Data Series: Top 10 Tackling Seasons

We give you the list of top ten single season tackle marks in Texas FBS history. The trick with tackle statistics is that most schools didn't keep them until the 70s at the earliest and statisticians can get creative with what an assisted tackle is. We perused media guides to get the list, the most recent addition came from fifteen years ago, we assume this has more to do with specialization and changes to offensive schemes than a lack of tackling, but who knows. Plus, up until the early 2000s, most teams played ten or eleven games, now with conference titles and bowl games that number can climb to fourteen games easily. Still, no one is tackling like they did in the old days. The late 70s and 80s are the heyday for these tackling machines, enjoy!

Putt Choate SMU 253 TacklEs in 1978

 Putt Choate

Putt Choate

A native of Coahoma, at 6-0 230 pounds, Choate was a tackling machine for the Mustangs. In 1978 Choate had 253 stops in eleven games for the 3-8 Mustangs. His 253 total tackles included 27 against Baylor. Choate was named first team All-SWC. Choate went on to a career with the USFL's San Antonio Gunslingers, Denver Gold, and briefly with the Green Bay Packers. 

Mike Singletary Baylor 232 Tackles in 1978

 Mike Singletary

Mike Singletary

Singletary's sophomore year ranks second among Texas FBS tacklers with 232 stops. Singletary was coming off a 97 tackle season as a freshman. Undersized at 5-11 out of Worthing high school in Houston, Singletary was Honorable Mention All-America in '78. The Bears went 3-8 in 1978. For his career Singletary averaged fifteen tackles per game. He was a second round draft pick of the Chicago Bears and elected to both the Pro and College Football Hall of Fame. 

Robert Williamson Rice 196 Tackles in 1980

Robert Williamson comes in third all-time in single season tackles with 196 for Rice in 1980. The Owls played eleven games in 1980 and finished 5-6. Williamson recorded eighteen stops in a game against LSU at the end of September. He followed that up with sixteen tackles in an upset of Texas A&M. For that performance Williamson was named SWC Defensive Player of the Week. Part of Williamson's success was his ability to stay healthy for the first time in his Rice career. Williamson was named First Team All-SWC in 1980.

Britt Hager Texas 195 tackles in 1988

 Britt Hager

Britt Hager

Britt Hager received the honor of wearing Tommy Nobis' number 60 while at Texas, an honor that went to only the best Texas linebackers. Hager earned every bit of it in 1988. Hager registered 20 tackles in a loss to A&M on Thanksgiving. He beat his own school record for tackles with 195. Texas finished 4-7 in 1988. Hager was named First Team All-SWC and went onto a pro career with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Lawrence Flugence Texas Tech 193 tackles in 2002

 Lawrence Flugence

Lawrence Flugence

Flugence, who played his high school football at Klein, was 2nd team All-Big 12 three times from 2000 to 2002. He led the Red Raiders in tackles twice and his 2002 season was his best in Lubbock. Flugence led the Big 12 in tackles three years in a row. Texas Tech played fourteen games in 2002, finishing 9-5. Flugence signed with the Carolina Panthers after college and played in NFL Europe with the Berlin Thunder. 

Tony Perea  UTEP 192 tackles in 1971

The 5-11, 220 pounder from Friona, Tony Perea held down the middle of UTEP's defense for three seasons. In 1970 Tony Perea had 26 tackles against Arizona State. His most productive year was 1971 when he made 192 tackles in eleven games. He had eighteen tackles against Utah '71 and twenty vs. Arizona. Perea teamed with future NFL referee and all-around swole guy Ed Hochuli to form a very good linebacking tandem at UTEP.

Kyle Clifton TCU 189 Tackles in 1983

 Kyle Clifton

Kyle Clifton

Clifton was a 6-3, 215 pound former quarterback who took to the defensive side of the ball like a natural. After 68 tackles in 1982, Clifton exploded for 189 in 1983. Clifton made a school record 30 stops against Houston and 23 vs. Texas. The native of Bridgeport went onto a very productive NFL career with the New York Jets from 1984 to 1996. 

Mike Singletary Baylor 188 tackles in 1979

Singletary shows up once again on this list with his 1979 season. Singletary had 21 tackles in the season opener vs. Lamar, enough to merit the Player of the Week designation. The first game served as springboard as Singletary was named SWC Defensive Player of the Year and AP All-American. 

Britt Hager Texas 187 tackles in 1987

Hager makes another appearance on this list for his 1987 season. Hager who played high school ball at Permian made 187 tackles for Texas as the Horns went 7-5. Hager was named All-SWC and 2nd Team All-American for his efforts. 

Putt Choate SMU 186 tackles in 1977

Mark Putman Choate, Putt for short, makes his second appearance on the list thanks to his 186 tackles in 1977. Choate overcame a window screen hitting him in the face from three stories up during a pep rally to set a school record for tackles in '77. Choate was named First Team All-SWC and we actually have some video from Choate's '77 season and a 100 yard interception against Tulane. Had the field been 105 yards we suspect Choate may have spontaneously combusted. 

The Roundup...

Posted on May 13, 2017 .