Every school has one of those bone-crushing, soul-shaking hits that every fan remembers. Texas A&M diehards call theirs “The Hit” by Quentin Coryatt. Alabama’s version is simply known as Cornelius Bennett’s “The Sack.”
Obviously, there are many back-breaking tackles to choose from over a football program’s illustrious history. For Auburn, though, a clear favorite might stand out against the pack.
Back in 2000, Roshard Gilyard laid the boomstick on a poor wide receiver.
Roshard Gilyard’s Hit
The Auburn Tigers have only played the Wyoming Cowboys once, and it came 20 years ago in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn won the game, 35-21, behind running back Rudi Johnson‘s three touchdowns.
During the third quarter, safety Roshard Gilyard made a play that should stick with Auburn fans two decades later.
Wyoming quarterback Jay Stoner dropped back and attempted a slant over the middle to wide receiver Dustin Ralph. As Ralph caught the ball and turned around, Gilyard approached him with a full head of steam.
Gilyard not only knocked the football some seven yards but also Ralph’s helmet clear off his head another five yards. The monstrous hit could be heard all over The Plains.
After the game when a reporter told Gilyard he made the year-end highlight film, he remained humble.
“I did? That’s great. It’s just one of those things that happens,” Gilyard said.
Roshard Gilyard Now
Gilyard played for the Tigers from 2000-03, logging 70 tackles and one interception across 43 games. Though he was gone before Tommy Tuberville’s undefeated 2004 season, Gilyard was a main piece of Auburn’s defense during the early 2000s.
Gilyard, who hails from Jacksonville, Florida, went on to have a son who now plays college football himself. You can also follow him on social media, as he’s active on Twitter.
Last year as a sophomore, he started every game at middle linebacker. Through two seasons and some change, he’s already accumulated 143 tackles and an interception.
I haven’t watched any of Eriq’s tape, but I’ll take a guess and say he probably hits like his father did.