(3) Nolan Cromwell
Cromwell played at Kansas from 1973-76. Cromwell was one of the best pure athletes ever to grace Mt. Oread.
His freshman year, he was the starting safety on coach Don Fambrough’s 1973 Liberty Bowl team. He started at safety again in 1974, but made the switch to quarterback in 1975, which turned out to be his most productive year at Kansas. KU ran a wishbone offense, so Cromwell didn’t throw often (98 passes attempted in his KU career), but boy did he run. He took Kansas to the Sun Bowl in 1975, earning him a first team All-Big 8 nod and an honorable mention All-American. His 1976 season was cut short by a knee injury after just five games; the Jayhawks went 2-4 without Cromwell.
He was also a two-time All-American in track and field, setting school records in numerous events.
He was drafted 31st overall by the St. Louis Rams in the 1977 NFL Draft. He spent 10 years as a defensive back in the NFL, all with the Rams, at one point being named to four consecutive Pro Bowls (1980-83).
He is enshrined in KU’s Ring of Honor.
And if you’re in the mood for some additional reading material, check out this piece from SI’s Vault from 1981.
(14) Jordan Webb
Webb quarterbacked the Jayhawks from 2010-11 under Turner Gill. In those two years, he made 19 starts, throwing for 3079 yards with 20 TDs (and 20 INTs). He was also constantly running for his life (52 sacks) behind Gill’s offensive lines.
Webb was a gamer, and then-WR coach David Beaty said, “What happened to us at Kansas wasn’t because of Jordan. If you give that guy protection, he’ll pick you apart. If he has time, I’m telling you, he will hurt you.” Beaty, of course, had moved on to Texas A&M when the Weis regime took over, while Weis flat out told Webb that his services were no longer required at Kansas.
Webb was able to pull off a graduate transfer to Colorado, where he had a decent 2012 season before a torn ACL in 2013 ended his college career.
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