By: Ryan Moreland (@ryanmoreland)
We continue our Mount Rushmore series and now the focus is on the middle of the defense. This was a very tough one to vote on. Only two votes separated the top seven. Some great names didn’t make this list. Let’s find out who are the four best linebackers in the CFSL.
Sorry about the delay getting this to you all.
The Oregon Ducks have had a lot of great players in their time in the CFSL, but there is none finer than Jedidiah Longtree. Longtree was an absolute unit for the Ducks and a huge part of their Season 11 National Championship. There is no question that he belongs on this list.
Longtree had to put an addition on his house to hold all the hardware he collected in the CFSL. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year was named an All-American four times. He also collected four Player of the Week awards and the National Championship we discussed earlier. Longtree currently holds the second-most tackles in league history. He is the only linebacker to ever have over 100 career TFLs.
I could dedicate an entire article to the stats and accolades Longtree has earned in his career. He was a playmaker at every level of the defense and someone OCs hated to play. Any LB in Mount Rushmore without him would just be wrong.
Few people in CFSL history were feared the way Tymundus Bell was. His combination of size, speed, and football IQ made him dangerous at every level of the defense. The Oklahoma State and Florida legend was tied with Longtree for first in our vote and he earned that spot.
The two-time All-American might be the best blitzer in CFSL history. He has the most sacks and second-most TFLs of any linebacker. However, he wasn’t just a one-trick pony. Bell had the second most ints of any linebacker we looked at and is ninth in all-time tackles. He also won a National Championship with Oklahoma State and the Defensive Player of the Year Award while at Florida.
Bell was a monster that could make plays no matter where the ball was going. Quarterbacks around the league were elated to see him graduate. And now he is on the CFSL Linebacker Mount Rushmore.
Here is the complete list of CFSL players with 500 or more career tackles: Rocky Dale. End of list. The Notre Dame legend is a two-time National Champion and the CFSL’s all-time leading tackler. There is no way Dale was going to miss this list.
Dale was a three-time All-American during his career and he earned that with some insane numbers. He had 18 sacks (tied for third-most among linebackers) and 87 tackles for loss. That, along with his insane tackle totals, made him an easy choice for the AAs.
Dale was the field general on the only defense to ever win back-to-back National Championships. His highlights could go on for an hour. Congrats to one of the best to ever do it.
This Iowa, Kentucky, and Alabama legend is the only person on this list to have over 100 tackles in every season of his career. The vote was tight (as there are so many great LBs), but Schultz earned his spot on our list thanks to a stellar career.
Schultz was a three-time All-American. Not only did he have more than 100 tackles each year, but he also had at least 20 TFLs every season. He finished third in career tackles and second in career sacks (among LBs). He is also one of only six players to hit double digits in career-forced fumbles.
Schultz was always in the right place and making plays. Speaking as a QB who played him more than a few times, I can say with confidence that my numbers would be much better if Schultz never played in the CFSL. His spot on this list is well-earned. Congrats to a legend.
As I said from the start, making this list was tough. At the end of the initial vote, there was a three-way tie for third. We had to do a tiebreaker vote to get down to four players. However, I felt like the one player that barely missed the list deserved some recognition. Florida State legend Kiyoko Winter was that player. He was a phenomenal player and is our first honorable mention on these lists.