No. 75 Brady Poppinga – Linebacker – 2001-2004
Brady Poppinga is a player that many will think is ranked too low on this list. When looking at his statistics, his stats for the most part don’t jump off the page but overall he was a really solid player and was consistent his entire career.
Poppinga played in what many would consider to be the rise and fall of BYU Football. He saw the highs of going 11-2 in 2001 and the low’s of going three straight years without a bowl game from 2002-2004, the longest streak without a bowl game since their first bowl game in 1971.
Overall, Poppingas career took place during a time that BYU Football fans want to forget, but Poppinga was the diamond in the rough during this dart time.
Poppinga’s impact is limited by the team that he was on and the record that they had. The reality is, when your team is not in a position to win a game the actual impact that a player can make is very limited. I will confess that I don’t remember much about Poppinga’s playing days and watching some games he wasn’t really super dominant. Generally it was five to seven tackles per game and played a lot of contain defense similar to Corbin Kaufusi in 2018. He did make a huge impact in a win against Wyoming his senior year when he recorded 11 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a quarterback hurry.
Poppinga was really consistent and he played all four seasons while on the team. His freshman season saw him get limited reps but that is understandable for a linebacker. Over his career he recorded 193 tackles, six pass breakups, 19 sacks, four forced fumbles an interception and nine quarterback hurries. The most impressive stat is the 39 tackles for loss that he got. To give perspective, Sione Takitaki only had 33.5 tackles for loss on 255 tackles. Overall, he was a solid consistent piece of a team that was anything but consistent.
Memorable Moments: C
Anything in the 2002-2004 time period is anything but memorable, but despite that Poppinga’s moment have to be an exception to that. The 39 times that Poppinga got into the backfield and the 19 sacks that he got are memorable moments that stick out more than they probably should because they literally were the highlight of the game at certain points. His performance against Wyoming at the time seemed really big as the team was trying to get bowl eligible.
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Tomorrow we will bring you player No. 74 on the list as we continue to get closer to the start of the BYU Football season. If you’ve missed our other articles check them out below.