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1.1k voters

The Best Stanford Football Players of All Time

Updated August 15, 2019 7.2k votes 1.1k voters 16.9k views49 items

List RulesUpvote the Stanford Cardinal athletes below who were the best in the school's history. Vote based on each player's Stanford career only.

The Stanford Cardinal are the Pac-12 Conference's resident smarty-pants. Though the school is known for its academics (and is the top-ranked academic school in the entire FBS program), they've maintained high standards of excellence on the football field as well. Playing their first season in 1891, the Cardinal have won 14 conference titles since in its history, had one Heisman Trophy winner (Jim Plunkett in 1970), and taken home 2 national titles as well, in 1926 and 1940.

The following is a list of the best of the best players the Cardinal have ever offered up. What do you think? Who is the best player in Stanford football history? Cast your votes below to help determine the ranking.
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  • John Elway1
    492
    136

    John Elway

    Quarterback

    BirthplacePort Angeles, Washington, United States of America

    Age55

    TeamsStanford Cardinal football, Denver Broncos

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    #107 of 150 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative#392 of 403 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person

  • Christian McCaffrey2
    560
    169

    Christian McCaffrey

  • Andrew Luck3
    490
    142

    Andrew Luck

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C.

    Age26

    TeamsIndianapolis Colts

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    #321 of 329 The Most Obnoxious Athletes#15 of 119 The Greatest College Football Quarterbacks of All Time

  • Richard Sherman4
    349
    125

    Richard Sherman

    Cornerback, Wide receiver

    BirthplaceCompton, California

    Age27

    TeamsSeattle Seahawks

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    #705 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021#46 of 77 The Best Athletes Who Have Used Performance Enhancing Drugs

  • Jim Plunkett5
    303
    105

    Jim Plunkett

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceSan Jose, California, United States of America

    Age68

    TeamsStanford Cardinal football, Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers

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    #32 of 252 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time#22 of 322 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

  • Zach Ertz6
    250
    85

    Zach Ertz

    Tight end

    BirthplaceOrange, California

    Age25

    TeamsPhiladelphia Eagles

  • David DeCastro7
    179
    71

    BirthplaceBellevue, Washington

    Age25

    TeamsPittsburgh Steelers

  • Doug Baldwin8
    230
    113

    Doug Baldwin

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceGulf Breeze, Florida

    Age32

    TeamsSeattle Seahawks

  • Toby Gerhart9
    205
    96

    Toby Gerhart

    Running back

    BirthplaceNorco, California

    Age33

    TeamsStanford Cardinal football, Minnesota Vikings

  • John Lynch10
    94
    20

    John Lynch

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    #37 of 432 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History#20 of 106 The Best Denver Broncos of All Time

  • James Lofton11
    170
    74

    James Lofton

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceFort Ord, California

    Age64

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    #32 of 214 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time#22 of 38 The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '70s

  • John Brodie12
    104
    54

    John Brodie

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceMenlo Park, California, United States of America

    Age80

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    #18 of 39 The Best NFL Quarterbacks of the 1970s#45 of 73 The Best Quarterbacks to Never Win a Super Bowl

  • Gene Washington13
    88
    41

    Gene Washington

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceTuscaloosa, Alabama, United States of America

    Age73

  • Ernie Nevers14
    92
    51

    Ernie Nevers

    Running back, Fullback

    BirthplaceWillow River, Minnesota

    AgeDied at 74 (1902-1976)

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    #101 of 206 The Best NFL Running Backs of All Time#31 of 225 The Best Arizona Cardinals of All Time

  • Darrin Nelson15
    74
    41

    Darrin Nelson

    Running back

    BirthplaceSacramento, California

    Age61

  • 16
    55
    25

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  • Jeff Siemon17
    61
    35

    Jeff Siemon

    Linebacker

    BirthplaceRochester, Minnesota

    Age70

  • Frankie Albert18
    50
    35

    Frankie Albert

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois

    AgeDied at 82 (1920-2002)

  • Bob Whitfield19
    56
    43

    BirthplaceCarson, California

    Age48

    TeamsStanford Cardinal football, New York Brickley Giants, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Chuck Taylor20
    37
    27

    BirthplacePortland, Oregon

    AgeDec. at 74 (1920-1994)

  • Troy Walters21
    55
    50

    Troy Walters

    Return specialist, Wide receiver

    BirthplaceBloomington, Indiana

    Age43

  • Kevin Hogan22
    89
    92

    Kevin Hogan

  • Tommy Vardell23
    58
    54

    BirthplaceEl Cajon, California

    Age51

  • Brad Muster24
    23
    13

    Brad Muster

    Running back, Fullback

    BirthplaceNovato, California

    Age55

  • Ken Margerum25
    36
    34

    Ken Margerum

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceNew Jersey

    Age61