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BTN Presents The Candidates for Minnesota's Golden Gopher Mount Rushmore

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Help determine what Minnesota players will be featured by the Big Ten Network.

Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images

I mentioned last week that the BTN has partnered with SB Nation to help determine the "Mt. Rushmore" of Golden Gopher Football.  A list of candidates has been prepared and now it is up to you guys to help determine the four who make it.

Before we get to the candidates and their list of accomplishments I should remind you of the criteria used.

1. Football only.
2. Former student-athletes only - coaches and current student-athletes are not being considered.
3. On-the-field accomplishments while in college only - professional career will not be a factor. Accomplishments that were reviewed include, but are not limited to, career statistics; awards won; and team success.
4. Particular student-athletes were intentionally removed from consideration due to off-the-field transgressions and/or criminal activity.

So with that said here are your Gopher candidates and at the bottom of the post you can cast your vote...

(additional TDG analysis of the list and who truly belongs may be forthcoming)

Bobby Bell (1960-62)

- College Football Hall of Fame Inductee, 1991
- Finished 3rd in Heisman Trophy voting; Outland Trophy winner (top interior lineman), 1962
- Two-time consensus All-American (1961-62)
- Member of Gophers National Championship team, 1960
- NFL 1970's All-Decade Team, Super Bowl IV Champion (Chiefs)

Tom Brown (1958-60)

- College Football Hall of Fame Inductee, 2003
- Finished 2nd in Heisman Trophy voting, 1960 (highest finish ever by a lineman)
- Outland Trophy winner (top interior lineman) & Chicago Tribune Silver Football Award, 1960
- Member of Gophers National Championship team, 1960
- Nicknamed "The Rock of Gibralter" for his prowess on the offensive line

Tyrone Carter (1996-99)

- Jim Thorpe Award winner (nation's top defensive back), 1999
- Recorded 584 tackles (414 solo) during career, both NCAA records
- Two-time All-American (1998-99)
- Voted team MVP twice (1998-99)
- Two-time Super Bowl Champion (XL & XLIII)

Greg Eslinger (2002-05)

- Outland (nation's top interior lineman) and Rimington (nation's top center) Trophy winner, 2005
- Two-time All-American (2004-05) & three-time All-Big Ten First-team selection (2003-05)
- Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year, 2005
- Four-year starting center for Gophers
- Gophers combined for over 6,300 rushing yards over two All-American seasons (2004-05)

Paul Giel (1951-53)

- College Football Hall of Fame Inductee, 1975
- Finished 2nd in Heisman Trophy voting, 1953
- Two-time Chicago Tribune Silver Football Award, 1952-53
- Over three seasons he accounted for 4,110 total yds and 35 TD's
- Went on to pitch for four teams during six-year MLB career (1954-61)

Pug Lund (1932-34)

- College Football Hall of Fame Inductee, 1958
- Two-time All-American Halfback (1933-34)
- Chicago Tribune Silver Football Award, 1934
- Captain, 1934 National Championship team
- Rushed for school record 2,264 yds during career

Bronco Nagurski (1927-29)

- Charter member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame
- Led nation with 737 rush yds in 1929, earning All-American honors at Halfback and Tackle
- Scored game-winning TD vs Wisconsin in 1928 while wearing corset to protect broken vertebrae
- NFL's 50th & 75th Anniversary Team, NFL All-Decade 1930's team, Three-time NFL Champion (Bears)
- Since 1993, the Bronco Nagurski Trophy has been awarded to the "Nation's best defensive player"

Bruce Smith (1939-41)

- College Football Hall of Fame Inductee, 1972
- His #54 jersey became first to be removed from Gophers roster, 1977
- Heisman Trophy winner, 1941
- Led Gophers to two undefeated, National Championship seasons (1940-41)
- Scored three game-winning TD's in 1940 with team trailing in 2nd half

Sandy Stephens (1959-61)

- College Football Hall of Fame Inductee, 2011
- Finished 4th in Heisman Trophy voting, 1961
- Chicago Tribune Silver Football Award, 1961
- Gophers first African-American QB; Led Gophers to 1960 National Championship
- 1962 Rose Bowl MVP and Member of Rose Bowl Hall of Fame (Gophers only Rose Bowl victory)

Darrell Thompson (1986-89)

- Gophers all-time leader in rushing yds (4,654 yds) and rush TD's (40)
- Three-time All-Big Ten selection
- Two-time MVP, three-time Team Offensive Player of the Year
- 1986 Big Ten Freshman of the Year
- Since 2011 the Big Ten's Freshman of the Year receives the Thompson-Randle El Award

Wait...clearly there has been an egregious oversight.  I'll add one more and talk to the folks at BTN about getting him added to the voting widget below.

Adam Weber

- Gophers all-time leader in passing yds (10,917 yds) 
- nevermind, Jeffrick says I can't include Weber

But please vote below!