Joe Theismann, QB, 1968 – 1970
We kick off this list with one of the best players to ever play for the Irish and one of the greatest quarterbacks to come out of Notre Dame. Theismann amassed a 20-3-2 record for the Irish and set multiple school records along the way. He was an All-American in 1970 and is currently No. 10 on Notre Dame’s all-time passing yards list with 4,411.
Unfortunately, Theismann never won a Heisman and solidified the best name/award combo in the history of sports. He finished 2nd in the 1970 Heisman voting behind Stanford’s Jim Plunkett.
Theismann’s numbers weren’t very impressive, as he finished his career with 31 touchdown passes, 35 interceptions, and a 57% completion percentage. Nonetheless, he won games for the Irish and is still considered to be one of the better quarterbacks to come out of South Bend.
He would go on to be drafted in the 4th round of the 1971 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. After contract negotiations with Miami fell through, he played in the CFL for three years before the Redskins obtained his rights in 1974. He would eventually win a Super Bowl, become an NFL MVP in 1983, and throw for 160 touchdowns in his professional career. Theismann was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.