The Backstory: How do you become the best of the best? How does your name live on in more than just the history books, but in the memories of fans and of your opponents? Well for starters, you could play like David Fulcher.
During his career at Arizona State, Fulcher was the country's preeminent safety and the Sun Devils most talented player. Fulcher played safety, but simply describing him as a defensive back would downplay the role he really had. Fulcher roamed sideline to sideline and end zone to end zone with one mission: Stopping the opposition at all costs. Whether he was delivering a bone-crushing tackle or swooping in for an interception, Fulcher had knack for the big play like no Sun Devil defender ever had. For those reasons and so many more, Fulcher is one of the single greatest players to ever come through the program.
The Player: David Fulcher (1983-1985)
Few Sun Devil players made All-Conference lists in their first season as a starter, but even fewer received All-American recognition in their debut campaigns.
Transforming from an unproven commodity into one of college football's best players takes time, but for David Fulcher, that timetable took days and not years. In 1983, Fulcher burst onto the scene as a first-time starter for Arizona State and put together one of the best season a Sun Devil safety ever played. We say one of the best, because the best two seasons were Fulcher's next two.
In 1983, Fulcher led the Sun Devils with four interceptions and a career-high 110 tackles. Despite starting the season as a relative unknown in college football circles, Fulcher made his presence felt enough to earn First Team All Pac-10 honors as well as Second Team All-American honors.
What could Fulcher possibly do for an encore? He started by recording his second consecutive 100-tackle season and though his interception total dropped, he still delivered fierce hits across the middle that garnered him national attention. In 1984, Fulcher joined a prestigious group of Sun Devils by earning Consensus All-American honors.
Still, Fulcher had more left to accomplish. For his swan sang, Fulcher went out with a bang by snagging a career-high and team-high six interceptions and accumulating 110 return yards. Though Fulcher did not lead the team in tackles for the first time in his career, he did earn Consensus All-American honors for the second straight season.
In doing so, Fulcher became the third Sun Devil to ever earn Consensus All-American honors twice. In the 28 years since his accomplishment, no Arizona State player has earned the honors twice and only seven Sun Devils have even earned Consensus All-American recognition.
Fulcher remains one of the greatest defenders to play for Arizona State, and it will stay that way for quite some time.
Riccardo Stewart: A team captain in 2003, Stewart made three consecutive All Pac-10 teams during his career as a safety.
Craig Newsome: A 1994 Playboy All-American, Newsome had a penchant for big plays and led the Sun Devils with four in 1993.
Mike Black: How about a little love for the specialists? Black received All-American recognition twice, and was the First Team All Pac-10 punter in 1980, 1981 and 1982.