BSU Football Legends By the Numbers (RB Edition)

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So the first survey has come and the results have been broken down by Cameron. For the most part, the results didn’t really shock me.

That was until I saw this position:

And I saw this line:

Brock Forsey, the man with the most total TD’s AND all-purpose yards in BSU history (that’s not a QB), was dead last in our offering of 15 legends?!? WHAT?!?!

Full disclosure, I didn’t really know who Brock Forsey was before we discussed who would be on this survey. I wasn’t from a football household and didn’t follow BSU until I came to study here in 2011 (well after Forsey was taken by the Bears in the 2003 draft). I didn’t see him in person or on replays of the Fiesta Bowl on displays in every Walmart in the Treasure Valley. However, once I looked up his stat lines, I realized that he was THE man.

That’s what made me so surprised about the ranking. I thought that I was just ignorant and everyone knew how great he was.

I’m also not entirely sold on the order of the RB’s that people hold in their hearts. I feel as though Jay Ajayi had so much put on his shoulders during the Southwick tenure and when Grant Hedrick was settling into his position. This puts him above Doug Martin in my book. But that might also be my bias since Jay was the same school year as me and I saw him develop in person.

So let’s do our best to compare these work horses (Bronco pun intended and I hate myself for it).


We’re going to take a look at the last 2 seasons of 5 RB’s. The 4 we listed in the top 15 survey, as well as Jeremy McNichols (who was the most common write-in for “most overrated BSU player”). I feel as though the last 2 years are definitely the most telling because they show more than just 1 year of magic that could be a fluke. On the other side, stats from an entire career don’t compare well to 4 year starters, RB’s that have to wait behind a stud, or RB’s that leave early for the draft.

The Numbers

stats via sports-reference.com

From this snapshot, we can tell a few things:

  1. Ian Johnson was not leaned on as much as his peers (404 total touches as opposed to the next lowest 520 touches), didn’t get as many passes thrown his way, and didn’t score as many TD’s.
  2. Doug Martin could be a bit overrated… he wasn’t used very often near the goal line as his amount of touchdowns per touch and TD/GM was also the lowest of all the RB compared. However, he was very efficient his junior year in yds/att before regressing in his senior year.
  3. It seems as though giving the ball to Ajayi was the only game plan for his senior year… He had 347 carries and 50 catches in a single year (as well as ludicrous amounts of yards and TD’s).
  4. Jeremy McNichols was probably underrated as opposed to what the survey takers believe. He was a huge part of the receiving game (88 catches and 10 TD) while also barely averaging more TD/GM with than anyone else in their last 2 seasons.
  5. Brock Forsey’s senior year might be the most scoring efficient performance by a RB in a single year that BSU has seen. He managed 2.00 rushing TD/GM while also getting 6 receiving touchdowns. Did he get as many yards as Jay Ajayi or Jeremy McNichols in their senior years? No, but Forsey touched the ball 66 less times than Ajayi and still got the same amount of total touchdowns (tied for most TD in a year for non-QB’s).

Take-Aways

I think from looking at these stats, sometimes a few big moments can overshadow an entire career’s production. Jeremy McNichols had couple of damn good years to end his BSU campaign and Brock Forsey has so many total production stats that players that leave for the NFL draft would need another year to maybe catch up to him.

The only thing that these two players don’t have, is that iconic moment.


Want more?

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