Hometown: Columbus, OH
Record: 29-18, Bowl Record: 1-1
Dennis Fowlkes is often remembered by Mountaineer fans as “Mr. Inside.” He was the Robin to Darryl Talley’s Batman during his time in Morgantown. Fowlkes was a staunch inside linebacker making many tackles, while Talley was more of the flashy pass rusher. Fowlkes made an immediate impact for the Mountaineers, seeing spot duty his freshman season. He would go on to start the final three years of his career in Morgantown, leading the team in tackles his senior season with 140. For his time in the old gold and blue, Fowlkes compiled 467 tackles, 7 sacks, and 7 interceptions. He would end up playing for the Minnesota Vikings for four seasons following his Mountaineer career.
Memorable Game: The Mountaineers had secured an 8-3 record coming into the final home game of the season against Syracuse. The Orange were looking to spoil West Virginia’s bowl prospects with an upset. The Orange were in for a long day. West Virginia’s defense absolutely dominated Syracuse throughout the game. The Mountaineers forced four Syracuse turnovers and held them to 230 yards of offense. Fowlkes had a marvelous performance, claiming two sacks and an interception. West Virginia embarrassed Syracuse 26-0 to cap off the 1982 regular season.
Competition: Surprisingly enough, the #50 is not a real popular number at West Virginia. In fact, the only two other player to wear that number for the length of their careers are Mike Booth and Matt Smith. Fowlkes was the obvious choice.
Teaser: Tomorrow we feature another great linebacker from the 80s. This player was so strong, he could cut down the mightiest tree in the forest with a herring (hint hint).