Continuing on with our 100 day countdown to WVU’s season opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide, we have reached day 32, the number once worn by WVU cornerback, Aaron Beasley.
Originally from Pottstown, PA, Beasley was a four-year member of the WVU football program, from 1992 to 1995. During his illustrious collegiate career, Beasley appeared in 43 games (36 starts) for the Mountaineers where he recorded 143 tackles, 19 interceptions, two forced fumbles, and two sacks.
His 19 career interceptions ranks second all-time in school history, and he owns the school’s single season record for interceptions when he recorded ten in 1994. He earned unanimous first team all-Big East honors in 1995, and was a consensus first team All-American that same season.
As a freshman, Beasley appeared in seven of the Mountaineers’ 11 games during the 1992 campaign. Playing mostly on special teams, Beasley managed to record seven tackles, and two interceptions as the team finished with a record of 5-4-2 overall, just a win shy of earning bowl eligibility.
The following season, Beasley played and started all 12 games for the Mountaineers, recording 39 tackles, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles along the way. He helped the Mountaineers go a perfect 11-0 in the regular season for just the second time in school history. They also managed to win the school’s first Big East conference championship, and earned a bid to play Florida in the 1994 Sugar Bowl. While the Mountaineers failed to match the speed and execution of the SEC champion Gators as they were blown out 41-7, the 1993 team remains the most recent WVU football squad to record a perfect regular season record.
In his junior season, the 6’0” 195 pound defensive back started and played in all 13 games for the Mountaineers. Beasley had another fine season roaming the Mountaineer secondary as he recorded a career-high 57 tackles, ten interceptions, and two sacks.
Along with setting the school record for interceptions in a season, Beasley had an amazing streak of six consecutive games with an interception, which is another school record. It started with a week four loss to Maryland, and ended when he failed to pick off any passes in a week eleven victory against Boston College.
In the second game of the streak, Beasley tied a single- game school record when he recorded three picks in a week five loss to Virginia Tech. He also recorded two pick sixes during the 1994 campaign in wins over Temple and Pitt. His ten interceptions in 1994 led the nation as the Mountaineers went on to conclude the season with a mark of 7-6 after they lost to South Carolina in the 1995 Carquest Bowl 24-21.
Beasley concluded his Mountaineer playing career in fine fashion as he recorded 40 tackles, five interceptions, and an interception returned for a touchdown en route to a 5-6 overall finish by the team. Along with being named a first team all-Big East, and consensus All-American honoree, Beasley was a semi-finalist for the Jim Thorpe award which is presented annually to the top defensive back in college football.
Aaron Besley graduated from West Virginia Universtiy in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology. Following his graduation from the school, Beasley pursued a career in professional football after being selected in the third round of the 1996 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Beasley had a solid career on the professional level, spending nine seasons with three different teams (Jaguars, New York Jets, and Atlanta Falcons). In 121 career games (105 starts) in the league, Beasley recorded 423 tackles, 24 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles, and 8.5 sacks. He appeared for the Jaguars in the 1999 AFC Championship game in a 33-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans, and recorded the team’s longest interception return for a touchdown when he returned a pick 93 yards to the end zone against the San Francisco 49ers in a week one blowout victory.
Following his retirement from the National Football League, Beasley helped to co-find the Fever energy drink company. Most recently, Beasley was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame as part of the induction class of 2009.
All countdown profiles of numbers 100-33 are still available here at WVUPros.com