Technically Defensive Backs are the players who form part of the defense in American Football. The players who take the position a bit back from the line of scrimmage. This is what the definition says, but Defensive Backs are of much more worth to a football team than the definition describes.
Texas Longhorns always had the luxury to have some highly skilled and robust Defensive Back units in the glorious history of the program. The defense has equally contributed to the success of the program and has produced some remarkable players that went on to have an extraordinary career as a football player.
Today we have curated a list of the top 10 defensive backs from the Texas Longhorns program that did exceptionally well for the team. Some of them also went on to play in the prestigious NFL banking on their strong performance for Texas.
So whenever we talk about the greatest performances of the program we must give the acknowledgment due to the defensive backs of the program. Who remains a bit out of focus as offense most of the time runs away with the majority of the credit.
Top 10 Defensive Backs in Texas Longhorns history:
10. Noble Doss
While we are talking about Noble, he won’t be able to present his gratitude to this acknowledgment, as he passed away in 2009. He still jointly holds the record for the most number of interceptions in the history of Texas. He had 17 interceptions for Texas.
His best play was the famous catch that was termed as “impossible”. That came in a game in 1940, a game against the Texas A&M Aggies, who were looking unassailable at that time. Those heroics of Noble helped Longhorns to seal the game. Though Noble didn’t have a successful stay at the NFL, he stayed there only for a few matches and wasn’t that Impressive but for his college program, he was the best of his time.
9. Jack Crain
He was there with the Longhorns when the program wasn’t performing too well and was going through their low times. He played along with Noble, about whom we just discussed in our list. During his stay with the Longhorns, he picked up 7 interceptions, for 160 yards. This is still among the best performances in a single season, which Jack managed in the 1940s.
Crain after his stay with Texas went on to serve the US Navy in the Second World War and after returning from the Navy, he served as a member of the Texas House of Representatives.
8. Stanley Richard
He was built like a defensive player, he always found himself close to the ball in the play. Stanley was considered the most successful defensive backs in the Texas Longhorns in the 1980s.
He received an All-American title in 1990. Richard had 13 interceptions to his name during his entire career which takes him to the fifth position in the list of Texas career interceptions list.
That’s not all; he is also at the 6th spot when talking about all-time career passes for Texas with 44 passes and six interceptions in the season of 1988.
Stanley had an impressive stay at the NFL as well, he played for the San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins for 7 long years.
7. Jerry Gray
Jerry is a two time All-American title holder for the Longhorns. In the season of 1984, he was at his peak and was taking the opponents by storm. He amassed 7 interceptions in that season, that helped him to 16 career interceptions during his stay with the Longhorns. With 16 career interceptions, he is third in the list of most interceptions for Texas. Jerry had a decent stay in the NFL and played for the clubs like Houston Tampa Bay, and Oilers Los Angeles Rams.
Later he joined the Buffalo Bills as an assistant coach.
6. Quentin Jammer
The number 6 for the program is still rated as the fastest player for the program. He was always involved in the game and somehow managed to find himself at the right time in the right place.
In the final season of his with the Longhorns, he tallied 24 pass breakups, most by anyone. This helped him end with 57 career pass breakups for the program.
But this was only the beginning of his professional career, he played for the San Diego Chargers, and impressed everyone with his 525 tackles and 14 interceptions for the club.
5. Mossy Cade
Mossy sits comfortably at the fifth spot on our list. He was at the peak of his game in the season of 1983, he picked up 6 interceptions in that season which is the second-highest in the history of the program. He ended up with 11 career interceptions for the Texas Longhorns. Alongside he also had 37 career pass breakups which take him to the seventh position in all-time high pass breakups.
He played briefly in the NFL for Green Bay Packers, but his stay in the NFL was halted by a personal reason and he never returned to the playing field.
4. Derrick Hatchett
Considered as the best defensive back for the program in the decade of the 70’s Derrick was a perfect team man. His 6 interceptions in the season of 1979 are still considered as the best season for him. He has 15 total career interceptions which take him to the top 5 list in the history of the program.
He also had 54 career pass breakups which made him sit at the third spot in the all-time high list. Derrick played 3 years in the NFL for 3 seasons for the Houston Oilers and Baltimore Colts.
3. Chris Carter
Chris has a glorious past, his career stats will speak for himself, he is the first ranked player in the all-time high return yardage with 261 yards that also includes 146 return yards in the season of 1995.
His 15 interceptions take him to the 5th spot in the all-time career-high interceptions. Only defender in the list of all-time high tackles with 401 tackles to his name. Out of the 265 are solo tackles. Many NFL teams had an eye on Chris considering his abilities to break passes. This is the reason he played for the teams like, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, and Houston Texas for 5 seasons. He retired in 2002.
2. Earl Thomas
Many would argue that why Earl isn’t in the first place, well the most acceptable answer could be his short stay with the Longhorns. We are talking about Longhorns so we must prioritize the performance for Longhorns.
In the season of 2009, we saw the best of Earl, he totaled 8 interceptions in that season with 2 of them being converted into touchdowns.
This made him shine bright in the NFL draft, he was signed by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2010 draft of NFL. He was among the youngest players to be signed in the NFL draft. This also meant his shortened stay with the Longhorns program. He went on to have a very successful career in the NFL.
1. Nathan Vasher
Finally, we are down to our number 1 man, the best defensive back in the history of the Texas Longhorns. Nathan is the all-time leader in pass breakups with 64 in total, he also had 17 all-time interceptions to his name. He has the joint-second interceptions in a season.
Nathan was a versatile player, which is hard to witness with the level of consistency he showed. He also played as a kick and punt returner. He returned kicks for a total of 1,314 yards. Out of these kicks, two were converted into touchdowns and 1314 yards is the all-time high by any player. He was almost certain to have a profound NFL career and had similar faith.
So that’s all for our countdown of the most remarkable Defensive Backs in the history of Texas Longhorns, do tell us how you felt about this article, and we are always open for suggestions.