No. 99 Eldon Fortie – Quarterback – 1960-1962
When you read the interception king as the title for this player you likely thought that the 99th ranked player would be a safety or a corner.
It’s a quarterback.
Eldon Fortie threw for 24 interceptions, 12 touchdowns and had a completion percentage of .400 during his three years as BYU’s quarterback. So how the heck did Fortie make the list, let alone the team?
Running the ball.
Remember that before Lavell Edwards and the 1970’s passing wasn’t really a huge part of the game of college football. In 1960 for example, Norm Snead led the FBS with 1,676 passing yards. To put that in perspective, this past season the top passer Dwayne Haskins who threw for 4,381 yards. 1,676 would have been good to finish 97th in the nation just ahead of Sawyer Smith from Troy.
Putting that aside, having a running quarterback was crucial during this time period and Eldon Fortie was pretty good at it. In fact until Jamaal Williams ran for 286 yards against Toledo in 2016, Fortie held the record with 272 yards against George Washington in 1962.
During the 1962 season Fortie ran for 1,149 yards which to this day stands at 8th place all time for the Cougars.
Fortie led to the Cougars to a combined 8-19 record from 1960-1962 which was sort of the trend from 1949 until Lavell Edwards arrived in 1972. His impact will remain there with that time that Cougar fans want to pretend never really existed.
This is a tough one to grade in that it sort of was REALLY bad with the INT’s and low passing numbers but when looking at the rushing numbers, Fortie was actually second in NCAA for rushing yards his senior season which is a really good stat to have, especially for a quarterback. Also the 14 rushing TD’s he had in 1962 is also memorable because that also ranked second in the NCAA. It isn’t often that a BYU is ranked in the top two in the NCAA in one statistic let alone three (also rushing attempts) which is the main reason why Fortie makes this Top 100 list.
Memorable Moments: C-
Anytime any player rushes for more than 200 yards in a game it is a memorable moment. Besides that one game, (a very good game that should not be downplayed) Fortie did not have any other memorable moments.