ASU Football: 'Summer Legends Series' No. 54 Vernon Maxwell

ASU Athletics

Up next in our 'Summer Legends Series' is one of the best linebackers in school history. He was a three-time All-American during the early 80's and went on to win Rookie of the Year in the NFL.

The Backstory: Up next in our Sun Devil Legends series is one of the most productive defensive players in school history. He came to Arizona State from Los Angeles, California, and was named an All-American three years in a row.

He donned No. 54 for the Sun Devils. He is the great Vernon Maxwell.

The Player: Vernon Maxwell (1979-1982)

Maxwell's breakout season was 1980, where he was second on the team with 127 tackles. He was tied for the team lead with seven sacks and was named an honorable mention All-American and first team All-Pac-10.

Maxwell earned first team All-Pac-10 honors in 1981 on a team that went 9-2 under head coach Daryl Rogers. Maxwell lined up at right inside linebacker in ASU's 3-4 defense.

In 1982, Maxwell led the team with 12 sacks and tied for the team lead with eight tackles for loss. He was named a second team All-American by the Associated Press.

Maxwell was also named a Playboy Magazine All-American, just the fourth Sun Devil to accomplish this at the time.

In the Pros

Maxwell was selected in the second round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts. He was named the 1983 Rookie of the Year after posting 11 sacks. In 1984, he racked up 8.5 sacks for the Indianapolis Clots.

However, after that season his production fell off and he only recorded two sacks in the next four seasons. Maxwell played three seasons with the Detroit Lions and finished his career in 1989 with the Seattle Seahawks.

Who Wears it Now

The number 54 is currently worn by offensive lineman Tyler Sulka. The redshirt junior appeared in all but one game in 2012 and started in ASU's throttling of Washington State last season.

Honorable Mention

George Hummer - Hummer was an offensive lineman for the Sun Devils from 1966-1968. He was an All-WAC selection in 1968 and 1967and was a team captain his final season in Maroon and Gold. Hummer partcipated in the East-West Shrine Game in 1968.

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