There’s no argument here whatsoever. The greatest player in the history of Auburn football is running back Bo Jackson. He’s not only the first face on any Auburn sports Mount Rushmore, but he also belongs SEC football’s all-time Mount Rushmore with Georgia running back Herschel Walker, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and whoever you want to pick as the fourth guy. It’s up to you.
Jackson was a two-time consensus All-American (1983, 1985) and a three-time First-Team All-SEC member (1982-83, 1985). He also took home Auburn’s second Heisman Trophy in 1985, as well as the Walter Camp Award. Jackson is one of three players in Auburn history to have his jersey retired. He is one of eight former Tigers to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
In four years at Auburn, Jackson rushed for 4,303 yards on 650 carries for 43 touchdowns. He went over 1,000 yards in a season twice, including his magnificent 1985 Heisman campaign of 1,786 yards on 278 carries and 17 trips to pay dirt. At his peak, there may not have been a better athlete in the world than Jackson, though Walker would have to be in the mix.
But it’s not just his brilliance as a running back or his dominance on the baseball diamond that made him so unforgettable at Auburn. One could argue he was the player who turned the tide in college football in the 1980s in the state of Alabama. By picking Auburn over Alabama, Dye and his successor Terry Bowden had tremendous success in the two decades that followed.