The Backstory: Not many people remember ASU playing in the Western Athletic Conference, let alone the Border Conference, therefore Bobby Mulgado's brilliance can get overlooked. Mulgado embodied the tough, old school, do-it-all mentality by returning punts, punting, playing running back and cornerback. The three-year starter never dominated the game in one particular facet, but impacted the game in countless aspects.
The Player: Bobby Mulgado (1954-1957)
Our Summer of Legends series normally features players with astonishing statistics, but Bobby Mulgado doesn't exactly relate in that department. However, Mulgado deserves the legendary status as much as any former Sun Devil football player. Back in the mid 1950s teams didn't carry 50-plus members, therefore Mulgado's versatility was irreplaceable.
Punters usually are the butt of team jokes, yet Mulgado's elite athleticism made him rare. Mulgado pinned opponents deep from 1955-1957, averaging slightly over 35 yards per punt. In the 1957 season, Mulgado got on the receiving end of punts and accumulated 267 return yards and two touchdowns.
At the running back position, Mulgado accumulated 2,003 career yards on the ground with 21 touchdowns. The most impressive part of his numbers is his efficiency, as he averaged 5.5 yards per carry. During Mulgado's junior season, he tallied 6.7 yards per attempt. Surprisingly, Mulgado never got more than 121 carries.
On the defensive side of the ball, Mulgado had six interceptions in 1957, resulting in 113 return yards. His six picks led the Arizona State team that season. Because of the well-rounded efforts, Mulgado earned captain status.
Most importantly, Mulgado became the first member of ASU's ring of honor, and deservedly so. Mulgado's resume doesn't jump out at you in one particular way, but it's complete and tough to replicate.
In the Pros: The Philadelphia Eagles selected Mulgado in the fifth round of the 1958 draft at No. 52 overall. The fifth round doesn't sound too impressive, but back in the 1950's, the draft went 30 rounds. Mulgado was selected 16 rounds before Hall of Famer John Madden.