Hall of Fame Class of 2002
Some players truly transcend their statistics and leave a lasting legacy for fantasy stars years down the road. It’s easy to say that this Virginia Tech Hokie epitomized the term “touchdown vulture” however this would only be a half-truth. Lee Suggs was the sole inspiration behind the term “touchdown vulture” that has become such a part of our fantasy nomenclature. His 2000 campaign was such an exercise in touchdown whoring that he’ll always serve as the standard for running backs that clamor for goal line carries and don’t take a seat until they’ve scored twice.
Lee Suggs redshirted as a freshman in 1998. His 1999 campaign provided little evidence of what was to come, though he did score twice and hurt his knee, and touchdowns and knee injuries would play a leading role in Suggs’ Va. Tech career. Suggs exploded onto the national scene in 2000, and he concluded his career in Blacksburg with an impressive bounce back campaign in 2002. His 2001 season, cut short by a devastating knee injury only 12 carries into the season, was very Suggs-like in that he made sure to score two touchdowns before the injury.
Suggs scored 27 touchdowns in 2000, scoring in every game, and he scored twice in all but two games. In the final two games of the regular season, when owners were pushing for a fantasy title, he scored five and four touchdowns against Central Florida and Virginia.
While his 2001 season was cut short in week one with a torn ACL, he was able to pick up in 2002 following his rehabilitation. He surpassed his rushing total from 2000, scampering for 1320 yards while tacking on another 24 touchdowns (two receiving) to his career total. All this while splitting time with fellow future NFL'er Kevin Jones.
When he was all done as a Hokie Suggs had gained nearly 2900 yards from scrimmage, and he had scored a whopping 54 touchdowns in only 35 collegiate contests.
While his five score performance against Central Florida was impressive, it was the following week’s (11-25-2000) showing against the in-state Cavaliers that gets the nod. With star quarterback Michael Vick nursing an ankle injury, Suggs took control and led Beamer’s boys to an impressive win over George Welsh’s squad from Charlottesville. Suggs ran for three scores and caught a touchdown pass from Vick while capping a 10-1 regular season.
Suggs’ injury woes dogged him for the majority of his professional career. Taken in fourth round, the majority of Suggs’ NFL career was spent as a Cleveland Brown, where he struggled to leave the trainer’s room. His playing days behind him, Suggs was recently named running backs coach at Oberlin College in Ohio.
Suggs will forever be remembered for his huge two seasons as a Virginia Tech Hokie, and as the program has become a national power he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Frank Beamer, Bud Foster and Michael Vick as keys to the resurgence. This touchdown vulture will forever hold a place in the heart of those owners who rode this workhorse to fantasy glory.
2000 & 2002 Stats: 2532 yards rush, 49 TDs rush, 170 yards rec, 3 TDs rec