Rashad Jennings or Eric Green? Mike Brown or Antonio Gandy-Golden? Old school or new school?
Debates over who is the greatest Liberty football player can vary, and we have done our best to identify the best of the best, ranking the greatest players in school history.
With thousands of football players to suit up for the Flames over the years, just making this list is a huge honor, but who will be in the coveted top spot? Today, our list discusses Nos. 40 through 31. Check back each day as we will unveil 30-21 on Wednesday and the entire top 50, including the top 10, by Friday.
40. Samkon Gado, RB, 2001-04
Samkon Gado may have the most unique situation out of anyone on this list. Previously listed in our top 5 running backs of all-time, Gado was primarily a backup at Liberty. The Nigerian native only made two career starts as a Flame, as he shared the field with other great Liberty running backs Dre Barnes and Eugene Goodman. Due to this, while Gado made a huge impact on the field, his stats are not too flashy. After graduating from Liberty, Gado went on to have a solid five-year career in the NFL, rushing for 927 yards and 11 touchdowns.
39. Brock Smith, QB, 2005-08
Coming in at number 39 in our top 50, is former QB Brock Smith. Smith also made our top 5 QBs of all-time list, taking the fifth spot. Smith came to Liberty the same time as former coach Danny Rocco, and was a huge part of turning the Flames football program around. Smith ranks in the top 5 of Liberty’s career record books for passing yards (No. 5, 7,036), touchdown passes (No. 4, 50), passing efficiency (No. 2, 148.1), total offense (No. 5, 7,189), total touchdowns (No. 5, 54), and completion percentage (No. 4, 60.0%).
38. Kevin Fogg, CB, 2009-13
Former Flames DB Kevin Fogg takes the 38th spot on our list. Also #5 on our top Liberty DBs of all-time, Fogg had a great career as a Flame. Fogg saw significant playing time as a Flame from the time he stepped on campus, as he played in all eleven games his freshman year. When Walt Aikens came to Lynchburg in 2011, Fogg and Aikens combined to make one of the best CB duos in the country. A two-sport athlete at Liberty, Fogg also competed with the Track & Field team as he was known for his speed. This speed allowed him to be a dynamic returner for Liberty as well, which resulted in national awards for his first couple of seasons. Fogg would graduate from Liberty and go on to have a great career as a DB and returner in the CFL.
37. Stephen Sene, OL, 2005-07
OL Stephen Sene is 37th out of our top 50. The South Carolina native and former Gamecock, transferred to Liberty with two years of eligibility remaining. Sene was named 1st team all-conference in the Big South and 2nd team VaSID all-state in 2006, his senior year.
36. John Lunsford, K, 2012-15
Coming in at 36th is kicker John Lunsford. A three-time All American at Liberty, Lunsford has the NCAA record for most kicks beyond 50 yards for an FCS kicker (12). Lunsford ranks second in all-time scoring for Liberty football (294) and field goals (48).
35. Dwayne Carswell, TE, 1991-93
Dwayne Carswell is number 35 in our top 50. Carswell began his career at Liberty as a running back, but switched to TE as a junior. Finishing his career with 511 yards receiving on 65 receptions, and 2 TDs, Carswell would go undrafted in the 1994 NFL Draft. He would, however, sign an undrafted free agent deal with the Denver Broncos, a team with which he would win two Super Bowls in 1998 and 1999. Carswell would also make a Pro-Bowl appearance in 2000.
34. Matt Bevins, K, 2008-11
Matt Bevins is number 34, and is the highest ranking kicker on our list. Bevins is the program’s all-time leader in career points scored (309) and field goals (58). He was a two-time All-America selection, earning first-team honors from the Associated Press, CSN Sweet 63, Phil Steele Postseason, Sports Network and Walter Camp Foundation All-America teams in 2008-09. Bevins was recently named to the Big South Conference’s All-Decade team, (2010-19).
33. Rodney DeGrate, DL, 1994-97
Coming in at 33rd is former Flames DL Rodney DeGrate. Playing in Lynchburg from 1994-97, DeGrate received NCAA I-AA All-Independent first team honors in 1996 & 1997, and was named 2nd Team All-American in 1997. DeGrate is 4th on Liberty’s all-time sack list with 19, and is 2nd on the career fumble recoveries list with 6. After Liberty, DeGrate played professionally in the AFL with the Portland Forest Dragons and the Toronto Argonauts.
32. Jessie Lemonier, DE, 2018-19
Jessie Lemonier is 32nd on our all-time list. After transferring from the JUCO ranks, Lemonier only spent two seasons with the Flames, but still left a lasting impact on Liberty’s program. Lemonier ranks 3rd on Liberty’s all-time sack list with 20.5. Two of those sacks came in the Cure Bowl against Georgia Southern, where Lemonier was named MVP. Lemonier recently signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Los Angeles Chargers.
31. Jason Wells, DL, 1998-2000
DL Jason Wells is number 31 on our list. Playing at Liberty from 1997-2000, Wells is 4th on Liberty’s all-time list for career TFL. He also set the Flame’s single game TFL record with 6, and single season TFL record with 25. Wells was named 1st Team All-American in 2000.