No. 35 Chris Farasopoulos – Returner, Defensive Back – 1968-1970
In today’s game of football being a returner is becoming a less and less valuable position. Punters are now able to kick the ball much higher leading to more fair catches. Kickoffs are now almost a nearly automatic touchback now with the kickoff being at the 40 yard line, touchbacks being now to the 25 yard line and returners able to call a touchback fair catch in the field of play.
Believe it or not though, back in the day a good kick returner was about as important as having a reliable third down running back or a defensive back that could keep up with the fastest opposing running backs.
While the Cougars weren’t great during the time, Chris Farasopoulos gave a spark to the team that was desperately needed.
Farasopoulos actually was recruited from Athens, Greece and agreed to play for BYU without ever even stepping on the campus beforehand. While the international recruiting game never took off, he showed that BYU could find talent outside of Provo. Lavell Edwards went on a few years later to recruit outside of the traditional pipelines and get some really great recruits and transfers. Farasolulos’ impact is limited because the team was pretty bad making it tough for him to be big help in winning games.
As a defender, Farasopoulos put up decent stats with 168 tackles, eight interceptions and 23 pass breakups. While those stats are impressive, they are just a bonus for what he did as a return man. Throughout his career he had 1,391 kick return yards for an average of 27.3 yards per return. On punt returns he averaged 15.2 yards per return. In total, he gained 2,740 yards in the return game throughout his career. His kickoff return average is the best in BYU history and will likely hold forever since as mentioned before, that part of the game is disappearing.
Memorable Moments B-
While it is tough to rank this player, I can only imagine what a Greek player who averages 27.3 yards per kick return would do for fans. Unfortunately, the team was really bad during his time and there isn’t any film that I can find on him. But for being what is almost guaranteed as the highest kick return average for BYU that makes him pretty memorable giving him a B-