With the conclusion of the 2019 football season, the Liberty football team saw the end of careers of some of the best players to ever wear the Liberty jersey.
That got us thinking, who are the best at each position to ever play at Liberty? We started with the quarterbacks, and have also discussed the running backs, wide receivers, and defensive backs. Today, we move to the linebackers.
Here’s our ranking, be sure to let us know where we messed up and who we left off:
5. Nick Sigmon (2011-2014)
Out of Roanoke, Virginia, Sigmon was one of former head coach Danny Rocco’s most sought after recruits during his time in Lynchburg, and Sigmon didn’t disappoint once he got on campus.
A 4-year starter, Sigmon was named either first or second-team all-Big South each and every season. Additionally, he was named 2nd-team all-state in 2012 and 2014. He finished his career with over 200 career tackles while also leading the team in tackles in 2013.
4. Damon Bomar (1993-1996)
Bomar is 4th all-time on Liberty’s career tackles list with 385 and is also the career leader in fumble recoveries. He was named a third-team All-American in his senior season when he led the team in tackles.
He was part of one of Liberty’s better teams in 1995 when he helped lead the Flames to an 8-3 record, including wins over nationally-ranked UCF and Western Kentucky.
3. Jesse Riley (1995-1998)
Jesse Riley became Liberty’s first Associated Press first-team All-American in 1998, and it was one of several All-American honors for the former Liberty football star. In 1996, he was named an honorable mention All-American and in 1997 and 1998 he was named second-team All-American by Football Gazette.
Additionally, Riley was named first-team all-state in 1998, and he ranks 3rd time all-time in career tackles at Liberty with 394 after leading the team in tackles in both 1997 and 1998. Riley was also named the I-AA Independent Defensive Player of the year in 1998.
2. John Sanders (1979-1982)
Sanders is the only player in Liberty history with more than 500 career tackles, as he ranks first in school history with 550. He led the team in tackles in 3 seasons and finished with 100 or more tackles all four seasons he took the gridiron, the only player to do so in school history.
Sanders was named the first Kodak All-American at Liberty in the college division in 1982, as he was named to the first-team All-American team. Sanders was named to Liberty’s Hall of Fame in 2012.
He helped Liberty post a combined 27-13-2 record during his career with three seasons of seven or more victories including the 1979 team which finished 9-1-1.
1. Mickey Paige (1985-1988)
Paige was named to Liberty’s Hall of Fame in 2019. He was Liberty’s first NCAA Division I football All-American. He finished his four-year career as a Flame with 427 career tackles, which ranks second in school history. Paige and Sanders are the only two players in program history with 400 or more career tackles.
In addition to his All-American selections in 1987 and 1988, Paige was named first-team all-state in 1987. Following his playing days at Liberty, he played for the Washington Commandos of the Arena Football League for two seasons.