Earlier in the Countdown, we covered another Arizona State legend whose prowess on the wrestling mats helped mold him into a fierce and feared defender. A few dozen spots later, it's time for another.
Initially from California, Breunig later moved to the Valley and was a standout performer at Alhambra High School in Phoenix in both football and wrestling. When it came time to go to college, Breunig stayed in town.
As a sophomore in 1972, he entered the starting lineup and would never look back. He was one of six Sun Devils to earn All-WAC honors that season--thanks to a solid 80 tackle performance--and had begun to build the fearsome reputation that would be come his calling card.
He led the team in tackles in 1973 with 127 and earned another spot on the All-WAC squad, but like most great players, he saved his best for last. As a senior in 1974, Breunig set a school record with 146 tackles--92 solo--(now fourth most) and again earned All-WAC distinctions, but added the prestigious title of "All-American" to his resume.
Not only a productive player, Breunig was a respected team leader, and was a team captain in both 1973 and 1974.
At the time of his graduation, his 353 tackles were the most ever made by a Sun Devil, and now stand as the sixth highest total.
The 6'2", 226 pounder was then a third round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1975 NFL Draft, and played 10 seasons there, making the Pro Bowl in 1979, 1980 and 1982.
Even though his playing days ended, his honors did not. In 1977, he was elected to ASU's Hall of Fame, and in 1999, he was named a Dick Butkus Silver Anniversary. Most recently, Breunig, along with fellow ASU legends Al Harris and Darryl Rogers were nominees for the College Football Hall of Fame.