Behind the Numbers: #31-40, #33 Robert Sanford
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - In the fourth edition of the Behind the Numbers series, we took an in-depth look at jersey numbers 31-40. In case you missed, here is a recap of all the winners for 31-40.
#31-Arthell Woods (1986-1990)
#32-Roger Lawson (1968-1971)
#33-Robert Sanford (1997-2000)
#34-Robert Davis (1987-1988)
#35-Austin Pritchard (2005-09)
#36-Jon Pryor (1993-96)
#37-Demetrius Jones (1979-1983)
#38-Phillip Reed (1999-2003)
#39-Jim Laney (2005-07)
#40-Jason Feldpausch (2001-03)
Totaling all of the player's statistics to wear numbers 31-40 reveals those players on the offensive side of the ball have compiled 45,141 yards and 188 touchdowns. Defensively those numbers combined to record 4,243 tackles, 86 interceptions and 84 sacks.
When just taking the best players from each jersey number, in which five were defensive players the statistics were relatively similar. Offensively those players amassed 18,387 yards and 101 touchdowns. Defensively where numbers 31-40 staked it's claim compiled 800 tackles, 29 interceptions and 19 sacks.
While racking the numbers up defensively, it's oddly enough a running back that will be deemed the best player for jersey numbers 31-40.
Robert Sanford (1997-2000) is one of, if not the best running back to play at WMU. Sanford during his career rushed for 4,219 yards and 43 touchdowns. He is a common name in the WMU record book for having the most career rushing yards (4,219) and is top five in both single season rushing yards (1,571), career rushing attempts (838) and single season rushing attempts (293). He has the most touchdowns in a career (43) and is top three in touchdowns in a season (18).
His on field performance led him to many awards such as MAC Freshman of the Year ('97), MAC Offensive Player of the Year ('00), Vern Smith MAC MVP ('00), Second Team All-MAC ('97, 98, 99) and First Team All-MAC ('00). He is also apart of the WMU All-Century Team. Sanford had a brief stint in the Canadian Football League in 2003 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Bronco fans have decided through voting on the WMU Broncos facebook page and wmubroncos.com, that Robert Sanford was the right choice with 62 percent of the vote. Austin Pritchard came in second with 22 percent. The fans were also encouraged to vote for a player not on the best player list. That honors goes to Scott Niles.
Among the defensive players to wear #32 they amassed 324 tackles, and Scott Niles accounted for 313 of them. He was a First Team All-MAC selection, member of the All-Century Team and started in the 1999 MAC Championship Game.
The fifth edition of the Behind the Numbers series begina Monday with jersey numbers 41-50.