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Rutgers Football intimidators: Votes are in!

Greene and Robeson stand out this week.

Syracuse v Rutgers
Another forced fumble by Khaseem Greene.
Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images

Last Wednesday, you voted in the second weekly poll on intimidators. Here’s the results with some thoughts below. Reminder this week was broken into two groups (2006- present and pre-2006).

Poll

Most intimidating Knight in the last dozen years?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Kemoko Dragon
    (16 votes)
  • 4%
    Janarion
    (15 votes)
  • 4%
    Leonte Carroooooooooo
    (15 votes)
  • 29%
    Khaseem Greene, Two-time Big East defensive POY.
    (102 votes)
  • 14%
    Sanuuuuuu!
    (49 votes)
  • 13%
    Anthony "Don’t call me unibrow" Davis
    (48 votes)
  • 11%
    Keep choppin’ Foster
    (41 votes)
  • 7%
    DBU reps
    (25 votes)
  • 9%
    Leonard leap or not, still true.
    (34 votes)
345 votes total Vote Now

So for the results and our best explanation as to why the tally came in that way ...

  1. Khaseem Greene. It’s never been clear to me why a face shield is so intimidating, but many players are often remembered as stars for having it, Brian Dawkins and Ray Lewis come to mind. The dreadlocks drive me crazy on offense (remember Jourdan Brooks being pulled down from behind to miss out on a TD?) but are awesome on D. Anyone who has gone to a software conference (and likely other industries) has had the term burned into their head: disruption. Greene was the definition of disruptive from the linebacker position often flying through the line like a missile with an uncanny knack for forcing fumbles.
  2. Mohamed Sanu took second place by a single vote. The versatile offensive weapon was the offensive equivalent of Greene in many ways, lining up all over the formation. Fueled by his greatest passer rating in NFL history, there is always debate on OTB and other sites about how good he could have been as a full-time quarterback. It’s an interesting question because he may have started as a QB if Tom Savage was not in the same recruiting class. Instead, when healthy he broke the Big East single-season receptions record held by Larry Fitzgerald and simply was open at all times the quarterback could get the ball in the right spot to him. The intimidation factor doesn’t just come from the stats, but also that he was tough to bring down as his size out of the wildcat or “Wild Knight” was uncommon.
  3. Anthony Davis takes the bronze. The offensive lineman who started Day 1 in a pure getting off the bus type way probably takes the cake here. The man is simply huge and could move in a way no other guy his size in Rutgers history equaled. Had the 49ers won a Super Bowl against Baltimore (or the following year when they were robbed) OR Anthony not retired early, he easily gets second place maybe even first.

Poll

Most intimidating Knight without chopping.

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Tyronne Stowe.
    (25 votes)
  • 7%
    Nate Toran.
    (10 votes)
  • 10%
    JJ Jennings.
    (15 votes)
  • 10%
    Homer Hazel, HOF
    (14 votes)
  • 18%
    Alex Kroll, HOF
    (26 votes)
  • 8%
    Nasty (not Niecy) Nash
    (12 votes)
  • 26%
    Paul Robeson despite the artistic talent.
    (36 votes)
138 votes total Vote Now
  1. Paul Robeson. Possibly the best player and greatest athlete in the history of the university got more votes than I expected when adding the candidates. His overall athletic prowess and stature for someone (now 100 years ago) is memorable to this day due to this photograph most fans have seen. The Rutgers class valedictorian made it to the College Football Hall of Fame on his physical ability partially, but could also outsmart his opponents as well for sure. His willingness to battle social issues off the field was a testament to his perseverance as well. Add all that up and this result comes as no surprise.
  2. Alex Kroll got this one by a single tally. It’s fitting a military veteran deserves recognition as many of us celebrated Memorial Day this past weekend. The First team All-American played both ways and was named to the College Football Hall of Fame after spending time as a Military policeman. The rep of the MP may not be what it once was, but if you are having to get soldiers to follow your instructions, college football was probably a step down in stakes and intensity. 6’3, 230 pounds was considered huge in his day, with modern nutrition and weight training who knows how strong he would be. He also deserves credit for being the leader of the undefeated 1961 squad. He was also very successful in business, a testament to his cerebral approach and competitive spirit.
  3. Tyronne Stowe was in a comfortable third with this poll. Stowe has been successful off the field as well, the theological arena in his case, but was an absolute monster on the gridiron. He piled up multiple twenty tackle games in his career (including 27 against West Virginia) and translated his skills to the NFL as well as any other former Scarlet Knight. The flat top and huge smile off the field were hidden by the large helmets and shoulder pads of his era. If we polled opposing players who faced the Knights over the years, he would surely get the same recognition as our readers if not more.
Phoenix Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams
The great smile off the field took nothing away from the production on it with Stowe.
Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

Notable: This was an extremely tough poll to put together because statistics and accolades are not the biggest part of the puzzle. So OTB is very thankful of all the reader input in the comments section. I think this week warrants a list of all the players listed in the comments section: Malik Jackson (Safety), Elnardo Webster (linebacker), Raheem Orr (Defensive End), Larry Clymer (Safety), Jamaal Westerman (Defensive End), Ryan Neill (Defensive End), George Johnson (Defensive End).

I’ll admit Clymer is someone I hadn’t thought about in quite some time whereas all the other guys listed were ones that I did at least consider including despite having won the Hazel award. Clymer was considered a “rover back”, think along the lines of a Troy Polamalu type and like Malik Jackson, once had three interceptions in a single game. The defensive ends all could make a case and being such big guys, would be equally scary off the field or simply getting off the bus.

Missing in action: The guys who were hurt most by this poll were the DBs. Joe Lefeged was mention by a few people and may have gotten more votes if he was a single entrant, rather than part of the strong defensive backfield over a few year period. Zaire Kitchen delivered some huge hits too, but he wasn’t as good a player as Lefeged (now known as Joe Young) or the McCourty twins.

Eric Foster and Nate Toran also got less votes than I expected. Perhaps it’s because they played on such strong teams and therefore individual greatness was less noticeable, but these guys were the energizers that kept the D strong. I’m curious to see as these weekly polls continue, how the 1976 team fares. Foster was an All-American, but educated fans may put a lot of emphasis on the fact that taller offensive lineman from other teams seemed to figure out how to contain the fast RU fronts a little bit as time went on.

It was surprising no one mentioned Steve Longa, who when I told my brother was from Saddle Brook, my brother responded, “No way, they don’t have guys that intimidating in Saddle Brook!” Longa was in the middle of Greene and the Roberts/Morris type in that he did pile up tackles (even when injured) and at times showed flashes of huge disruption.

I don’t exactly picture any of these guys doing this after winning this week’s poll ...

Thanks for participating and look for another opportunity to vote this Wednesday. The category this week is to cast a ballot for who you feel are the best aerial connection in Rutgers Football program history! Let the debate begin!

And the hint for this week’s movie theme is it featured a cameo from an NBA all-time great going incognito. So many other hints would be way too obvious.

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks
Even among other lineman, Davis is physically impressive.
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images