Our list of the Top 100 SU athletes continues with one of the greatest bulldozers in SU history.
You can find the Fizz’s SU Top 100 list here. Make sure you keep checking in to see who made the list and where they are ranked!
Syracuse football is most well known for three great running backs that played in succession, all wearing number 44, Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little. #7 on our list is the guy who came after them.
Larry Csonka was born in Ohio on Christmas day in 1946. He was recruited by Clemson, Iowa, and Vanderbilt, but still ended up on the SU campus in 1965. In his first two seasons as an SU tailback, Csonka played with Floyd Little, together they were unstoppable.
In ‘65 the two combined for 1,860 yards and 19 total touchdowns. The rushing offense of the Orange was elite to say the very least, as the next season they hit opposing defenses with more of the same. The two were again unstoppable, a combined 1,823 yards and 21 touchdowns made up one of the greatest backfields in the history of the game.
Though in ‘67 with Little gone to the NFL, it was Csonka’s time to shine, and shine he did.
Built like a Mack truck at 6’3’’ 237 lbs, it was no easy task taking him down. He flattened defenders left, right, and center, crafting a reputation for himself as one of the best ball-carriers in the country. In that senior season, Csonka put up some astounding numbers. He ran for 1,127 yards, which at the time set a program record (which is pretty impressive taking into account the three guys who came before him), and finished that season 4th in Heisman voting.
Csonka had an incredible college career with SU. When it was all said and done, he had rushed for 2,934 yards, placing him 4th all-time in program history. He was named an All-American in both ‘66 and ‘67 and was selected to the Syracuse All-Century team. As an impressive player as any, Csonka was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987 after an incredible 11-year career with the Dolphins and Giants, as well as the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989.
He absolutely deserves this high of a spot on this list and deserves to be in the conversation as one of the greatest running backs in the history of Syracuse Football.