Behind the Numbers: #11-20
Behind the Numbers: #11
If being #1 is the best, then having two number ones as a jersey number must be great. Eleven was first worn by running back Eugene Rademacher and has been passed on since 1968.
During the 44 years, number 11 has amassed 243 catches, 5,903 passing yards, 46 passing touchdowns, 4,915 all-purpose yards and 21 all-purpose touchdowns. Defensively it has recorded 58 tackles and three interceptions.
The player to get hailed the best number 11 in WMU football history belongs to quarterback Tony Kimbrough (1987-1988). Kimbrough threw for 3,772 yards and 28 touchdowns during his time at WMU. He's in the top 10 for most passing yards in a season (2,465), touchdowns in a season (19), pass attempts in a game (57 vs. Fresno St., 1988) and completions in a game (32 vs. Miami, 1988).
In 1988 he was First Team All-MAC, while being named Offensive Player of the Year in the MAC and the Vern Smith MAC MVP.
Behind the Numbers: #12
Twelve is a dozen, and of the 21 players that have worn #12, a dozen have been quarterbacks. Although in 1955 the first player to wear number 12 was Jack Hopkins, who was an offensive tackle.
Since 1955 number 12 has compiled 10,129 passing yards, 1,696 all-purpose yards and 81 touchdowns. It has also recorded 42 tackles and six interceptions. However its no surprise that the best player to have worn number twelve is a quarterback.
Jeff Welsh (1997-2001) threw for 4,849 yards and 34 touchdowns during his career at WMU. Welsh is top 10 in career passing yards (4,849), touchdowns (34), completions (382), and completion percentage (.602). He is top 10 for single season passing yards (2,537), completions (207), and completion percentage (.629). He's top 10 in single game passing attempts (58 vs. Michigan, 2001), completions (36 vs. Michigan, 2001) and touchdowns (5 vs. Illinois St., 2001) at WMU.
Other notables to wear number 12 would be quarterback Ryan Cubit, who threw for 4,699 yards and 34 touchdowns. Wide receiver Robert Arnheim was the last player to wear number 12 hauling in 151 catches for 1,696 yards and nine touchdowns.
Behind the Numbers - #13
Nineteen players dating back to 1951 wore lucky number #13 and running back Matt Herrick was the first. The number 13 was lucky for all the Broncos, but specifically lucky for one in particular.
Since 1951, number 13 has recorded 176 catches, 11,300 passing yards, 92 passing touchdowns, 2,453 all-purpose yards and 12 all-purpose touchdowns. It has also amassed 60 tackles and two interceptions. A quarterback will be the lucky name to be associated with the best player to wear this number.
Tim Lester (1996-1999) threw for 11,299 yards and 87 touchdowns. Lester's name is etched in the WMU record book. He is second in career passing yards (11,299) and touchdowns (87). He is top 10 in career pass attempts (1,507), completions (875) and completion percentage (.600). He's also top 10 in single season passing yards (3,639), touchdowns (34), pass attempts (470) and completions (282). He is top five in single game passing yards (435 vs. BGSU, 1998) and touchdowns (5 vs. Youngstown St., 1999).
Lester was Freshman of the Year in the MAC, Second Team All-MAC (1998-99), Academic All-District (1998-99) and Academic All-MAC (1997-98).
Wearing lucky number 13 for the Broncos this year is freshman wide receiver AJ King. King amassed 45 catches, 728 yards and seven touchdowns in 2009 at Armwood High School, Fla.
Behind the Numbers - #14
Out of the players that have worn #14, 14 of the players were quarterbacks, with the first quarterback being Bobbie Scott back in 1951. Scott was also the first player to wear the number as well.
Since Scott, number 14 has compiled 11,394 yards and 92 touchdowns. It's no surprise that his honor for best number fourteen would go to a quarterback. Matter of fact, this quarterback still has a year to play.
Senior Alex Carder (2008-) has thrown for 7,234 yards and 61 touchdowns during his years at WMU. Going into his senior year Carder is already top 10 in career passing yards (7,234), touchdowns (61) and completions (642). He's also top 10 in single season passing yards (3,873), touchdowns (31), attempts (502) and completions (330). In arguably his best performance in 2011 against Toledo, Carder was written in the record book for most passing yards (546) and touchdowns (7) in a single game.
In 2010, he was Third Team All-MAC and Academic All-MAC. The following year he was Second Team All-MAC. For the upcoming season, Carder was First Team Phil Steel's Pre-Season All-MAC.
Behind the Numbers - #15
Were halfway in the countdown to find the best player 11-20. The stop is at #15 where 25 players have worn this number dating back to 1957 and wide receiver Donald Gill.
During the 53 years that number 15 has been worn at Waldo Stadium, it has compiled 323 catches, 8,759 passing yards, 51 passing touchdowns, 6,971 all-purpose yards and 57 all-purpose touchdowns. Defensively it has made 60 tackles and two interceptions. The best 15 however goes to a player etched in the WMU record book and a Super Bowl champion.
Greg Jennings (2001-2005) made 238 catches, 3,539 yards and 39 touchdowns during his career at WMU. Jennings holds a place in every major receiving record at WMU. He is top five in career receptions (238), yards (3,539), and touchdowns (39). Top five in single season receptions (98), yards (1,259) and touchdowns (14). Along with being top five in single game receptions (16 vs. Virginia, 2005), yards (244 vs. Ball St., 2005) and touchdowns (4 vs. Ball St., 2005)
Jennings was Second Team All-MAC (2003), with the two following years being First Team All-MAC (2004,2005). He was the Vern Smith MAC MVP (2005) and the MAC Offensive Player of the Year (2005). During the 2005 season he was Third Team Associated Press All-American, Second Team Sports Illustrated All-American and Third Team CollegeFootballNews All-American.
He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the 52nd pick in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. During his seven-year career he has 389 catches, 6,171 yards and 49 touchdowns. In 2010, he had 76 catches for 1,265 yards and 12 touchdowns in helping the Packers win Super Bowl XLV.
Behind the Numbers - #16
The third oldest jersey number in the group of 11-20 is #16. Dating back to 1944 with running back George Myers is when number 16 staked its claim at WMU.
Through 68 years of getting worn, the jersey number has grabbed 106 receptions, 3,319 passing yards, 15 passing touchdowns, gained 1,420 all-purpose yards and scored six all-purpose touchdowns. It has recorded 92 tackles, six interceptions and three forced fumbles. The best player to wear number sixteen goes to a versatile player that played both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
Greg Williams (1975-1978) at wide receiver had 80 catches and 794 yards, but also is top five in records at WMU for career punt returns (68) and punt return yards (611). As a defensive back he has 168 tackles and five interceptions.
Wearing number 16 for the Broncos this year is sophomore cornerback Garrett Smith. Smith has totaled three tackles and one pass break-up.
Behind the Numbers - #17
"We were at sixteen, now were going to seventeen." Even before the blockbuster movie Sound of Music #17 was hitting the WMU football field. Starting way back in 1941, running back Horace Coleman was the first to wear number 17 and ever since then players have been making sweet music.
Through 71 years number seventeen has provided fans with 182 tackles, 2,691 yards and 25 touchdowns. It's also been a great service on defense and special teams recording 31 tackles, 20,671 punt yards and going 86-for-126 on field goal attempts. The player that is crowned best number 17 has surely made himself a factor in special teams.
John Potter (2008-2011) was one of the best kickers in WMU history. Potter made 47-for-65 field goals for a percentage of 72 percent. He holds the career record for total points (333), P.A.T. (184), consecutive made P.A.T. (129) and third in field goals made (47). He is also top five in single season total points (107) and consecutive P.A.T (57) Last year on kickoffs, he had 36 touchbacks.
Potter was Third Team All-MAC in 2010. While in 2011 he was Academic All-America, Academic All-District, and Academic All-MAC. The Buffalo Bills drafted him with the 251st pick in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
To fill the legacy of number 17 is redshirt freshman quarterback Tyler Hrycak. Hrycak was the #1 prep school quarterback according to Maxpreps.com. Coming from Valley Forge Military Academy, he threw for 2,125 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Behind the Numbers - #18
A crowning moment is when a teenager becomes eighteen and becomes a young adult. For the 39 players to wear jersey number #18, they were able to become men wearing a jersey that dates all the way back to 1941 and running back Donald Shroyer.
Ever since 1941, number 18 racked up 1,401 passing yards, 3,9222 all-purpose yards, 12 touchdowns, 95 tackles and six interceptions. The kicking game has also been impressive going 45-for-81 on field goals and having a punt average of 37.7 yards. As for the best player, it yet again goes to a special teams threat.
Bryan Hammons (1993-1994) amassed for three quarters of the total yards for the overall number 18's. Hammons had 4,109 punt yards, for an average of 37.7 yards per punt.
Sophomore strong safety Rontavious Atkins will shoulder the number 18 this year for the Broncos. Atkins has 40 tackles and two interceptions, as well as a game securing forced fumble and fumble recovery in a win against Connecticut in 2011.
Behind the Numbers - #19
Nearing the end of the 11-20-jersey collection as #19 is the next number on the list. Running back John McCarger was the first to wear number 19 back in 1941. It's now been apart of many great athletes over the years.
Over the years number 19 has brought in 4,834 yards, 19 touchdowns, 78 tackles and 7,181 punt yards. One is a fluke, two is a trend and three is a streak as yet another special teams player is named best jersey number.
Mike Prindle (1981-1984) as a punter had 6,460 yards with an average of 37.6 yards per punt. As the kicker, Prindle was 54-for-61 on field goal attempts.
He is top 10 at WMU in career (177), season (77) and single-game (12 vs. Miami, 1982) punts. He is top five in career total points (239) and career record holder in field goals made (54). He's top five in single season consecutive P.A.T (55) and season record holder field goals (24). Prindle also has the longest field goal made at WMU (56 vs. Northern Illinois, 1984). He was named Second Team All-MAC in 1982.
Freshman wide receiver Courtney Bynes who had 20 catches for 351 yards and four touchdowns in 2009 playing for Boyd Anderson High School, Fla. will be wearing number 19 this year.
Behind the Numbers - #20
Another segment of the Behind the Numbers journey closes with the end of jersey numbers 11-20. Quarterback Lewis Lang first wore #20 back in 1942 and since then 26 players have worn the elusive number.
Through all the years number 20 has gained 3,737 yards and scored 23 touchdowns. It also has grabbed seven interceptions and 154 tackles. The streak ends as number 20 will not be a special teams player, but a defensive back.
Paul Davis (1988-1992) had the best defensive statistics out of the nine defensive players to wear number 20. Davis recorded 154 tackles and nine interceptions during his playing days at WMU. He is top 10 in career pass deflections (29) and blocked field goals (3). During the 1992 season against Central Michigan, he saved three touchdowns, which is a WMU record.Junior running back Brian Fields will be wearing number twenty this year. Fields has rushed for 640 yards and five touchdowns, while also grabbing 20 receptions for 162 yards and one touchdown during his career.