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ASU Football: 'Sun Devil Legends' No. 49 Sam Duca

We reach back 63 years to honor today's "Sun Devil Legend".

Sam Duca was one of the first Sun Devils to ever sport the No. 49
Sam Duca was one of the first Sun Devils to ever sport the No. 49

The Backstory: Although a few Sun Devils have found success in the number 49, it has never been a popular choice to wear on the back of a jersey. Just a handful of Sun Devils have donned 49, and they range from skill position players to offensive and defensive linemen.

The versatility of No. 49 makes it unique, but it's also unique in Arizona Store lore because of the numbers it is sandwiched between. No. 50 belongs to one of the greatest linebackers of all-time at ASU in Bob Bruenig, while No. 48 is rightly owned by world-famous sack master Terrell Suggs.

While players who wore No. 50 and No. 48 are still talked about today, we dive deep into the history books and dig up a Sun Devil legend at No. 49.

The Player: Sam Duca (1950)

According to the Arizona State history books, Sam Duca only appeared on the Sun Devil roster for one season. However, the records do tend to get a little spotty when we research teams prior to 1960, so we don't know for sure how long Duca wore the maroon and gold.

What we can confirm is that Duca made the most of his one season as a starter. As an offensive lineman playing tackle, Duca had the responsibility of keeping Sun Devil running back Wilford "Whizzer" White up and running.

In 1950, White piled up 1,502 yards and remains one of just two Arizona State running backs to ever cross the 1,500-yard mark. Duca was the main force paving the way for White and for his work, Duca was honored as an All-Border Conference tackle.

Despite the team's 9-2 overall record, Duca and White were the only two Sun Devils selected to the All-Border Conference squad. Some of the highlights from the season include a 47-13 route of the Arizona Wildcats and an appearance in the aptly named Salad Bowl.

While we don't know a whole lot about Duca's career, we do know that he was one of the best Sun Devils to play the offensive line in the early era of the football program.

Honorable Mention

Ishmael Thrower: Thrower was a two-year starter at defensive end in the early 2000s and he led the team in sacks with 4.5 in 2003. Thrower was also admired from his leadership and was named a team captain for the 2004 season.