Texas A&M football: 30 greatest players of all-time

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M Aggies. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M Aggies. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) /
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Johnny Holland
Johnny Holland. (Photo by Jeffrey Phelps/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images) /

Stats – 455 tackles (second most in school history)

Accolades – Consensus First-Team All-American in 1985, All-American in 1986 and 1987, All SWC in 1985-87, Texas A&M Hall of Fame, Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame

Team signature moment – 1985, 1986 and 1987 Southwest Conference Champions

Johnny Holland isn’t just one of the best Texas A&M linebackers of all-time, he’s one of the best college linebackers of all time, period. He stepped onto campus and impacted the defense from day one. Remarkably, he wasn’t even a linebacker before he got to Texas A&M, yet he was still able to make All-Southwest Conference in his first year as a starter at the position.

He would go on to make the All-American team twice, once as a consensus selection and lead the Aggies to back-to-back-to-back conference championships.

The mid-1980s were some of the most successful years in program history under head coach Jackie Sherrill. They were a dominant defensive team in this era where they finished as high as No. 6 in the polls and went 29-7 in Holland’s three years in College Station.

Holland would go on to be a second-round pick by the Green Bay Packers. He was having a very successful career until two herniated discs in his neck forced him into early retirement after the 1993 season. He had 100+ tackles in six of his seven seasons with the Packers. He went on to become a coach and has bounced around the league as mostly a linebackers coach since 1995.