 03:10:53 pm »

Dirt Winston, I was scared to death of him.  He could take over a game.

East TN HAWG

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2019, 03:12:24 pm »

Shocked that no one has mentioned Lloyd Phillips.

Outland trophy winner, two time consensus All-American, and College Football Hall of Famer.

The most decorated defender in Hog history.
I know him as my asst jr high (Oakdale Jr High in Rogers) principle.  It was a scary thing to be in his office.  He was a mountain of a man with a huge paddle that the art and shop teacher made for him.  He didn't use it, but it was intimidating.  I imagine QBs felt the same way that I did when he stared them down. 
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ErieHog

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2019, 03:13:55 pm »

I know him as my asst jr high (Oakdale Jr High in Rogers) principle.  It was a scary thing to be in his office.  He was a mountain of a man with a huge paddle that the art and shop teacher made for him.  He didn't use it, but it was intimidating.  I imagine QBs felt the same way that I did when he stared them down. 

Great guy, too.   I watched him break up a fight by grabbing two 150 pound guys by the scruff of their necks, and lifting them both off the ground a half foot, at near to arm's length.   He had to be in his 50s by that point. 

SDZ_Hog

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2019, 03:22:39 pm »

Pudgepork

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2019, 03:54:22 pm »

Many deserve mention.  A person's pick is mostly opinion.  I'd go with Dan Hampton.
Teams actually schemed to lessen the damage inflicted by BR Smith jr.  Sr was pretty good as well.
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40YrHogFan

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2019, 03:55:22 pm »

Billy Ray Smith - Only two time All American defensive player that I can find
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The Royal Ham

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2019, 03:56:42 pm »

Ronnie Caveness, a tackling machine if there ever was one.
My favorite
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ErieHog

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2019, 03:57:13 pm »

Billy Ray Smith - Only two time All American defensive player that I can find

Phillips.  And an Outland Trophy to boot.

247Hog

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2019, 04:05:58 pm »

Steve Atwater

"He still holds the school record with 14 interceptions in his career"

Some of the other players you guys have mentioned might be better but i wasn't around to watch them so for my lifetime, gotta be Steve.
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EastexHawg

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2019, 04:24:22 pm »

Billy Ray Smith - Only two time All American defensive player that I can find

Caveness was also a two-time All-American, in 1963 and 1964.  I am trying to remember if anyone else besides Philips and Billy Ray, Jr. did it.

They were all three wrecking balls, truly great players.  I hate the overuse of the word great...but they were.
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liljo

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2019, 05:21:37 pm »

Absolutely no way I could pick just one.

I’ll just hang up and listen.
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Inhogswetrust

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2019, 06:47:34 pm »

Absolutely no way I could pick just one.

I’ll just hang up and listen.

So far only one is in the Pro football HOF.
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ErieHog

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2019, 06:57:17 pm »

So far only one is in the Pro football HOF.

Yeah, but that's not Razorback history.  That's NFL history.  To me, there's a distinct difference.

Its the same reason that Moncrief isn't the greatest Hog basketball player. 
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Hogs-n-Roses

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2019, 07:12:21 pm »

Dirt Winston
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1highhog

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2019, 07:43:53 pm »

So far only one is in the Pro football HOF.

This is about the greatest defensive player in Razorback history, that doesn't mean that they had to be a HOF Professional player.  With that being said, my favorite would be Lloyd Phillips.
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hawkhawg

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2019, 07:54:57 pm »

Hampton or Phillips.
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Dark Helmet Hog

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2019, 08:59:03 pm »

Billy Ray Smith is my favorite. Phillips was probably better and definitely meaner. Football mentality. Safe to say neither one were hitting on the dance team before the game. 

hawginbigd1

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2019, 09:01:24 pm »

Atwater was a better Pro, but to me Billy Ray Smith Jr. Was more dominant in college.

liljo

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2019, 10:57:52 pm »

Billy Ray Smith is my favorite. Phillips was probably better and definitely meaner. Football mentality. Safe to say neither one were hitting on the dance team before the game.
I will allow few Razorback memories for me are better that seeing Ron Faurot turn a play back—right into Billy Ray’s crosshairs. He’d knock shoes and helmets clean off on the same tackle.

Hampton was absolutely dominant. Winston epitomized fierce LB play, just creating chaos for offenses. Atwater was so good that Hatfield had defensive sets where he covered the entire middle of the field, and would still bust heads three yards past the line of scrimmage after covering thirty yards to get there. Man he hit scary hard. Way before he left Arkansas, he was a known killer.

Lloyd Phillips was a legend to me growing up. I was too young to recall him with any clarity but every great defender we had, according to my uncles and “Papa”, got measured against him and were just never quite as good in their eyes. 

I want to see some of that fight come back to this program. Be something if we ever got a team that had players like those all at the same time! Killer defensive ends with some really dominant tackles, a werewolf LB or two, with some dangerous corners and a big fast physical safety cleaning up all the messes with a vengeance.

Lookin’ across the line tellin’ opponents “a first down is gonna cost you a starter.”

Get ‘em Hogs!

Arkansas Hog in Dallas

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2019, 11:41:55 pm »

Sosa
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murthage

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2019, 12:21:02 am »

Wayne "Thumper" Harris  Pound for Pound......

rlamb

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2019, 12:22:12 am »

Watch some film of Loyd Phillips as a Hog. He was very quick, great on his techniques,
strong and just flat out naturally born MEAN! A clip of Phillips playing would be a great
instructional video for young incoming Hogs. If we had 3 players his caliber player we
would win 9 next year!
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Inhogswetrust

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2019, 06:09:33 am »

Yeah, but that's not Razorback history.  That's NFL history.  To me, there's a distinct difference.

Its the same reason that Moncrief isn't the greatest Hog basketball player. 

Ask other teams and coaches that played against him. One doesn’t get drafted #4 and make the HOF when no other defensive Hog ever was by not being the best. I get your point but rational people can come up with about 10 or 12 good choices. The problem is they all played against different teams with different players and all had different teammates and different coaches. Therefore stats are misleading unless a players stats are nationally ranked long term over history. even then if there are more than one then there is debate.
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hogcards

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #33 on: March 19, 2019, 07:39:23 am »

Hampton

...and it's not close.

Maybe Atwater a distant 2nd?
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WilsonHog

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2019, 10:22:24 am »

What's the measuring stick?

College career, or college + NFL?

# of All-American selections? Membership in HOFs?

Different standards yield different results.

Time plays a role, too. I have heard that Loyd Phillips and Ronnie Caveness were great football players; no doubt they were, but I didn't have the benefit of watching game after game in that era (I wish I had).

For me, it's Billy Ray Smith, Jr. He was a starter on our defensive line as a 205-lb true freshman, and he lined up everywhere - nose, defensive tackle, defensive end. Just too damn quick to block.

EastexHawg

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2019, 10:33:51 am »

Wayne "Thumper" Harris  Pound for Pound......

My dad's all-time favorite.
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EastexHawg

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2019, 10:35:33 am »

For me, it's Billy Ray Smith, Jr. He was a starter on our defensive line as a 205-lb true freshman, and he lined up everywhere - nose, defensive tackle, defensive end. Just too damn quick to block.

I can't and wouldn't argue with that.
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porcelet

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2019, 11:37:43 am »

1A  Wayne Harris,  1B  BR Smith jr

bennyl08

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2019, 01:18:42 pm »

Yeah, but that's not Razorback history.  That's NFL history.  To me, there's a distinct difference.

Its the same reason that Moncrief isn't the greatest Hog basketball player.

Depends on how you interpret the question.

One way to interpret it is asking who the greatest defensive player, with the phrase "in Razorback history" limiting the main question to only those with chapters with the hogs.

Another is your interpretation where "defensive player" is essentially the limiting aspect of who the greatest solely in the scope of Razorback history is.

Akin to asking who was the fastest person in Arkansas? I could be asking who the fastest person with a major connection to the state regardless of whether they achieved their speed outside of the state, or it could also be asking within the state boundaries, who achieved the fastest speed?
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bennyl08

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #39 on: March 19, 2019, 01:20:23 pm »

Wayne "Thumper" Harris  Pound for Pound......

Sam Olajabutu inch for inch.
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HogPharmer

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2019, 01:29:10 pm »

No mention of David Bazzel yet?!
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Panthog

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2019, 01:35:16 pm »

Billy Ray Smith, JR. 

Dumb ole famrboy

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2019, 02:09:20 pm »

Just because he has not been mentioned - Dick Bumpas - but Hampton gets my final vote.
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26.2Hog

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2019, 02:58:09 pm »

Billy Ray Smith - Only two time All American defensive player that I can find

The Thumper certainly deserves being considered.  Wayne Harris was also a two time All-American.

He is in the College Football Hall of Fame and still holds the single season tackles record for the Razorbacks which he set when they only played 10 regular season games.

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EastexHawg

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2019, 03:06:39 pm »

For a single season very few have been better than Cliff Powell and Jermaine Petty.  I don't think they are in the running for all-time greatest, but they had outstanding careers punctuated by great seasons.

Ronnie Caveness played the #1 team in the nation twice...Texas in 1963 and 1964.  He put up the two highest single game tackles numbers in Razorback history in those games, 29 and 25.  He also has the #4 mark with 23 against Missouri.  Cliff Powell had 24 tackles in a game, again against the #1 team in the nation...Texas in the Big Shootout.

Caveness started at linebacker for two seasons and averaged 15.5 tackles per game.
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ErieHog

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2019, 03:08:28 pm »

The Thumper certainly deserves being considered.  Wayne Harris was also a two time All-American.

He is in the College Football Hall of Fame and still holds the single season tackles record for the Razorbacks which he set when they only played 10 regular season games.



Two of his four seasons were 11 game seasons, to be fair.     
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EastexHawg

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2019, 03:19:34 pm »

Loyd Philips having 22 tackles in a game as a defensive tackle is ridiculous.

26.2Hog

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #47 on: March 19, 2019, 03:23:42 pm »

Two of his four seasons were 11 game seasons, to be fair.   

He only got three seasons because back then freshmen were ineligible.

They were 10 game regular seasons.  They didn't have 11 game seasons until around 1970.  But yes, counting the bowl games, he played in 11 games two of his three years.

My point is that he set the record playing in fewer games than most of the others mentioned.
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EastexHawg

Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2019, 03:27:29 pm »

He only got three seasons because back then freshmen were ineligible.

They were 10 game regular seasons.  They didn't have 11 game seasons until around 1970.  But yes, counting the bowl games, he played in 11 games two of his three years.

My point is that he set the record playing in fewer games than most of the others mentioned.

I don't think bowl game stats counted back then.  That is a fairly recent development.
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26.2Hog

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Re: Who's the greatest defensive player in Razorback history?
« Reply #49 on: March 19, 2019, 03:27:47 pm »

Loyd Philips having 22 tackles in a game as a defensive tackle is ridiculous.

I'm too lazy to do the research, but I bet that with the type offenses run with clock management strategies when he played, there were fewer offensive plays in games.

Which makes 22 tackles even more ridiculous.
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