Sporting the No. 91 jersey, NFL prospect defensive end David Bass broke the Missouri Western career sack record when he recorded No. 31 in the Griffons blowout win over William Jewell on Saturday.
“He’s a great player, great person, and a great leader,” coach Jerry Partridge said. “If he stays healthy he will have many, many more. He’s meant a lot to us, and I’m happy for him.”
Bass’ ability to sack the quarterback has caught the eye of NFL teams, whose scouts have been visiting Western to get a look at the 6-5, 275-pound athletic pass rusher.
“Twelve of the 32 NFL teams have been through so far,” Partridge said. “He looks the part. His measurements are good, he just needs to put some numbers up and he’s already done that throughout his career.”
According to Bass, breaking the record isn’t what scouts will be focused on when evaluating him. It’s about his entire body of work — especially during his senior season.
“It will just show I’ve been producing throughout my years,” Bass said. “I don’t think they will look at the record, they will look at how many sacks I have this season. It’s a lot of motivation for the program, myself and my family, and I’m thankful to have that.”
The Griffons have played two games this season, and Bass has recorded one sack in each game. Despite breaking the record, Bass has higher goals for his sack total.
“I want to get to 20 this season,” Bass said. “My goal coming into the season was two sacks per game, right now I only have 2, so I’m not reaching my goals right now.”
The only way for an opposing team to stop Bass from getting to their quarterback is to block him with two players, which frees up other Griffon defensive linemen to get sacks of their own.
“If I don’t reach my goal, I know it’s going to be successful for us as a defensive line — if they slide my way it will free the other guys up,” said Bass. “As long as we win and as long as everyone is eating, I’m not going to be selfish as long as we reach our team goal.”
Despite the success he’s had at Western, Bass did not was not at the top of the list of many recruiters after coming out of University City High School in St. Louis.
“He should have been recruited heavy, but he wasn’t,” Partridge said. “There’s some teams that dabbled in him, but I don’t think there was anyone that was incredibly serious.”
Bass took a redshirt during his true freshman season.
“We attempt to redshirt all of our freshmen because it grows them into fifth year seniors that we are seeing right now — men,” Partridge said. “A lot of them are not quite ready to go strength and size-wise, and it gives them a year to put on something.”
Bass only weighed 200 pounds during his redshirt season and has transformed into a 275-pound-force four years later.
His sack total has improved every season as he took down the quarterback 6.5 times as a freshman, 8 times as a sophomore and led the conference with 14.5 as a junior which earned him first-team All-American honors.
Bass needs 15 more sacks this season to tie Colorado School of Mines’ Marc Schiechl’s all-time Division II record for sacks with 46, set in 2010.