The Notre Dame football program is traditionally known for excellence in football and brilliant players. The program also has more national championships of American descent than any other program or college in the US and has a total of seven Heisman trophies which is by far an impressive record. There are many brilliant players who have excelled at the individual level based on their remarkable statistics and the number of awards they have won, but we also acknowledge that their team success and victories have also contributed massively. Below is the top ten list of the best players in Notre Dame football history and they include:
1. Joe Montana
He is an American football quarterback and played for San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. After helping Notre Dame to clinch a college national championship, he began his professional career with San Francisco in 1979. Montana was named the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) by Associated Press in 1989 and 1990. Sports Illustrated magazine also named Joe Montana as the ‘Sportsman of the Year’ in 1990.
2. Tim Brown
An alumni of Notre Dame, he won the Heisman Trophy where he was named as the first wide receiver to clinch the word. He has played for Los Angeles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was also recently inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame in 2015 and 2009 into the College Football Hall of Fame.
3. Paul Hornung
Hornung has impressive titles such as NFL titles, he is also the first in pro football history to win the Heisman Trophy, NFL most valuable player award and has been inducted into both college and professional halls of fame. He is a brilliant quarterback who could perform universal techniques such as tackling, blocking, running and passing. He played for the Green Bay Packers where he went on to win four league championships.
4. Raghib Ismail
He played for both the American and Canadian football league and was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the 79th Grey Cup. He also played for the Los Angeles Raiders and Carolina Panthers. Raghib Ismail recorded two 1000-yard receiving seasons in the NFL and also was nominated for the Heisman Trophy.
5. Jerome Bettis
Bettis played for the Los Angeles Rams/St. Louis Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL. He was also inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. He has won several awards in his football playing career. For instance in 2002 he bagged a Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and earlier in 1996, he had won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award.
6. Alan Page
Page was awarded the National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award in 2005. Other awards that Page received include the Academic All-American Hall of Fame in 2001 as well as Dick Enberg Award. He also received the NFC Player of the Year as well as winning the NFL champion in 1969. He has played for Minnesota Vikings between 1967 to 1978 and Chicago Bears in 1978 to 1981.
7. Golden Tate
Tate is still a shining star who currently plays for Detroit Lions. He had previously played Seattle Seahawks between 2010 to 2013. Golden Tate has received several awards, Biletnikoff Award, Pro Football Focus All-Pro, Pro Bowl and Super Bowl Champion.
8. Dave Casper
Casper has had a successful career with Oakland Raiders, Houston Oilers, Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Raiders and played as a tight end. Dave Casper has bagged different titles in his football career such as Super Bowl champion (XI), national champion in 1973, NFL 1970s All-Decade Team among others.
9. Tyler Eifert
Eifert played in the tight end position and is a shining star and currently plays for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2013 to present. He has received various titles and awards such as Pro Bowl in 2015, John Mackey Award in 2012 and First-team All-American in 2012.
10. Johnny Lujack
Lujack played as quarterback/ defensive back and had a successful career both at Notre Dame and later Chicago Bears. He won various titles including two Pro Bowl, three national championships, Sporting News Player of the Year, Heisman Trophy and other special sportsmanship titles.
The above list represents top ten most successful players and University of Notre Dame alumni. They not only excelled while at Notre Dame but went on to be celebrated at NFL and international level.