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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John David Crow
John David Crow. (Photo by Bob Verlin/Getty Images) /

Stats – 295 carries, 1,465 yards, 14 touchdowns; 15 receptions, 288 yards, four touchdowns; five passing touchdowns, 5 interceptions

Accolades – 1957 Heisman Trophy Winner, 1957 Consensus All-American

Team signature moment – Started 1957 No. 2 and was last Aggie team to be ranked No. 1, first Aggie team to beat the Texas Longhorns at then-Memorial Stadium

There is something to be said for being the first ever Heisman Trophy winner in a program’s history, especially when he lasted so long as the program’s only Heisman winner until Johnny Manziel’s magical 2012 season.

John David Crow played in some of the best years in the Aggie football program’s history. Those days under Paul “Bear” Bryant were amazing for Aggie fans.

During the 1957 season, the Aggies started 8-0 before falling in their final three games after news that Bryant would leave for the Alabama Crimson Tide at the end of the season broke. That November is the last time Texas A&M has been No. 1 in the polls.

Crow played about as many positions as you could on offense and played defense. He’s mostly seen as a running back, but to call him that is almost doing him a disservice. He missed parts of three games that year and still won the Heisman.

It was that clear how much better he was than any other player. He ran, caught and threw touchdown passes. He embodied what it meant to be a football player in that era.

He would go on to play 11 seasons in the NFL for the then-Chicago/St, Louis Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. Crow was selected to the Pro Bowl four times and selected as an All-Pro three times. He went on to spend about a decade as a coach before trying his hand as an administrator.

He was Texas A&M’s assistant athletic director from 1983-88 and the athletic director from 1988-93. Those early years in the 1990s were arguably the most successful in modern A&M football history.