Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented? | TigerDroppings.com

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Doc Fenton
LSU Fan
Member since Feb 2007
50900 posts

Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


I was just looking over the era of LSU football from 1951 to 1975, and I was struck by how low some famous LSU players went in the NFL Draft during that period:

Some Notable LSU Players in the Draft
(Selection #, Position, Year of NFL Draft, Name)
184, DB, 1968, Sammy Grezaffi
211, RB, 1975, Brad Davis
216, LB, 1971, Mike Anderson
421, DB, 1970, George Bevan

Then I got to thinking about that old thread of mine from January 2011 about how the HBCUs started totally outclassed LSU in the NFL Drafts from about the spring of '66 to the spring of '74. (Collis Temple Sr. was chosen as a sort of throw-away pick in the late rounds of the spring of 1974, and Mike Williams was taken as the 22nd pick overall in 1975.)

That's when all these guys played, but unlike the LSU star backs of the late 50's and early 60's (Taylor, Cannon, Robinson, Rabb, Stovall, Harris, Gros, Branch, etc.), they didn't seem to be highly regarded by NFL scouts. I'm just trying to figure out why that was.

There were of course legit super-talented stars from that time at LSU (see Tommy Casanova, Bert Jones, and Andy Hamilton), but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to measure Anderson-Bevan-Grezaffi-Davis against former LSU players from the 1950s and early 1960s, like maybe a Dennis Gaubatz--or even a player from the 1970s, like a Bo Harris who was picked 77th in the 1975 NFL Draft.

If anybody has input, comments, suggestions, just let it fly.



Sam Grezaffi, #30



Brad Davis, #48



George Bevan, #42



Mike Anderson, #45



Bo Harris's 1980 Topps card







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Jim Rockford
LSU Fan
Member since May 2011
34891 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


There are some LSU bowl games from the early-mid seventies on youtube, inclucing an Orange Bowl vs Nebraska and I think one against Penn State. Apart from the obvious guys like Casanova, most of the players aren't all that impressive physically. Small and just look unathletic. Same goes for the opponents, BTW. Two or three natural freakish athletes on each team and the rest fairly ordinary looking.





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Doc Fenton
LSU Fan
Member since Feb 2007
50900 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


Yeah. Just looking at photos from old LSU teams, sometimes I get the impression that the guys from the Dietzel years were just bigger/stronger/faster than the guys from the late McClendon years ... like maybe he just ran an inferior strength & conditioning program or something.

There were always exceptions to the rule, and guys like John DeMarie, Ronnie Estay, Dan Alexander, Bo Harris, A.J. Duhe, etc., who did fine and had no problem in the pros, but then some of these other guys just don't look like big-time college athletes at all.






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chatuey
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2008
201 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


George Bevan was very similar to the Honey Badger in size and in that he made a lot of big plays. He was a tackling machine. Mike Anderson was a close second in my opinion.

Grezaffi was a great DB and punt returner. I am pretty sure all 3 were named All Americans at some point.

LSU had another tremendous punt returner named Craig Burns just prior to Grezaffi that I don't see his name anywhere when great punt returners are mentioned. He broke several for TD's and/or long punt returns. I think he was a teammate of Bevan at Baton Rouge High as well.






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ElderTiger
LSU Fan
Planet Earth
Member since Dec 2010
1305 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


As I recall, Mike Anderson had the size to play pro ball but came out of college with a bum knee.
George Bevan was just a freak of nature. He was really too small to play but was damn good at just knocking the snot out of people in college.
One other thing that is overlooked is that playing pro ball was not as big a priority then as know. You talk to a lot of players from that era and they will tell that getting a free college education was what they were after not getting prepared for the NFL.
That and the NFL was a smaller league that didn't pay nearly what it pays now.






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crazyLSUfan
LSU Fan
LA (Lower Alabama)
Member since Aug 2006
4552 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


Really cool thread Doc. I like old discussions like this. Wish I could go back in time and watch some of those old teams





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kjacksonp
South Alabama Fan
Mobile, AL
Member since Dec 2006
952 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


I recall that a few years after Bevan graduated and went on to law school and finished, he was representing an LSU player (forgot who) that was trying to get on the Houston Oilers (Tenn. Titans). Sports Illustrated carried a short note about Houston's response to the effect that they had no interest in the player he was representing, but they would welcome Bevan for tryout.

When assigned the "two point prevention" against Auburn in '69 (Pat Sullivan/Terry Beasley) when Auburn had scored late in the game to make it 21-20, Bevan saw a gap and shot through to block the extra point and preserve the win for LSU. He was a play-maker.






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aaronb023
LSU Fan
Boxtard Baseball Club
Member since Feb 2005
10535 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


I used to work for bevan CSB





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Beached Tiger
LSU Fan
United States of Socialist America
Member since Aug 2007
362 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


Anderson blew out his knee in his jr. year. Was drafted by the Steelers with Jack Ham. He failed the physical because of his knee. Played a couple of years of Canadian ball before his knee gave out. Was a hell of a LB before the injury.





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dreww221
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2009
180 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


You and thousands of other people at Shaw.





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inadaze
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2010
1654 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


I have no idea about this, but it is very interesting. I'm going to bookmark these 2 threads, as I have the 1926-1950 All-Time LSU Team thread, so I can go back and read them in full, when I have more free time.

I always enjoy reading your posts, Doc.






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TJG210
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Aug 2006
22034 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


Collins temple played football too???





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kjacksonp
South Alabama Fan
Mobile, AL
Member since Dec 2006
952 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


quote:

LSU had another tremendous punt returner named Craig Burns just prior to Grezaffi that I don't see his name anywhere when great punt returners are mentioned. He broke several for TD's and/or long punt returns. I think he was a teammate of Bevan at Baton Rouge High as well.


Burns was a contemporary of Casanova, also, and somewhat overshadowed by his punt returns, etc.
In the 51-17 Ole Miss blow out of ?1970, Burns returned one for a touchdown, but Casanova returned two---three punt returns for TD in one game.






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chatuey
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2008
201 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


Thanks for reminding us of T Casanova's 2 punt returns in that same game. Wasn't it 61-17? and Archie Manning played most of the game wearing a cast in his left broken arm!


This post was edited on 5/12 at 3:00 pm


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Topisawtiger
LSU Fan
Mississippi
Member since Oct 2012
731 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


Yeah it was 61-17. The local channel even showed it again in the middle of the week. I remember how mad Art Cantrelle got when he didn't score a TD on one particular play. That guy was a maniac. Casanova was a man against boys in that game. And yeah Archie had a cast on his left forearm, the sports announcers made a big to do about that, but it would not have mattered. LSU way outclassed them that year, had to make up for the 24-22 loss to them the year before and the no bowl game. And that was one of only two years that Cholly Mac beat the Bear. Became a big Tiger fan after that game.





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chatuey
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2008
201 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


Well, that game you mentioned still makes me sick because, in my opinion, the coaching staff blew that one by playing 3 QB's in that game and assuming that the 23-12 lead in the 4th quarter was safe.

LSU had the ball near Ole Miss' 20 yard line with the 23-12 lead, and instead of inserting in the game the first string QB that had gotten you most of the points (Mike Hillman), decided to play little used 3rd string QB Butch Duhe. LSU promptly fumbled and Ole Miss recovered, and Archie led them to 2 - 4th Qtr TD's for the 26-23 win.






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tiger81
LSU Fan
Brentwood, TN.
Member since Jan 2008
3486 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


My first LSU game... Tennessee in Knoxville 1967.
Grezaffi takes a kickoff return 100 yards, it was beautiful.






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LSUQB66676811
LSU Fan
Minden, La. 71055
Member since Oct 2012
98 posts

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


Bevan tore his Achilles tendon his soph. year. He had everything except the size to be a top pro. Grezaffi was awful small for the times of big backs in the pros. Bevan and Anderson had the talent. Bevan never completely recovered the speed he once had. Before he was hurt he covered the whole field. Maybe one of the best LSU had in that era.





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I-59 Tiger
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Vestavia Hills, AL
Member since Sep 2003
25621 posts
 Online 

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


quote:

Collins temple played football too???


No,but in the late 1960's through the mid '70's is wasn't that unusal for an NFL team to draft a 6'6" -6' 7" guy who hadn't played college basketball. The Cowboys drafted Pat Riley in the 1967 draft from Kentucky and the Giants drafted Vanderbilt forward Rod Freeman in the 1973 draft.






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FightinTigersDammit
Northwestern St. Fan
Farmerville LA
Member since Mar 2006
6792 posts
 Online 

re: Were Mike Anderson, Bevan, Grezaffi, & Davis really that talented?


Cowboys drafted Pete Gent, Michigan State hoops player, also.





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