Countdown to Kickoff: 32 Days (Anthony Thompson)

 Anthony Thompson was the greatest running back to don the block "I" helmets. 

Anthony Thompson was the greatest running back to don the block "I" helmets. 

Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)


Anthony Thompson

College football is so close we can practically smell the burning charcoal, taste the ice cold beverages, and hear our favorite fight songs. We are on day 32 of Hoosier Huddle's Countdown to Kickoff series and today's number needs very little introduction. Anthony Thompson.

Anthony Thompson is one of the best, if not the best, player to ever take the field in Indiana and Big Ten football history. A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Thompson led the charge in what is the most successful run in the history of Indiana football.

Thompson rewrote the Indiana record book in his tenure (1986-89) as he rushed for 5,299 yards and 67 touchdowns as he led the Hoosiers to three bowl games in four years.

Some of his highlights include a 377-yard rushing performance against Wisconsin that stood as the Big Ten record for most rushing yards in a game until Melvin Gordon broke it in 2014 (408 yards), two wins over Ohio State, and 67 touchdowns. 

He was named an All-American in both his junior and senior seasons in 1988 and '89 and won the prestigious Chicago Tribune Silver Football Award those same years. He also won both the Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards in 1989 as well.

After his career at Indiana, Thompson went on play in 37 games in the NFL over a brief three year career in which he scored six touchdowns. Thompson was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007 and currently works in the IU athletic department as an associate athletic director.