Here it is folks. The moment you’ve all been waiting for. Against All Enemies’ Top Service Academy Quarterbacks of All-Time.
10. Trent Steelman
There’s no doubt that Trent Steelman is among the Top 10 all-time quarterbacks to play for a service academy. However, deciding exactly where he falls among the bunch is an incredibly difficult task. His numbers are stellar: 3,320 career rushing yards, 59 total touchdowns, and an average of 4.3 yards per carry over four years. As a four year starter, Steelman proved that his durability and toughness was unmatched. Unfortunately, the lack of team wins during his time at West Point, from 2008-2011, prevents him from being higher on our list.
9. Ahmad Bradshaw
Coming in at No. 9 on our list is the most recent standout from West Point, Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw is a fan favorite for his role in reviving the Army Football program from nearly a decade of a struggles. Specifically, Bradshaw led the Black Knights in their victory over Navy in 2016, breaking a 14-year losing streak against the Midshipmen. The next year, he led the Black Knights to a 10-3 season, including a victory in Armed Forces Bowl. This successful 2017 season set Army up for a historic, 2018 season and played a prominent role in recent recruiting efforts. Bradshaw owns the Army single-season rushing record of 1,746 yards and is the last Army quarterback to beat Navy twice since Ronnie McAda (more on him later).
8. Ricky Dobbs
Although, Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada was the Navy quarterback who beat Notre Dame for the first time in 44 years, Ricky Dobbs was the one who led the Midshipmen in back-to-back wins over the Irish in 2009 and 2010. In those games against Notre Dame, Dobbs had both passing and rushing touchdowns. This is significant because he is one of the few quarterbacks in recent service academy history to demonstrate a high level of passing ability. Dobbs was a strong Heisman contender heading into his senior year. Despite his season not playing out as well as he hoped, Dobbs still finished his Navy career with 49 rushing touchdowns, 20 passing touchdowns, and a career quarterback rating of 157.1.
7. Beau Morgan
We’re going all the way back to the 90s with this selection. Beau Morgan, our first Air Force quarterback to make the list, terrorized the WAC from 1994-1996, and led Air Force to three straight winning seasons. Morgan posted back-to-back years of over 1,000 yards rushing during his junior and senior campaigns, winning WAC Offensive Player of the Year in the latter. He finds himself third on the Falcon’s all-time rushing list with 3,379 yards, which he compiled in just three seasons. Finally, Morgan finished 10th in the 1996 Heisman voting.
6. Malcolm Perry
The statistics speak for themselves; however, they don’t tell the whole story. Malcolm Perry posted 4,359 rushing yards during his career as a Navy Midshipmen. As a senior, he amassed an incredibly 2,017 rushing yards. During that same senior season, Perry led his team to a historic, 11-2 record, which included wins against Army and Kansas State in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
But, Malcolm Perry didn’t even start at quarterback for the majority of his sophomore and junior years. Had Coach Ken Niumatalolo stuck with Perry during those years, his numbers would be astronomical. With the 2020 NFL Draft approaching, we will have to wait and see which team decides to take a chance on Perry.
5. Terry Isaacson
Terry Isaacson’s legacy as an Air Force graduate spans far past his performance on the football field. Isaacson was the first significant quarterback to play for the Falcons. But, once football season was over, he quickly began cutting weight so he could wrestle at 167 pounds. He was a three-time All-American wrestler with his best performance being in the 1962 NCAA Tournament where he finished in second place. Sports in the 1960s were obviously much different than what we know today. But, for his era, Isaacson was doing at Air Force what Joe Bellino and Roger Staubach were doing at Navy. Isaacson went on to have a decorated career in the Air Force.
4. Ronnie McAda
Ronnie McAda took over as the starting quarterback for Army in the middle of the 1994 season when he was a sophomore. Even though the Black Knights posted just a 4-7 season that year, it ended on a high note with a win over Navy. McAda slowly improved the Army program over the next two years while never losing to Navy. His last season at West Point was a historic one, taking Army to a 10-2 record and finishing at No. 25 in the final AP Poll.
3. Dee Dowis
Dee Dowis is our final Falcon’s quarterback in our Top 10 all-time service academy quarterbacks. Dowis played at Air Force in the late 1980s and is easily regarded as the best Air Force quarterback ever. Dowis was not only a phenomenal runner, but he was also an exceptional passer. In his senior season, Dowis passed for 1,285 yards and ran for just one more yard - 1,286. At the time, Dowis was just the fifth quarterback in NCAA history to pass and run for over 1,000 yards in a single season. Additionally, at the end of his senior year, Dowis held the all-time rushing record by a quarterback in NCAA history. Lastly, he finished sixth in Heisman voting in 1989.
2. Keenan Reynolds
Keenan Reynolds is simply the greatest option quarterback to ever play the game. As a starter, Reynolds holds a record of 35-12 with four wins over Army, three wins over Air Force, and three bowl game victories. He holds the FBS record for the most rushing yards by a quarterback (4,559) and most career rushing touchdowns (88). Additionally, Reynolds had 31 passing touchdowns. The Tennessee native terrorized defenses. He was frequently able to change the play call at the line of scrimmage to a better one, which is abnormal at the college level, because of his incredibly detailed study and thorough understanding of the opposing defense. Since his collegiate career ended, Reynolds saw his number retired by Navy and he’s spent time in the NFL and XFL.
1. Roger Staubach
There isn’t much argument here. Roger Staubach is the only service academy quarterback to ever win the Heisman Trophy. If that wasn’t enough to make him No. 1, Staubach returned from serving on active duty in the Navy to play for the Dallas Cowboys. He played in four Super Bowls and won two of them. He is one of four players in history to win both the Heisman Trophy and Super Bowl MVP. Staubach finished his football career as a 6-time Pro Bowler, Hall of Famer, and member of the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. Staubach also was recently named to the ESPN All-Time All-American Team as the quarterback of the first team offense in celebration of the 150th anniversary of college football this past year.