Sports

The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time  

Ranker College Football
23.3k votes 2.9k voters 69k views 78 items

List Rules Only vote on the players based on their career at Notre Dame

A list of the best Notre Dame football players of all time. Notre Dame University's Fightin' Irish are a college football institution. Some of college football's most storied teams and greatest players of all time have played for the Golden Domers. For years, Notre Dame has lured the best football players in the land to South Bend, Ind. to play football for the school. Notre Dame's alumni are some of the most famous people to graduate from the school. The program started in 1888 and almost immediately became a national powerhouse.Those early Fightin' Irish teams had some of the school's greatest players ever, including George Gipp. A legend in Notre Dame folklore, Gipp was the school's first first team All-American player. Despite not playing football until he got to Notre Dame, Gipp led the Irish in rushing and passing each of his last three seasons 1918, 1919 and 1920. He was also the subject of head coach Knute Rockne's greatest speech when he said "Win one for the Gipper."

Over the years, Notre Dame's best players have gone onto successful NFL careers. Paul Hornung and Alan Page are both in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and longtime Raiders receiver and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown is on the cusp of being inducted as well. Raghib "Rocket" Ismail had a long, successful career in the pros after an outstanding career at Notre Dame. So who are the best Notre Dame players in the pros today? Perhaps New York GIants defensive end Justin Tuck. Though he played on some solid teams at Notre Dame, Tuck won two Super Bowls in the NFL and is one of the best players to come from the school in recent years. Recently, Manti Te'o added himself to the list of the greatest players in Notre Dame history when he finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting. 

This is the list of the best Notre Dame football players of all time. If you notice someone is missing, feel free to add him. Vote or rerank this list according to who you think is the greatest Notre Dame Fightin' Irish football player ever. 
list ordered by
1
Joe Montana is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Quarterback
2
Tim Brown is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
3
Jerome Bettis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Running back
4
Joe Theismann is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Quarterback
5
Alan Page is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Defensive tackle, Defensive end
6
Paul Hornung is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
7
Raghib Ismail is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Return specialist, Wide receiver
8
Zack Martin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
broof21 added
9
Justin Tuck is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Defensive end
10
Ricky Watters is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
pmath44 added Running back
11
Harrison Smith is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Nicolas Pernas added Safety
12
Kyle Rudolph is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Jaxmc51 added Tight end
13
Tyler Eifert is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Tight end
14
Dave Casper is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Tight end, Wide receiver
15
Golden Tate is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Wide receiver
16
Jaylon Smith is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Mark Smith1 added Linebacker
17
Chris Zorich is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Defensive tackle, Tackle
18
George Gipp is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Running back, Halfback, Kickoff returner
19
Jeff Samardzija is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Wide receiver
20
Michael Floyd is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Wide receiver
21
Quentin Nelson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
buddhaclaus808 added Quentin Nelson
22
Bob Golic is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Defensive tackle, Tackle
23
Manti Te'o is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Linebacker
24
Tony Rice is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Quarterback
25
Stephon Tuitt is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Notre Dame Football Players of All Time
Jaxmc51 added