The Backstory: Throughout the "Sun Devil Legends" series, we've seen plenty of successful Sun Devils who put themselves on the professional football radar with a great career in Tempe. While many of the players earned All-American or First-Team All Conference recognition, others were simply solid producers.
Today's Sun Devil legend did not have a prolific career at Arizona State, but his knack for holding off an opponent's rush did make him a force to be reckoned with. That's why it's no surprise to the folks who watched him play that today's legend would one day enjoy a long NFL career.
The Player: Kyle Kosier (1998-2001)
By this point in our series, we've established that Arizona State has a tradition of producing strong and athletic offensive linemen. The 1990s brought us outstanding performers like Juan Roque, but they also brought us many other consistent linemen that garnered recognition as well.
One such player is Kyle Kosier. While Kosier's Sun Devil teams were never outstanding, he did start on a pair of offensive lines that had plenty of great players.
By our "Sun Devil Legend" standards, Kosier was something of a late bloomer. Many legends started for three or four years on dominant teams, but Kosier only started for two seasons at Arizona State.
In 2000, the Peoria, Arizona native earned the chance to start at right guard. Kosier was joined on the offensive line that season by Sun Devil greats Levi Jones and Victor Leyva. While the offensive line certainly had talent, Bruce Snyder's squad could only muster a 6-6 overall record.
The following season, Kosier began to really develop as a leader on the offensive side of the ball. That year, the Sun Devils managed to go just 4-7, but Kosier was named an Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 performer.
Fortunately for Kosier, his best days were still ahead of him.
In the Pros: The San Francisco 49ers took a flier on Kosier when they selected him in the seventh round of the 2002 NFL Draft. While many seventh rounders don't pan out, Kosier became a starter in just his second NFL season.
By 2005, Kosier was off to join the the Detroit Lions where he played both guard and tackle. After a one-year stint with the Lions, Kosier became a Dallas Cowboy. With four years of NFL experience under his belt, Kosier quickly became a solid contributor with the Cowboys as he started 80 games over six seasons.
Fan Submission: Butch Vaughn
A two-way star at Camelback High School, Vaughn led the Spartans to a state championship in 1974 playing guard and defensive tackle. With limited scholarship offers coming out of high school (one scholarship offer was from Division II powerhouse Northern Michigan, where he would have played with QB Steve Mariucci), he chose to stay home at Phoenix College and became a JUCO All American before transferring to ASU to play for Coach Kush and the Sun Devils. In 1977 Vaughn suited up at guard, seeing action primarily on special teams. He became the team’s primary long snapper in 1978, the first year of Sun Devil football in the Pac-10. Rating a long snapper isn’t easy to do. You most likely only notice one when he didn’t do his job properly. NFL general managers certainly noticed as Vaughn was being scouted by several pro teams heading into bowl season. Unfortunately a major knee injury in the 1978 Garden State Bowl would end his playing days. In the end, the value of an ASU education would work out best for Vaughn, who is now a vascular surgeon and has been named a Valley Top Doc several times.
-By Nick Kramer
Butch Vaughn in 1978