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Sun Devil Legend Series: No. 73 Danny Villa

While we're anything but proud of Villa's post-football decisions, the behemoth of a man still deserves to be recognized as one of Arizona State's finest offensive lineman ever.

Don't be fooled; Danny Villa may have looked nice enough but he had a mean streak on the field.
Don't be fooled; Danny Villa may have looked nice enough but he had a mean streak on the field.
Arizona State Athletics

The Backstory: We're officially waist-high in offensive lineman territory and with No. 73 comes another Arizona State legend who never had an issue doing the dirty work on the field.

While players like Darryl Harris and Jeff Van Raaphorst might get most the glory for ASU's 1986 Rose Bowl season, they'll be the first to tell you that they never would have found success in Pasadena if it wasn't for our No. 73.

The Player: G/T Danny Villa (1983-1996)

The mid-80s was a dominant era for Arizona State's rushing attack and Villa deserves as much credit as anyone for that fact. From 1985 to 1986, Villa cleared the way for Sun Devil running backs to average over 200 rushing yards a game for 17 consecutive contests.

For that reason, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Villa was ASU's first offensive lineman to achieve consensus All-American status in 1986. In the same season as ASU's team captain, Villa also was received the Morris Trophy for the Pac-10's top offensive lineman as well as first-team All-Pac-10 honors. And even though it's difficult to illustrate an offensive lineman's talent level through statistics, Villa still has some pretty impressive numbers to back his skills up.

During the 1986 season with Villa acting as ASU's lead blocker, the team finished 18th in the nation in total offense (406.1 yards per game), 19th in rushing (210.5 yards per game) and ninth overall in scoring (32.5 points per game).

Unfortunately, Villa is now remembered more for his unspeakable off-the-field actions than the mauling damage he did on the gridiron. In 2008, Villa was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to statutory rape and enticing a minor. Of course, we're not condoning his disgraceful decisions by naming him our No. 73 legend but at the end of the day, we're not naming legends in terms of character, we're naming legends based on on-the-field results. And as a 2002 ASU Hall of Fame inductee, we believe Villa's body of work at the university speaks for itself.

In the Pros: New England spent their fifth round pick on Villa in 1987. During his 12-year professional career with the Patriots, Cardinals, Chiefs and Panthers, Villa played an assortment of positions along the line including guard, tackle and center. The Nogales native started 77 of the 157 games he played in during his lengthy NFL tenure.

Who Wears It Now?

Vi Teofilo - A redshirt sophomore from Moon Valley high school, Teofilo is still looking to find his way along Arizona State's offensive line. But in terms of pure strength, Teofilo might be in a league of his own.

Other Notable 73s

NFL guard John Hannah - Hannah was born in Canton and ended right back there a few years after his professional career ended. As a 10-time All-Pro, nine-time Pro Bowler and a four-time NFLPA Offensive Lineman of the Year selection, you'd be hard pressed to find a better guard in the history of football.

NFL defensive lineman Joe Klecko - The 1981 Defensive Player of the Year is already in the Jets Ring of Honor but he's also in the badass nickname ring of honor as a member of the "New York Sack Exchange."