Note: This is No. 1 of a series of 10 profiles on the top 10 former TCU athletes still working in professional sports. The rankings, while completely unscientific and definitely up for debate, are based, in part, on the players' current and recent success, their status on their team and in their league, and their career achievement. Please feel free to complain about the order or any omissions. Email me at email@example.com to make your argument and perhaps you'll convince me to add them to a best of the rest list after we count down the top 10.
No. 10 Marcus Cannon, New England Patriots
No. 9 Ronnie Baker, track and field
No. 8 Angela Stanford, LPGA
No. 7 Josh Doctson, Washington Redskins
No. 6 J.J. Henry, PGA
No. 5 Jerry Hughes, Buffalo Bills
No. 4 Jake Arrieta, Philadelphia Phillies
No. 3 Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
No. 2 Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
No. 1 LaDainian Tomlinson, Pro Football Hall of Fame, NFL Network analyst
Few football players who wore a TCU uniform had a better professional career than running back LaDainian Tomlinson. In fact, few players in any uniform did more than LT.
The 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee became an NFL superstar for the San Diego Chargers during an 11-year career that included five Pro Bowls and six All-Pro selections. His 2006 season earned him NFL MVP honors after 1,850 yards and a record 28 rushing touchdowns. His all-time legend status is set in stone in both the NFL and NCAA.
He is sixth in career rushing yards (13,684), ninth in all-purpose yards (18,456) and only Emmitt Smith scored more rushing touchdowns than Tomlinson's 145. The next closest on the list has 123 and the next closest active player is Adrian Peterson with 99. His 162 overall touchdowns is third all-time.
He's also, of course, in the College Football Hall of Fame and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame after head-turning junior and senior seasons for the Frogs. His 5,387 rushing yards are still the 12th most in NCAA history (since 1956). His 2,158 yards in 2000 remain the 9th most in a single season. Tomlinson owns six of the top 10 single-game rushing performances in TCU history, which includes his record 406 yards and six touchdowns against UTEP in 1999.
If his on-the-field greatness wasn't enough, he's also been the best ambassador for TCU football, especially since retiring from the game in 2012. His reputation as a football legend mixed with his inspiring life story, so touchingly described during his Hall of Fame acceptance speech a summer ago, continues to be a beacon of light for young players hoping to follow in his footsteps.
He has put that desire to help into action with his Touching Lives Foundation, which has been providing scholarships for the seven years. He teamed up with the Star-Telegram earlier this month for the inaugural Star-Telegram's Tomlinson Honors.
The national television platform Tomlinson has as an analyst on the NFL Network gives him a chance to wield his measured and sometimes candid takes on today's game and keeps TCU's brand on a national stage. In April, he was named to TCU's board of trustees.
Now that's real power.