No. 80 Aaron Francisco – Defensive back – 2001-2004
Defensive backs are sort of like tight ends in that most of the time they are not the ones that are being talked about, and yet they are so important either as contain or in pass defense. Every once in a while a defensive back will be more known if they make big plays often or if they leave a player wide open, but probably 90% of the time they are unnoticed.
Much of this can credited to the fact that in a normal game, a good DB will get three to four tackles normally after a receiver has already caught the ball and gained some yards. A special DB will get six to seven tackles with one being in the backfield and get either an interception or a pass deflection.
Aaron Francisco was not good or even special, he was a ball hawk.
Finally, we have a player who played most of his career. To this point, nearly every player on the Top 100 has only had a good season or two, but Francisco played four years, and started three of those years. Francisco was an odd player in that he experienced the great year of Crowton and then the downfall of the program. His impact was limited because the offense was winning and losing games, the defense was sort of consistent giving up between 25-35 points per game which for BYU was not terrible at the time. Francisco had some moments to help his team win games twice against New Mexico in 2003 and 2001 where he had an interception in both games that made the difference in the game.
330 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 16 pass breakups, 6 forced fumbles and 7 interceptions for a career. Remember this is a defensive back with these kind of numbers. He had games of 16, 16, 14, 13 and 12 tackles which again for a defensive back is phenomenal. Although this is knit picky, the only real statistic that hurts him against other defensive backs on this list is that he only had seven interceptions and one sack with zero touchdowns. Again that isn’t something negative against him, it just isn’t the best that we will see for other BYU DBs.
Memorable Moments C
When the ball was in the vicinity of Francisco you better be holding on to it, grabbing it or doing whatever you can to make sure that he doesn’t touch it. Again with a career 13 takeaways and 16 pass breakups, Francisco was a ball hawk. Every time that a safety is able to get a turnover it is a memorable moment, however because there weren’t any touchdowns or from what I could find game sealing interceptions, the grade takes a bit of a hit.
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Tomorrow we hit the 70’s! Be sure to come back to tomorrow as we bring you player No. 79 on our countdown. Also if you’ve missed any of the other articles check them out below.