We continue our countdown from #99 to #1 as we prepare for the start of the 2011 season, leading up to Notre Dame. On days like today, when no one on the 2011 Bulls wears a number, we'll make our choice for the best USF player to ever wear that number.
There were two strong candidates for the best #57. With apologies to Josh Balloon and Alonzo McQueen, who both had a couple of solid years as backups it came down to Chris Daley and our best player. Daley was a defensive end played from 1999-2002, and he along with Shurron Pierson were a great pair of bookends during those transition years to 1A. In his career, Daley had 116 tackles, with 27 of them going for a loss and 13.5 sacks.
As good as Daley was in his 4 seasons at USF, I think THIS GUY did more in his 2 years at the school. So without further ado, The Best #57 In USF History is Jacquian Williams.
Williams came to USF from Fort Scott Junior College, where he chose USF over Nebraska. Jacquian had 72 tackles, with 11 of them for a loss and an interception his sophomore year for Ft. Scott, which earned him NJCC All-American honors.
Williams' first year at USF was spent learning the defense and spending time as the top backup behind Chris Robinson. Jacquian earned a start in the season finale against UConn, and had his best statistical game of the season, tallying up 5 tackles and a TFL for the game. In all, Williams had 28 tackles and that 1 TFL.
When Skip Holtz and more importantly DC Mark Snyder came aboard last season, Williams flourished under the new system. Jacquian was voted as a team captain last year and started every single game for the Bulls. Williams tallied a team high 71 tackles, with 11 of them going for a loss, 2.5 sacks, and an interception. Williams named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week after his monster game against Rutgers when he had 11 tackles, 2.5 TFL, and 1.5 sacks. You might remember him trying to carry Chazz Anderson out of bounds to finish up the Cincinnati game.
But like Bedford before him, his biggest play in USF history came against Miami in last year's overtime win. With USF up 3-0 early in the 3rd quarter,Miami had the ball in their own 26. Stephen Morris tried to throw a ball out into the flat, but Williams used his freak athleticism to make an insane one-handed interception. Jacquian returned the ball to the 18 yard line where it set up the Bulls' first touchdown of the day.
Jacquian was selected by the Giants in the 6th round of the NFL Draft. If there is a football season this year, I can't wait for him to show off his talents at the next level.