College football is filled with historic figures, some of whom have become bigger than life as the years have passed. These are the kind of figures who would be carved in stone somewhere in South Dakota as a monument to all they accomplished.
With that in mind, we here at CBS Sports have decided to build Mount Rushmores for some of college football's most historic programs. Today, we look at the men who have helped Texas A&M thrive over the years.
Of all the Mount Rushmores we have created -- which you will see in the coming weeks -- Texas A&M's might be the most player-friendly.
That speaks volumes about the Aggies program historically. There have been moments of flash and stints of success but little of it has been sustained long-term. It's difficult, then, to justify many coaches over the Jimmys and the Joes.
Let's put it this way: One of A&M's most iconic coaches, Bear Bryant, is even more iconic elsewhere (Alabama). R.C. Slocum (1989-2002) had the most successful tenure, leading the Aggies to 123 wins, three Southwest Conference titles and one Big 12 title.
And Jackie Sherrill ... well ... he got A&M in trouble with the NCAA.
Slocum was the closest any coach came to landing among A&M's big four. Instead, we landed on these four that truly brought glory to the Aggies.
John David Crow, halfback, 1955-57: The overall order or importance among A&M's Mount Rushmore can be debated -- except for the first slot. This is Crow's place unequivocally. He was the program's first Heisman Trophy winner and a first-round draft pick in the earlier days of professional football. Later on, he became A&M's athletic director from 1988-93.
He's also connected to Bryant, which adds to his lore. Even though A&M served as a stepping-stone for Bryant on his path to Tuscaloosa, alabama, he remains one of the best coaches the program ever had. That linkage played a role in Crow being A&M's most iconic player.
Crow's career wasn't the most prolific in Texas A&M history. He didn't score the most touchdowns or run for the most yardage, but he's forever considered the most recognizable player to come through College Station, Texas. In 2015, Crow died in 2015 at the age of 79.
Accolades: 1957 Heisman Trophy, College Football Hall of Fame, All-American
Memorable quote: "I owe Coach Bryant so much for so many things. I certainly owe him for me winning the 1957 Heisman Trophy. He'd mentioned to a bunch of sportswriters earlier in the year that if I didn't win the Heisman they should stop giving it. I had a good senior year, but I truly believe that he is the reason I won the Heisman."
Dat Nguyen, linebacker 1995-98: Considered by many to be too small to play linebacker, Nguyen went on to become one of the most prolific defenders to ever play football in College Station. His 517 career tackles remains No. 1 on A&M's all-time list. He is regarded as one of the cornerstones of the Aggies' "wrecking crew" defense.
Though known for his tackling, Nguyen's interception in the 1998 Cotton Bowl remains one of his finest plays. He picked off Cade McNown's pass and returned it 19 yards before lateraling it to Brandon Jennings, who returned it 64 yards for the score. Texas A&M ultimately lost 29-23.
Nguyen again proved size wasn't a hindrance when the Dallas Cowboys drafted him into the NFL in 1999. Nguyen was selected to a pair of All-Pro teams in 2003 and ultimately played seven seasons with the Cowboys. Other more gifted defenders have come through Texas A&M over the years, including one on this Mount Rushmore, but none were more consistently productive than Nguyen.
Accolades: Bednarik Award, Lombardi Award, All-American, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year
Johnny Manziel, quarterback, 2012-13: No player in Texas A&M history was more transcendent, and more controversial, than Manziel. It's not just that he won the Heisman Trophy as a redshirt freshman in 2012. It's that he became an instant force during A&M's first season in the SEC -- a season in which the Aggies were largely dismissed by conference and national media.
But there was Manziel, scrambling around in the backfield, evading supposedly superior defenders with a head-on-a-swivel look that resembled Michael Vick at Virginia Tech. No coach could teach what Manziel brought to the game and the freshman accounted for more than 5,100 yards in his first year as a starter. Manziel has enough jaw-dropping plays to make an hours-long highlight reel. However, only one play cemented him as a Heisman favorite: his scramble-touchdown pass in a stunning win over Alabama in 2012.
Manziel's NFL career is far less memorable. He'll go down as one of the bigger busts in recent memory and his off-field issues proved to be too much. Still, there was a time in which Manziel was great for college football. That's what earns him a spot here.
Accolades: 2012 Heisman Trophy, Davey O'Brien Award, Manning Award, consensus All-American, AP Player of the Year, SEC Offensive Player of the Year
Von Miller, linebacker, 2007-10: Miller is known now as a difference maker in the Denver Broncos' defense, but he was practically unstoppable with the Aggies. One of the most disruptive defenders for his time, Miller was the Big 12 leader in forced fumbles in 2009 and finished fourth in the entire FBS that year. Miller also led the NCAA that season with 17 sacks and 22 tackles for loss.
Miller was primarily known as an outstanding pass rusher, but his decision to return as a senior and develop into a more complete player paid dividends as he was selected No. 2 overall by the Broncos in 2011. The Mike Sherman era, like many at A&M before it, never quite took off as planned, but Sherman ended up recruiting numerous future NFL-caliber players. Miller is easily among the more famous.
Accolades: Dick Butkus Award, consensus All-American
Just missed the cut: R.C. Slocum (coach, 1989-2002), Paul "Bear" Bryant (coach, 1954-57).