The Backstory: The battles in the trenches are an under appreciated aspect of football but championship caliber teams always place an emphasis on the dirty work. No. 67 jerseys are rarely flaunted, yet their responsibilities impact the game in countless ways.
Without the proper blocking, ASU stars like Ryan Torain, Kyle Williams and more would've flown under the radar.
Do you ever go to bed and think -- maybe I should dish out some love to the big guys? Well, to make up on lost time, just read the following to show your appreciation.
Our pick became a staple of the offensive line by providing flexibility at practically any position up front. Maintaining status quo doesn't garner the lime light but it may have been the motto for No. 67.
The Legend: T/G Shawn Lauvao (2005-2009)
Lauvavo entered Tempe as a redshirt freshman and his consistent improvement and 6'3 tall, 305 pound-frame took care of the rest. The Hawaii native impressed coach Dirk Koetter's eye because of overwhelming strength; Lauvavo was named the 2005 strongest teenager in the Aloha State.
Despite sitting out in 2005, Lauvavo continued to impress, earning the McBurney Scout Team award, an honor given to the most outstanding offensive scout team member. Heading into 2006, Lauvavo made five appearances yet couldn't crack the starting lineup.
Lauvao received first team reps in 2007 after week five at Stanford and seized the opportunity by never relinquishing the left guard title. ASU sported three running backs with over 500 yards that season and Lauvao deserves kudos for the rare accomplishment. At the time, Lauvao was the youngest offensive lineman to be in the main rotation.
From then on, Lauvao couldn't go unnoticed, starting the final 24 games of his career. Regardless of moving from left guard to right tackle to left tackle, the high level production never wavered. During 2008 Lauvao was a Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 selection. In the following campaign, Lauvao streakily progressed and was a Second-Team All-Pac-10 member.
Lauvao helped running back Dimitri Nance set career highs and also exemplified quick feet to contribute to the passing game.
In The Pros
The Cleveland Browns selected Lauvao with the 92nd pick in the 2010 NFL draft. The highly-touted University of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy was only taken seven picks higher than Lauvao. Three years into Lauvao's professional career, it still might be a bit premature to analyze his entire body of work. In order for Lauvao to flourish, he must cut back on eight penalties committed in 2012. Running back Trent Richardson's success could be telling tale behind Lauvao's ability at the highest level.
Who Wears It Now?
Starting center Kody Kobensky currently rocks No. 67 for the Sun Devils.
Other famous 67s
NFL Guard Ed White: The University of California alum played in the NFL for 16 years and made four pro bowls. White was a member of the Minnesota Vikings from 1966-1977 and went on to the San Diego Chargers from 1978-1985. During his time in sunny Southern California, he did well enough to get inducted into the Chargers Hall of Fame.
NFL OL Grady Alderman: The Detroit Mercy product overcame long odds and stuck in the NFL after the Lions made him a 10th round pick. Alderman spent all but one season with the Vikings though, going to the Pro Bowl five times and making three Super Bowls during his tenure in Minnesota. Beyond the game of football, Alderman is a certified public accountant.