Great on great

Among college football greats, Barry Sanders is a recurring favorite name. Malcolm Emmons/US Presswire

This story appears in the Oct. 3 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

They say it takes one to know one, so in an attempt to determine the best college football player ever, we asked the oldest living Heisman winner to name the best player he's ever seen. Then we went to that guy and asked the same question, then approached his pick and asked again ... and we kept going until a name came up twice. The players might not surprise you, but the path through history almost certainly will.

Johnny Lujack, Notre Dame, Quarterback

1947 Heisman, 1947 AP Male Athlete of the Year, 1960 College Football Hall of Fame inductee

His pick: Roger Staubach

"He was a great leader and a great player. He won the Heisman in his junior year. He went into the service and then went with the Dallas Cowboys and had an awfully good career."