Popularly, Brian Pillman was a professional wrestler in the WCE, ECW and WWF up until his death at the age of 35.
But before Flyin’ Brian, Pillman dominated on the football field. The in-state kid went to Miami-OH and ended up being the best defensive tackle in program history. From 1980-1983, Pillman racked up 77 total tackles for loss, which still stands atop the Mid-American Conference’s leaderboard.
Most tackles for loss in career:
1. 77, Brian Pillman (MIA), 1980-83
2t. 75, Khalil Mack (Buffalo), 2010-13
2t. 75, Jason Babin (WMU), 2000-03
4. 74, Kenny Philpot (EMU), 1998-01
5. 73, Bob Beemer (Toledo), 1982-85
6. 68, JoJuan Armour (MIA) 19995-98
7. 66, Joel Smeenge (WMU), 1986-89
8. 65, Roosevelt Nix (Kent State) 2010-13
9t. 63, Jonathan Goddard (Marshall), 2001-04
9t. 63, Larry English (NIU), 2005-08
In his senior season, Pillman recorded 40 total tackles for loss, which, likewise, is still a MAC record. Get this: Pillman was a Second Team All-American twice and still didn’t get drafted in the NFL. He signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as a free agent for a year, then transitioned over to the CFL to play for Calgary.
While a quick YouTube search didn’t bring up any videos of Pillman playing defensive tackle, the very first result was of somebody’s NCAA Football video game with the Pillman character taking a 97-yard fumble to the house.