Karras, Kinnick On ESPN's Top 150 List

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz touches the Nile Kinnick statue outside of Kinnick Stadium before a game last season. Kinnick and fellow former Iowa player Alex Karras were honored on ESPN's list of the top 150 college football players of all-time. (Jeffrey Becker/USA Today Sports)

John Bohnenkamp

Legendary Iowa players Alex Karras and Nile Kinnick were among ESPN's list of top 150 players all-time in college football, released Monday night.

The list was compiled as part of ESPN's commemoration of the 150th year of college football.

Karras came in at No. 94 on the list, while Kinnick was at No. 137.

Karras, who played defensive tackle at Iowa from 1955-57, was the first Iowa player to earn first-team All-American honors in two seasons. He was a part of the 1956 team that won the Big Ten and played in the Rose Bowl. A year later, Karras won the Outland Trophy and was the runner-up in the Heisman Trophy balloting. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Karras went on to play in the NFL from 1958-70 with the Detroit Lions, and was selected to Pro Bowl four times. After his NFL career was finished, Karras became an actor, appearing in such movies as Paper Lion and Blazing Saddles and also appeared in the TV show Webster. He worked as a commentator on ABC's Monday Night Football for three seasons. Karras died in 2012.

Kinnick, who played at Iowa from 1937-39, won the Heisman Trophy in 1939. A two-way player, Kinnick had 2,169 yards of total offense and 18 interceptions. He was a Phi Beta Kappa and joined the Navy after his college career was over. Kinnick, who was a pilot in the Navy, died in a crash during a training flight at age 24.

Kinnick, who was one of Iowa's famed "Ironmen" on that 1939 team, was a consensus All-American in his senior season, and also won the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Trophy, given to the best player in college football.

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