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Kickoff Countdown: The Ten Greatest Football Hoosiers of All-Time (#4)

As a four year starter at quarterback, Antwaan Randle El might have been able to make this list based on his accomplishments passing the ball alone.

The Illinois native is the program’s 2nd all-time leading passer with 7,469 yards, and his 42 career passing touchdowns land him at 4th all-time.

But it’s only when you add in what Randle El did with his legs that you fully appreciate his greatness as a Hoosier.  He’s also the program’s 2nd all-time leading rusher with 3,895 yards.  Randle El actually led the team in rushing in 1998 and 2000, and that 2000 rushing total of 1,270 yards was the 7th best season in IU football history.  His 44 career rushing touchdowns are second all-time in program history.

Second all-time in passing and rushing yards.  Let that sink in.

For his career, Randle El amassed 11,364 total yards, or more than 3,000 greater than the No. 2 player on IU’s all-time list.

The awards and recognition rolled in upon the conclusion of his senior season.  Randle El finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting, won the Chicago Tribune’s Silver Football award as the Big Ten’s Most Valuable Player, and he was the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year as selected by Big Ten media and coaches in his final season.

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When he concluded his career in 2001, Randle El’s list of all-time accomplishments went beyond the IU record books.  He set new national standards.

Randle El rushed for more yards (3,895) than any quarterback in NCAA Division I-A history upon the conclusion of his career. In 44 career games, he passed for 7,469 yards and 42 touchdowns and also rushed for 44 scores to become the first Division I-A player to reach the 40-40 mark.

He was also the first Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) player to pass for over 6,000 yards and rush for over 3,000 yards in a career.

Want more? The 3-time team captain did more.

In 2001, Randle El led the team with 16 punt returns for 149 yards and a 9.3 average.  He also had 90 receiving yards at IU.  He also played for IU’s baseball and basketball teams.  We’re exhausted just writing about him.

It was the punt returning and receiving that would set him up for a lengthy NFL career.  Randle El was a second round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2002.

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Randle El throws a TD in Super Bowl XL that put the game out of reach. Joe Robbins/USA TODAY Sports

He caught 27 touchdown passes and played in two Super Bowls in nine NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins, winning Super Bowl XL against the Seahawks. He is the only wide receiver to throw a touchdown in Super Bowl history.

While a lack of team success at Indiana may have contributed to him not being higher on this list, his perfectly thrown 43 yard bomb to Hines Ward to give the Steelers a 21-10 fourth quarter lead made him a world champion at the highest level of the game.


Prior IU greats on the list:

#10 — John Isenbarger

#9 — Dan Feeney

#8 — James Hardy

#7 – Nate Sudfeld

#6 – Tevin Coleman

#5Corby Davis


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