Back Bryan London Making Plays, History for Texas State

Bryan London Making Plays, History for Texas State

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Bryan London is athletic, consistent and instinctive. He is also on the verge of history.

Few players in the country have a resume quite like Bryan London's. The Texas State linebacker is college football's active tackling leader with 341 career stops, adding 17 tackles for loss, eleven pass break-ups and six forced fumbles, all, remarkably, with a senior season still to go. In two of his three years in the Sun Belt Conference, London has led the league in solo tackles. He is athletic, consistent and instinctive. He is also on the verge of history.

London, already, ranks in the top ten all-time in the Sun Belt in career tackles. At his current underclassman rate of over nine tackles per game, London will move into first place on the list, becoming the conference's career leader, before the midway point of this upcoming season. Additionally, it's very likely that he will join the exclusive 450-tackle club, a select collection of defenders that has only a dozen members over the last 15 years. 

After redshirting, London wasted no time in showing that he belonged. The greater San Antonio-native recorded 12 total tackles in his first-ever game. Notably, London wouldn't end with less than eight in a single contest all year. His 2016 debut, start to finish, was one to remember. London finished second nationally with 141 total tackles and set a new Sun Belt record with 88 solo stops. Only one other freshman this millennium has compiled over 85 solo tackles in a single season: all-everything linebacker Luke Kuechly.

There aren't many players with at least 140 tackles and ten tackles for loss in a year, period, a recent list with names like Lavonte David, Mason Foster, Chad Greenway, Eric Kendricks, Elandon Roberts, Ryan Shazier, Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan, Bobby Wagner, Sean Weatherspoon, Patrick Willis, Kuechly and, as a freshman, London. Right away, his work rate put him both on the radar and in a special group. Early on, an all-time standard was set. 

Now looking to lead Texas State in tackles for the fourth consecutive season this fall, London, chasing down ball-carriers, is in pursuit of more than just runners and records. He is also working to add to his already-impressive biography for NFL scouts. The framework is clearly in place. Over the last three years, a total of 25 non-Power Five or Notre Dame linebackers have been selected in the NFL Draft, including reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Darius Leonard, Leighton Vander Esch, Haason Reddick, Tyus Bowser and Kamalei Correa all going in the top 50.  

London, in terms of production and potential, may be following in the footsteps of former Texas State linebacker David Mayo, who had 154 total tackles in 2014. Selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, the former Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year has been with the Carolina Panthers for almost five years. Mayo played in Super Bowl L.    

Ahead of his senior season, London has already earned a national platform and, moving forward, an opportunity at the next level as well. He, as one of the nation's most productive players, is on the verge of more lasting distinctions. London's career will ultimately come with multiple pages in the media guide, some sheets, even, where he stands alone.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports