ASU Football: 'Summer of Legends' No. 10

Jeff Van Raaphorst was the 1987 Rose Bowl MVP. - ASU Athletics

A number loaded with history was tough to decide on, so we decided to choose a few different players.

The Backstory: As far as numbers go, No. 10 might be one of the best choices for Arizona State players to wear. Current Sun Devil quarterback Taylor Kelly has big shoes to fill, but if he creates a legacy like any of the quarterbacks who came before him wearing No. 10, he'll be in great shape.

At least three Sun Devils to wear No. 10 received All-American honors and another No. 10 received All-Conference honors and led Arizona State to its first Rose Bowl appearance. All in all, players who have worn the jersey are among the most successful players to ever come through the program, and choosing just one legend became all too difficult.

So for the first time in our "Summer of Legends" series, we have declared a tie. But this isn't just a tie between two players, it's a tie for four different Sun Devils who deserve to have their legacies honored. So let's meet the players who helped make No. 10 one of the best jerseys a player can wear in the valley.

The Players

Jeff Van Raaphorst (1982-1986)

Prior to the 1986 season, no Sun Devil quarterback had ever led Arizona State to the Rose Bowl. But that all changed when team captain Jeff Van Raaphorst engineered one of the most magical seasons in school history.

Van Raaphorst quarterbacked Arizona State from 1984-1986 and finished with more than 2,000 yards passing in each of his three seasons as a starter. In 1984, Van Raaphorst earned Honorable Mention All Pac-10 honors, but like Bolden, he saved his best work for later on in his career.

In 1986, Van Raaphorst led the Sun Devils to a 10-1-1 record that included the famed 22-15 victory over Michigan in Pasadena. Van Raaphorst earned Rose Bowl MVP honors, and his name will forever be associated with Arizona State's all-time greats.

Mike Pagel (1979-1981)

Pagel is one of the four Sun Devils who wore No. 10 to earn All-American honors, and one of two quarterbacks to do so. Pagel enjoyed one of the best two-year stints of any Sun Devil quarterback, as he threw for more than 2,000 yards in both seasons.

In 1980, Pagel threw for 17 touchdowns, which helped him set the stage for an offensive explosion the following season. As a team captain in 1981, Pagel set the school record with 29 touchdown passes, which was not surpassed until Andrew Walter arrived at Arizona State.

Pagel led the Sun Devils to a 9-2 record in 1981, and took home Honorable Mention All-American honors as well as First Team All Pac-10 recognition for his efforts.

Dennis Sproul (1974-1977)

Prior to Mike Pagel's tenure as Arizona State's quarterback, Dennis Sproul served as the Sun Devils' top gunslinger. Sproul led the Sun Devils in passing in each of his four seasons with the team, but he only wore No. 10 during his final two seasons.

Regardless, Sproul's career in No. 10 is worthy of legend status on its own, and that's why he holds a spot in our five-way tie. Through the final two seasons of his career, Sproul racked up nearly 4,000 yards and he threw for 28 touchdowns.

In 1977, Sproul became an Honorable Mention All-American, and was also named to the First Team All-Western Athletic Conference squad. Sproul would be Arizona State's final All-Western Athletic Conference honoree, as the program moved to the Pac-10 for the 1978 season.

Kory Schuknecht (1972-1974)

Last but not least, we meet Kory Schuknecht who was the first player to bring No. 10 into prominence at Arizona State. Unlike our last three legends, Schuknecht did not play quarterback. However, he did shine in the defensive backfield as a safety and on special teams as a punter.

Schuknecht only punted in his final season, because Sun Devil star Danny White handled the duties during Schuknecht's first two years in Tempe. However, he still put together an average of more than 38 yards per punt.

Schuknecht's best work came at safety, and in 1973, he intercepted a team-high five passes and accumulated 120 return yards. In 1974, he couldn't match Mike Haynes' total of 11 interceptions, but that didn't stop him from taking home Honorable Mention All-American recognition from the Associated Press and First Team All-Western Athletic Conference honors as well.

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