Behind the Numbers: #51-60
Behind the Numbers - #51
The fifth edition of the Behind the Numbers series will be outlined slightly different than the previous editions. Due to the massive amount of offensive linemen, there will not be total of all the players to wear respective number. Let's begin with #51.
Offensive lineman Walter Morris back in 1941 was the first to wear number 51. But for number 51, an offensive lineman doesn't take the top spot.
Paul Tithof (2002-2006) is the best player to be deemed number 51. Tithof during his career at WMU racked up 204 tackles, 6.5 sacks and three interceptions.
Another linebacker will be wearing number 51 this season for the Broncos. Junior Desmond Bozeman last season had 25 tackles.
Behind the Numbers - #52
Nobert Fleckenstein's name was still hard to pronounce back in 1942 when he came onto the field wearing #52. While there have been many great players, the best player was the play caller on the offensive line and led the Broncos to a MAC Championship game.
Paul Lambert (1997-2000) always handled the ball and was the quarterback of the offensive line being a center. Lambert had a 31-15 record and led a line that posted 19,239 yards, 6,506 of which were rushing. Every season he played he was apart of a 1,00-yard rusher (Robert Sanford (1997,99,2000) and Darnell Fields in 1998. Lambert was apart of an offensive line during his career that gave up 100 sacks. He was First Team All-MAC in 2000, while helping the Broncos to the MAC Championship game.
Sophomore linebacker Nick Galvin wears number 52 this season. Galvin is from Moeller High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Behind the Numbers - #53
Up until 1969, the only players that wore #53 were offensive linemen, mainly centers with 13. As the first player to wear number 53 was a center in Leland Gabe back in 1941.
Since 1969, the defensive side of the ball has dominated number 53 and especially linebacker with 10 of the 18 players. It's no surprise that the next best player is a linebacker and the second straight.
Peter Tuffo (1992-1994) had 259 tackles and 8.0 sacks while wearing the Brown & Gold. Tuffo, while being an exceptional defensive player, was named First Team All-MAC in 1993 and 1994.
Behind the Numbers - #54
Tackling machines dominated the list for #54. With over 274 tackles recorded between the 17 players to wear number 54. The next player to be deemed best number 54 was no slouch in the tackling department.
Andre Vaughn (1992-1995) is the third linebacker to crack the best player list in the 51-60 collection. Vaughn recorded 123 tackles, five interceptions and four sacks during his time as a Bronco. He was First Team All-MAC in 1995.
Behind the Numbers - #55
Halfway in the fifth edition of the Behind the Numbers 51-60 collection stops at #55. In 1944, Bernard Sagan stepped in at center wearing number 55 and since that day, this number has been roaming the football field.
The linebacker best player trio ends as it shifts gears back to the offensive side of the ball and the offensive line.
Joe Lewandowski (1995-1997) was not only athletic but had one of a kind knowledge during his career. Lewandowski while on the line posted a 17-15 record and helped the offense gain 11,709 during his career. Most impressive however is that he was Academic All-MAC consecutive years in 1996 and 1997.
Continuing the success of number 55 this year is junior defensive tackle Travonte Boles. Boles last year had 25 tackles and half a sack.
Behind the Numbers - #56
Subtracting #56 backwards you get number one. For the 29 Broncos that wore number 56, being the number one was the main goal. Starting back in 1943 with tackle Jack Lees, the drive to be number one started.
Switching gears yet again, the offensive line gets a brief moment of shine, but a linebacker yet again takes the named of best number 56.
Garrett Soldano (1996-2000) was a tackling machine for his Bronco defense during his career. Soldano had 309 tackles and seven sacks while being First Team All-MAC in 2000, and being named to the All-Century Team in 2005.
Behind the Numbers - #57
The youngest number in the 51-60 collection is #57. The first time this number was worn on the gridiron was 1966. Defensive tackle Larry Stump brought this number to the eyes of Bronco fans.
The defensive side of the ball continues its dominance in the best player market as yet another defensive player is the best player.
Matt Murphy (1976-1979) was a dominating force on the defensive line, making offensive linemen tremble. Murphy had 163 tackles during his career and was named First Team All-MAC in 1979.
Red shirt Freshman kicker Andrew Haldeman will be slipping on the number 57 this year. Haldeman is from Wayland Union High School in Ferndale, Mich.
Behind the Numbers - #58
With a list of players filled with many accolades, it's an honor to be named best #58. Clarence Pilatowiczm, back in 1943, started this great list of players and players have been adding to the success of number 58 for 69 years.
The theme of the 51-60 collection continues with the defensive dominance, while yet another linebacker is chosen as the best player.
Dave Cutlip (1988-1992) was the unquestionable leader of the Bronco defense during his career. Cutlip had 189 tackles and 12 sacks, while being a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. In 1992, he was Second Team All-MAC and Academic All-MAC.
Freshman linebacker Nick Roach is wearing number 58 for the Broncos this year. Roach was a team captain at Mount Carnell High School, Ind.
Behind the Numbers - #59
With the least amount of players (22) out of the 51-60 collection to wear this jersey, #59 surely doesn't disappoint when it comes to statistical success. That success began back in 1951 with tackle Robert Charon.
The statistical success continues as well with the best player to wear number 59 for the fourth straight time is a defensive player.
Jack Gitler (2001-2004) came off the edge and dismantled quarterbacks during his time as a Bronco. Gitler had much statistical success with 162 tackles, 12 sacks and one interception. He was Second Team All-MAC in 2003.
Freshman offensive lineman Ben Davisson will be trying to stop defenders this year for the Broncos. Davisson is from Rensselaer Central High School in Rensselaer, Ind.
Behind the Numbers - #60
The end of the 51-60 collection of the Behind the Numbers series is #60. Milton Sorenson in 1941 was the first player to wear number 60.
Since then, number 60 has been worn by many great Broncos but this player was one the best. To stop the run of dominance on the defensive side of the ball, an offensive lineman ends the 51-60 collection.
Scott Thomas (1986-1990) held defenders to the ground in effort to serve and protect the offense. Thomas had a career record of 29-24 and helped compile 19,035 yards as an offensive unit. He was a part of the offensive line that helped carry WMU to the California Bowl in 1988. He was named Second Team All-MAC in 1990.