Jason Babin charted MAC and NCAA records during his years on the WMU defensive line.
MACwood Squares is our summer reading series on the best athletes in Mid-American Conference sports history. This week features Western Michigan. Looking for your MAC school? Consult our schedule for other teams and please submit your nominees as well.
The best way to sum up WMU football is with Bob Seger. Not any particular song, but his entire oeuvre. Seger is a ridiculously fun listen, but oftentimes he's forgotten when compared to other greats, even when focusing on Michigan-based artists. So is WMU: usually good, sometimes great, and they've always produced some standout players.
I've got a list of six deserving football players who all warrant a spot in the Broncos' set of nine players for MACwood Squares. Who am I missing?
DL Bob Rowe (1964-66) — He was the recipient of the first two MAC Defensive Player of the Year awards then parlayed that into a nine-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals, making one Pro Bowl.
RB Jerome Persell (1976-78) — As a three-time MAC POY, Persell averaged 1,396 yards and his 4,190 for his career was by far a record, more than doubling the previous high. Twice he was named to the AP's third-team All-American, but he never made it to the NFL.
LB John Offerdahl (1982-85) — Perhaps their finest defender, both college and pro. He's a three-time first-team All-MAC honoree, as well as third-team and second-team All-American nods by the AP in '84 and '85. Today he still holds records in career tackles (696) and recovered fumbles (8). Things improved even more in his NFL years, being named to five Pro Bowls with the Miami Dolphins.
DE Jason Babin (2000-03) — Babin was perhaps the premier defensive tackle in the 2000s, whose 38 career sacks are second-best in FBS. His 32 tackles for loss in 2003 is an FBS record. He's a two-time MAC DPOY and a first-round NFL Draft pick in 2004, who finally put a great pro season together in 2010.
TE Tony Scheffler (2002-05) — Kind of a late bloomer at WMU, who didn't really get tight end reps until his junior year, but was named first-team All-MAC twice, then quickly became a productive NFL tight end for the Broncos and Lions.
WR Greg Jennings (2002-05) — Probably the most well-known WMU product. He was the Vern Smith winner in 2005 and finished his three-year career with 39 touchdowns, second in MAC history. He's also starting to hit the prime of his NFL career with the Packers, who drafted him in the second round of the 2006 Draft.
Who are your nominees for WMU's MACwood Squares? Comment below, tweet us at @HustleBelt or submit a FanPost making your case. The final nine will be revealed Frid
Who is the best Western Michigan football player ever?
Bob Rowe (1 vote)
Jerome Persell (0 votes)
John Offerdahl (9 votes)
Jason Babin (2 votes)
Tony Scheffler (3 votes)
Greg Jennings (35 votes)
Other (mention in comments) (3 votes)
53 total votes