Behind the Numbers: The Best of the Best
It's now time for our fans to decide the best of the best from the Behind the Numbers summer series.
On June 4, we started the Behind the Numbers series to find out who was the most decorated and statistically successful Broncos to ever wear each jersey number, selecting the best of each in groups of 10.
We incorporated a fan vote on www.wmubroncos.com and on www.facebook.com/wmubroncofans to come up with our choices but now it is completely up to you the fans. Over the next two weeks we ask fans to vote on those two platforms among those 10 honorees as to who is the best ever.
Click on the poll question above to vote for the best of the best over the next two weeks and the number (and athlete) that reigns supreme will be announced on Aug. 27 as we kick start Illinois week and the start of the 2012 football season.
Let's recap our 10 selections from the series:
#1-10 - #9 Louis Delmas (2005-08)
Delmas is a safety for the Detroit Lions as he was drafted 33rd overall in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Before getting to the NFL, Delmas had 310 career tackles at WMU, along with 12 interceptions returning one for a touchdown. He earned Second Team All-MAC (2005, 2007) and was First Team All-MAC in 2008. He was also named Phil Steele's Fourth Team All America.
In only three years in the NFL, he has provided the Lions with 229 tackles, two forced fumbles and two interceptions. His best year was his rookie year in 2009 where he had 94 total tackles with two interceptions. Taking one interception to the end zone for a touchdown. He was also the first rookie in NFL history to score on an interception, fumble recovery and safety in the same season.
#11-20 - #15 Greg Jennings (2002-05)
Jennings (2002-05) 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.
#21-30 - #26 Jim Vackaro (1992-95)
Vackaro (1992-1995) is the best player to wear jersey number 26. During his years of carving up defense, Vackaro accumulated 2,954 yards and 23 touchdowns. He is top five in career rushing yards (2,954) and attempts (625). Along with earning Second Team All-MAC honors in 1994. He is also a member of WMU's All-Century Team.
#31-40 - #33 Robert Sanford (1997-2000)
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.
#41-50 - #49 John Offerdahl (1982-85)
Offerdahl (1982-1985) may be considered one of the great WMU players in the program's history. Offerdahl racked up 694 tackles, 17 forced fumbles, four sacks and six interceptions. He is apart of the WMU All-Century team.
His name is plastered all over the WMU record book with having the most tackles in a career (694) which is also a MAC record and tackles in a single season (192). He is top 3 in career forced fumbles (17), top five in single game tackles (24 vs. Ball State,1984), single season forced fumbles (5) and forced fumbles in a single game (3 vs. Marshall, 1984).
Offerdahl's accolades include MAC Defensive Player of the Year (1985), First Team All-MAC ('83,84,85), Associated Press Third Team (1984), Associated Press Second Team (1985) and NEA Second Team (1985).
He was selected by the Miami Dolphins with 52nd pick in the 2nd round of the 1986 NFL Draft. He went on to play eight seasons in the NFL were he was a five-time pro bowler and First Team All-Pro.
#51-60 - #52 Paul Lambert (1997-2000)
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.
#61-70 - #65 Phillip Swanson (2006-10)
Swanson (2006-10) surely mastered the mental edge of football during his playing career. Swanson was also impressive on the field starting in 48 games and playing 3,720 snaps in his career. He was Third Team All-MAC in 2008.
On the field Swanson was dominating defensive lineman, off the field he was dominating the classroom. He racked up academic awards such as Academic All-America (2008,2010), Academic All-District (2008-10) and Academic All-MAC (2007-10).
#71-80 - #74 Bob Rowe (1964-66)
Rowe (1964-66) has cemented his legacy as one of the best defensive tackle not only in WMU history but MAC history as well. Rowe during his junior and senior years totalled 211 tackles. He was MAC Lineman of the Year two straight years in 1965 and 196, and was a member of the WMU Football All-Century Team.
He was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 43rd pick in the second round of the 1967 NFL Draft.
#81-90 - #85 Tony Scheffler (2002-05)
Scheffler (2001-2005) has had much success at WMU and in the NFL as well. During his WMU career Scheffler recorded 117 receptions, 1,345 yards, which are fourth most by a tight end and 13 touchdowns.
He has a plethora of individual awards like being a two-time First Team All-MAC (2004,2005). In 2004 and 2005 he was Academic All-District and Academic All-MAC. He also was Collegefootballnews.com All-America honorable mention. He is apart of the WMU All-Century team.
Scheffler was the 61st pick in the second round by the Denver Broncos in the 2006 NFL Draft and is now a member of the Detroit Lions. During his NFL career, he has racked up 209 receptions, 2621 yards and 21 touchdowns.
#91-99 - #93 Jason Babin (2000-03)
Babin (200-03) is one of the best WMU defensive players to ever roam the field in Kalamazoo. Babin during his career recorded 299 tackles and 38 sacks. He holds the record for career sacks (38) and tackles for loss (75.) He holds the record for single season tackles for loss (33), and second in single season sacks (15). He is apart of the WMU All-Century team.
His awards resume includes MAC Defensive Player of the Year (2002-03), First Team All-MAC (2002-03), Second Team All-MAC (2001), Sporting News All-America Fourth Team (2002) and Sporting News All-America Second Team (2003). He was drafted with the 27th pick in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans, making him the highest drafted Bronco in history.
In his nine-year career, the two-time All-Pro, has played with four different teams (Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles). During his career he has recorded 270 tackles, 48 sacks and seven forced fumbles. He is now with the Philadelphia Eagles.