“It will be a long time before any of us see another player as exciting and thrilling as Reggie Bush.”
That’s FOX Sports college football analyst RJ Young’s take on the former USC standout, who is one of 18 players in the College Football Hall of Fame’s 2023 class.
In the latest episode of his podcast, “The Number One College Football Show,” Young counts down the top five.
Ranking the Class of 2023 in the Hall of Fame
5. Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College College stats: 532 tackles, 35.5 sacks, 7 interceptions
Three-time first-team selection Two-time ACC consensus All-American, ACC Rookie of the Year (2009), ACC Defensive Player of the Year (2011), Butkus Award winner (2011), Lott Trophy winner (2011), Lombardi Award winner (2011), Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner (2011)
Young’s perspective: “The man devoured film. Everything you love about your favorite college football analysts, the Joel Klatts of the world, who can see the play before the play and predict and explain what’s going to happen… He was doing it while making a tackle in the middle of the game. Luke Kuechly was like that. It was great fun to watch that man play football.”
4. Eric Berry, State of Tennessee
245 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, 14 interceptions, three touchdowns in college
Two-time first-team All-SEC selection, two-time unanimous All-American selection, SEC Defensive Player of the Year (2008), Jim Thorpe Award winner (2009), two-time Jack Tatum Trophy winner
Young’s perspective: “Eric Berry was a no-fly zone as a safety precaution, which was extremely difficult to implement. You were in charge of the run before you were in charge of the pass, and this man could still do both.”
Derrick Johnson, LB, Texas College, has 458 tackles, 10.5 sacks, nine interceptions, 11 forced fumbles, and five fumble recoveries.
Big-12 Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year, three-time first-team selection Two-time consensus All-Big 12 selection All-American, Winner of the Jack Lambert Trophy (2004), the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (2004), and the Dick Butkus Award (2004)
Young’s perspective: “In high school, he was my favorite linebacker. He was an inside linebacker in the way that most people were outside linebackers. He had the ability to come off the ball, get into the backfield, and take the ball away from you.”
2. Tim Tebow, quarterback, Florida
College stats: 9,285 yards passing, 88 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 2,947 yards rushing, 57 touchdowns
Three-time first-team All-SEC, two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Year, two-time first-team All-American (2007, 2008), second-team All-American (2009), AP College Football Player of the Year (2007), Davey O’Brien Award winner (2007), two-time Maxwell Award (2007, 2008), Heisman Trophy (2007)
Young’s perspective: “He was the quarterback for one of college football’s great teams, the 2008 Florida Gators. He was the man. Winner of the Heisman Trophy. It’s one thing to win the Heisman Trophy. It’s one thing to be the quarterback for a Florida Gators team that no one wanted to play for.”
1. Reggie Bush, RB, USC College stats: 3,169 rushing yards, 7.3 yards per carry, 25 rushing touchdowns, 95 receptions, 1,301 receiving yards, 13 receiving touchdowns, 1,522 kick return yards, one kick return touchdown, 559 punt return yards, three punt return touchdowns, 559 punt return yards, three punt return touchdowns
Two-time consensus award All-American, two-time Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year, AP Player of the Year (2005), Heisman Trophy (2005-vacated), Walter Camp Award (2005-vacated), Doak Walker Award (2005-vacated), AP National Champion (2003, 2004), BCS National Championship (2005-vacated).
Young’s perspective: “He only lost two football games during his time at USC. Reggie [Bush] was the closest I’ve ever come to Deion [Sanders], which is another way of saying, ‘I’m going to take control of this game because once I touch the ball, you won’t touch me.'”
More college football news:
FOX Sports’ top stories: Learn more about College Football. Your favorites will be followed.