Height: 5-11 Weight: 208 Age: 30
Born: 4/12/1987 Fort Pierce , FL
College: Western Michigan
Selected By: Detroit Lions
Pick (Overall): 1 (33)
One of the keys to the Broncos' offensive success in 2008 actually came from a player on the other side of the field - Louis Delmas. The emotionally charged pass defender's ability to roam the field and keep plays in front of him saw him lead the team with 111 tackles in 2008, his first injury free season since his freshman campaign.
Delmas only knows how to play the game - on sheer energy and at high speed, leading to some tremendously violent collisions on the football field. His hard-hitting style of play has drawn comparisons to former New England great Rodney Harrison.
"Just watching him practice and the speed in which he practices, I mean we've got to tone him down. The other day, I actually had to get him off the field. I said, 'You're too wrapped up.'" WMU coach Bill Cubit said about Delmas.
A starter in all but one game that he suited up for in a Broncos uniform, Delmas began his career as a left cornerback before moving inside to free safety as a sophomore. He became just the 14th player in school history to register 300 or more tackles in a career, finishing tied for eighth on that record list with 310 hits. In addition to his stellar performances on defense, he also appeared on special teams and saw brief action as a receiver in the 2008 Texas Bowl.
Playing a variety of roles is nothing new for Delmas. While attending North Miami Beach High School, he was utilized as a cornerback, strong safety, wide receiver, kick returner and long snapper. As a senior, he played eight games where he never came off the field. The three-year starter was voted his team's best defensive back three consecutive seasons. He broke school records for single game and career kickoff return yardage, as he collected 178 tackles with three interceptions on defense and had 61 receptions for 841 yards and seven touchdowns on offense.
Delmas enrolled at Western Michigan in 2005, along with prep teammates Daniel Marks and E.J. Biggers. He was the only true freshman to start every game, earning second-team All-Mid American Conference honors, in addition to being selected to the College Football News' Freshman All-American squad. He registered the team's first safety since 2001 and finished third on the team with 82 tackles (54 solos), including 1.5 sacks. He recovered two fumbles, broke up eight passes and picked off three others from his left cornerback slot.
A left knee medial collateral sprain suffered in the third game of the 2006 season vs. Virginia sidelined Delmas for two contests, but he still ranked third on the team with 53 tackles (39 solos). He paced the Broncos with four interceptions, broke up five passes and caused a fumble that he recovered at his new position, free safety.
Delmas' non-stop motor was sidelined for two early season games in 2007 after he suffered a concussion in a collision during the season opener vs. West Virginia. He came back for reserve duty vs. Central Connecticut before reclaiming his starting free safety job for the rest of the schedule. He collected three stops for loss that included a sack and was in on 64 tackles (48 solos). He picked off one pass and even tried his hand as a kickoff returner, averaging 23.1 yards on seven attempts.
National attention came the free safety's way in 2008, as he earned All-American status for the first time. The All-Mid American Conference choice led the Broncos with a career-high 111 tackles (61 solos) that included four stops for loss. He also had four interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown. His 111 hits ranked sixth among the nation's defensive backs during his final season.