#72 in your program, #1 in our hearts: Glenn Dorsey
On Glenn Dorsey's very first collegiate snap, he forced a fumble. And so began the career of the greatest defensive player in LSU history. Dorsey was the centerpiece player of a defense that spanned perhaps the greatest four years in this program's history, which was carried by a dominant defense.
As good LSU fans, we all know the story that Dorsey spent part of his childhood in metal braces to correct his severely bowed legs. But let's not turn him into the real-life Forrest Gump, Dorsey was a phenomenal talent and one of the top recruits in the country. He had worked his way into the starting lineup by the end of 2004, his freshman year. He actually took a step backwards in his sophomore year, as he was part of a defensive tackle rotation, and did not get the start ahead of All-Americans Kyle Williams and Claude Wroten. He still managed four TFL's and three sacks, making his mark as the next great lineman at LSU.
As a junior, Dorsey became the focal point of the defense. He would register another 3 sacks and 8.5 TFL's, in all recording 64 total tackles. The defense itself was one of the nation's best, and Dorsey was the lynchpin holding it together. Actually, I go on about the 2003 defense, but the 2006 defense was no slouch: allowing 242.77 yards/game (3rd in the nation), 92.19 passer rating (3rd), 97.08 rushing yards/game (14th), and 12.62 points/game (4th). Dorsey was named first-team All American.
It is a popular myth that Dorsey's play dipped in his senior year, primarily due to the chop block that shall not be named. When LSU fans bitch about crappy SEC officiating, the egregious shot at Dorsey's knees that went unflagged is Exhibit A. However, the numbers don't bear out any dip in quality. He made 69 tackles, 12.5 TFL's, and 7 sacks; all career highs. The team defensive numbers took a bit of a dip, but a lot of that is due to playing in two overtime games. Dorsey won just about every award a defensive player can win: the Nagurski, Outland, Lott, and Lombardi Awards. If he were an offensive player, he surely would have won the Heisman as the best player on the best team in the nation.
Glenn Dorsey capped the season with five tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble against Ohio St. in the national title game. Just as his career began, so it ended: with Dorsey forcing a fumble and LSU winning the game. The next time he steps foot on the field at Tiger Stadium, it should be for his number being retired. He was the greatest player during LSU's greatest decade. He is this generation's Billy Cannon.