BYU Football Countdown: Player 53

(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /
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Tom Hauck /Allsport
Tom Hauck /Allsport /

Player 53 Mike Chronister – Receiver, Punt Returner – 1976-1978

First off, the name deserves to be on the Top 100. It just has a really nice ring to it. “Chronister with the catch, makes a juke, Chronister at the 20, 10, Chronsiter’s going to score! TOUCHDOWN!” Kind of reminds me of Chris Davis for Auburn back in the Kick Six where the announcer kept yelling “Davis… Chris Davis… Davis is going to score!” Alright enough of that…  Chronister was actually a really good player as well.

Mike Chronister only played for three seasons, but he was a very consistent target for the Cougars in a time where they were starting to find their identity. The pass was starting to evolve into what it would later become under Lavell Edwards and Chronister helped it to get there.

As a reminder, the best quarterbacks in the late 1970’s were throwing for about 2,000 yards and BYU was no exception to that. That being said, being a receiver with more than 500 receiving yards at that time was considered about the same as a receiver with 1,000 yards today. Chronister was better than even those.


Impact B-

BYU wasCh pretty good turing the time that Chronsiter was at BYU going 27-9 overall. It is my belief that this time period is what set up the National Championship in 1984. For the first time ever, BYU Football was a good brand and a team that was nationally recognized. Sure, they weren’t elite or winning championships but they were on the map and I really do believe that the 11-14 year olds who were watching football and saw an up and coming team who could throw the ball got interested and eventually signed for BYU. Chronister was a big reason why the Cougars did well those years helping his team in huge ways on offense and on special teams.

Statistics A-

Remember when I said that back in the 1970’s a good receiver caught for 500 yards in a season? Mike Chronister caught for 706, 649 and 850 which by today’s standards would be about 1,200-1,600 yards each season. He also brought in 21 touchdown catches on 18.8 yards per catch. Can you imagine a BYU receiver today having 18.8 yards per catch on about four catches per game? Last year’s leader was Matt Bushman with 17.6 but he averaged only 2.5 catches per game. Also, he was a decent punt returner and runner. Although he only had six rushing attempts during his career, he averaged 21 yards per run, really making me question why that play wasn’t called more.

Memorable Moments C+

Honestly, I hadn’t heard of Chronister before starting this countdown. He played on the BYU teams that were sort of the opening act before the real show. After 1978, BYU Football began the real show having seasons of nearly going undefeated every season. As mentioned before though, those seasons don’t happen unless BYU has a strong base and Chronister helped build that base that gives us the true memorable moments that we have of BYU from the 1979-2000. For that reason, and because of the awesome name, I’m giving him a better grade than statistically or by actual great moments he may deserve.