Most terrifying football players in CSU history

Sergio Santistevan

Colorado State University has had its fair share of iconic athletes throughout the decades. Some of those athletes’ jerseys now hang in the rafters or are immortalized in trophy cases because of their outstanding play in their respective sports. 

Mike Bell was the runner-up for the 1978 Outland Trophy awarded to the best interior lineman in college football. (Photo courtesy of John Hirn)

However, some legendary Rams football players aren’t only remembered for a heroic play or game-winning touchdown, but instead for their ability to terrify the opposition. Several players had the ability to frighten an opponent before both teams even shook hands.

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To celebrate Halloween, here’s a list of the most terrifying football players to ever play in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Mike Bell – defensive tackle

One of the greatest CSU football players in history donned the green and gold from 1975-78. Mike Bell was known for his ability to get to the quarterback, as he held the school record for sacks with 25 until 1995.

Bell put himself on the national map in 1977 when he recorded 103 tackles and 15 sacks in a season. Against Arizona State University, Bell terrorized the Sun Devils offensive line as they tried to double team him and even tired out three different players against him.

His sack and tackling abilities did not go unnoticed from scouts, as Bell was chosen with the second overall pick in the 1979 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Al “Bubba” Baker terrorized quarterbacks during his tenure at Colorado State. (Photo courtesy of Colorado State University Athletics)

Al “Bubba” Baker – defensive lineman

A teammate and fellow defensive lineman of Bell, Al “Bubba” Baker was an integral member of the legendary CSU defense of the 1970s.

Alongside Bell, Baker was difficult for any opposing offense to try and stop. After a successful career at CSU, Baker was drafted in the second round of the 1978 NFL Draft and went on to have a 13-season professional career. Baker’s accolades include NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, the Nye Award and 131.5 unofficial sacks during his professional tenure.

Joey Porter – defensive end

One of the most well-known CSU football players of all time is Joey Porter. During his time at CSU, the 6-foot-3-inch defensive end was one of the most feared players in all of college football.

Former Colorado State football star Joey Porter had 14 sacks in his senior season in 1998. (Photo courtesy of Colorado State University Athletics)

In his 1998 season, Porter tallied 14 sacks, and he recorded 20 total sacks during his four years as a Ram. Porter still ranks in the top-five all-time in sacks at CSU to this day.

In 1999, he was drafted in the third round by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Porter played 13 seasons in the NFL, was named to the Pro Bowl four times and won a Super Bowl in 2006.

Porter worked his way into the coaching ranks, becoming a student assistant coach for the Rams in 2013. In 2014, Porter headed back to the Steelers as a defensive assistant coach before being promoted to outside linebackers coach, where he held that same position for four seasons.

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Cecil Sapp – running back

The 5-foot-11-inch, 236-pound running back was a bruiser in the Rams backfield. In his sophomore season in 2000, Cecil Sapp averaged 5.6 yards per carry and 888 yards in total.

Cecil Sapp was elected to the Colorado State Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. (Photo Courtesy of Colorado State University Athletics)

Sapp topped those numbers in his senior season with 1,601 rushing yards and 17 total touchdowns. Despite not being the fastest runner, Sapp still ranks third in career rushing touchdowns at CSU. 

Sapp spent six years in the NFL, with five of the seasons being played with the Denver Broncos. 

Clark Haggans – defensive end

CSU’s all-time sack leader ends the list. From 1996-99, Clark Haggans recorded 33 sacks on the defensive front.

The 6-foot-4-inch defensive end was a two-time All-Conference selection, second-team All-WAC and first-team All-Mountain West in his tenure. 

Clark Haggans goes for the football as the No. 15 Rams defeat Michigan State in 1998. (Photo courtesy of Colorado State University Athletics)

In his professional career, Haggans was drafted in the fifth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he would play eight seasons and win a Super Bowl with former teammate Porter.

Sergio Santistevan can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TheRealsSergio.