|No. 22, 23|
|Born:||October 23, 1937|
West Memphis, Arkansas
|Died:|| October 29, 2011 74) (aged|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||195 lb (88 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||1960 / Round: 15 / Pick: 177|
|AFL draft:||1961 / Round: 8 / Pick: 57|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Tom Watkins (October 23, 1937 – October 29, 2011) was an American football running back in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 15th round of the 1960 NFL Draft. He played college football at Iowa State.
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
A running back (RB) is an American and Canadian football position, a member of the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, and to block. There are usually one or two running backs on the field for a given play, depending on the offensive formation. A running back may be a halfback, a wingback or a fullback. A running back will sometimes be called a "feature back" if he is the team's starting running back.
The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held in the first Sunday in February, and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.
Watkins also played for the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers. He was inducted into Iowa State's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) North division. The team plays its home games at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) North division. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC.
According to George Plimpton's best-selling book "Paper Lion" Watkins, graduated from Iowa State University in 1961, was one of the best running backs in Cyclone history. A member of the famed 1959 "Dirty Thirty" team, Watkins ranked second in the nation in rushing that season and earned All-America honors the following year in 1960. He played seven seasons in the NFL, leading the league in punt return yardage as a Lion in 1963 and 1964. He was inducted into ISU's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002.
Tom lived the last 30+ years of his life living in Detroit, Michigan where he was a philanthropist and mentor for many youth in the Metro Detroit area.
Tom Watkins was drafted by the Cleveland Browns of the NFL in 1959. Watkins was traded to the Detroit Lions three years later. With the Lions, Watkins made his impact as a return specialist.In a game against the 49ers in 1963, Watkins returned a punt for 90 yards, setting a team record that would remain unbroken until Desmond Howard returned one for 95 yards in a 2000 game against the New Orleans Saints.
Desmond Kevin Howard is a former National Football League (NFL) player. Howard was known mostly as a return specialist but also played wide receiver. He is currently a college football analyst for ESPN.
Watkins played in just one game for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1968, but did not record a stat.
After his playing career was over, Watkins lived in Detroit, becoming the head coach of Detroit Chadsey High School's football team. He retired after 35 years as head coach in 2006.
Ewell Doak Walker II was an American football player. He played college football as a halfback at Southern Methodist University (SMU), where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1948. Walker then played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) with the Detroit Lions for six seasons, from 1950 to 1955.
Lemuel Joseph Barney is a former American football player. A native of Gulfport, Mississippi, he played college football at Jackson State from 1964 to 1966. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL) and played for the Lions as a cornerback, return specialist, and punter from 1967 to 1977. He was selected as the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1967, played in seven Pro Bowls, and was selected as a first-team All-NFL player in 1968 and 1969. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992. He has also been inducted into the Detroit Lions Hall of Fame, the Jackson State Sports Hall of Fame, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
Robert Yale Lary Sr. was an American football player, businessman, and politician.
William McGarvey "Bullet Bill" Dudley was a professional American football player in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions, and Washington Redskins. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966 and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1972.
John LeRoy Christiansen was an American football player and coach. He played professional football in the National Football League (NFL) for the Detroit Lions as a defensive back and return specialist from 1951 to 1958. He helped lead the Lions to three NFL championships in 1952, 1953, and 1957 and was a first-team All-NFL player in six of his eight years in the league. He led the NFL in interceptions in 1953 and 1957 and in punt returns for touchdown in 1951, 1952, 1954, and 1956. His eight career punt returns for touchdowns was an NFL record until 1989 and remains the fourth best in league history. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970.
Melvin Junius Gray is a former American football kickoff returner in the National Football League (NFL). He played with the New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, Houston Oilers and Philadelphia Eagles. In 1984 and 1985, he played for the Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League (USFL). He played college football at Purdue where he played running back. Gray attended Lafayette High School in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he played with future NFL players Lawrence Taylor and Ron Springs.
Terry Albert Barr was an American football player. He played professional football for nine seasons in the National Football League (NFL) for the Detroit Lions from 1957 to 1965. He began his NFL career as a defensive back and return specialist and later became one of the best pass receivers in the NFL. He played in the Pro Bowl in both 1963 and 1964, led the NFL with 13 touchdown receptions in 1963, and was among the NFL leaders with 1,086 receiving yards in 1963 and 1,030 receiving yards in 1964. Over his nine-year NFL career, Barr appeared in 102 games and caught 227 passes for 3,810 yards and 35 touchdowns.
Harry Vincent Gilmer Jr. was an American football halfback and quarterback in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993.
William Sheppeard Glass is a former American football defensive end who played eleven seasons in the National Football League, beginning with the Detroit Lions and finishing his career as a standout with the Cleveland Browns. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
Thomas Laverne "Tommy" James, Jr. Nicknamed "Red".(September 16, 1923 – February 7, 2007) was an American football defensive halfback who played for Ohio State University and the Cleveland Browns in the 1940s and 1950s. He was born near Massillon, Ohio and attended Massillon Washington High School, where he played as a back on the football team under head coach Paul Brown. James was a key part of a Massillon team that went undefeated in 1940. After graduating, he followed Brown to Ohio State and played there as a halfback. Ohio State won its first national championship in 1942 when James was on the team.
Thomas Edward Skladany is an American football former punter who is widely considered to be, along with Ray Guy, one of the two greatest punters in college football history. Skladany later played in the NFL from 1978-1983. Skladany, the only 3-time first team All American punter in college history, made Big 10 history in 1973 when he became the first specialty player given a football scholarship in Big 10 football history. Skladany was considered by Street & Smith's and Parade to be the consensus number one high school kicker/punter in America in 1972. Skladany turned down scholarship offers from Michigan, Penn State and hometown Pittsburgh to sign with Woody Hayes and Ohio State. Skladany was a three-time All-American at The Ohio State University—(1974, 1975, 1976).
James Robert Doran was a National Football League (NFL) wide receiver for the Detroit Lions (1951–1959) and the Dallas Cowboys (1960–1961). He played college football at Iowa State University. He was a two-way player, playing both on offense and defense. He played 94 games as a defensive lineman, usually defensive end, and 115 games as a tight end.
Paul Edward Brown is a former American football safety in the National Football League for the Cleveland Browns, the Washington Redskins, and the Los Angeles Rams. He played college football at the University of Tennessee.
Earl Francis "Jug" Girard was an American football player. He played ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL) as an end, halfback, quarterback, punter, kickoff returner, defensive back, and punt returner. He played for the Green Bay Packers (1948-1951), Detroit Lions (1952-1956), and Pittsburgh Steelers (1957). He won two NFL Championships with the Lions in 1952 and 1953. He played college football at the University of Wisconsin in 1944 and 1947 and was selected as a first-team All-American halfback at age 17 in 1944.
Rodrick Hill is a former American football cornerback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, and Los Angeles Raiders. After his NFL career he played five seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and still holds the career interception record by a player for that franchise. He played college football at Kentucky State University.
Thomas Anthony Colella was an American football halfback and punter in the National Football League (NFL) and All-America Football Conference (AAFC) for the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Rams, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills.
The 1952 Detroit Lions season resulted in the Lions winning their second National Football League (NFL) championship, having won their first championship 17 years earlier in 1935. The team's co-captains were halfback Bob Hoernschemeyer and defensive tackle John Prchlik, and defensive end Jim Doran was selected as the team's most valuable player. In their third year under head coach Buddy Parker, the 1952 Lions compiled a 9–3 record during the regular season, finished in a tie with the Los Angeles Rams for first place in the NFL's National Conference, defeated the Rams in a tiebreaker game, and defeated the Cleveland Browns, 17–7, in the 1952 NFL Championship Game at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland.
Ralph L. Isselhardt was an American football player who played one season in the National Football League with the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Rams. He played college football at Franklin College. He first enrolled at Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro, Illinois before transferring to Marion High School in Marion, Indiana.
Compared to other major professional sports leagues in the United States, the National Football League (NFL) has the lowest percentage of foreign-born players. In 2017, roughly 1 out of 39 active players (2.56%) were born outside the US. In recent NFL Drafts, teams have made efforts to search internationally for prospects. A record 12 international players were drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft. As of the beginning of the 2018 NFL season, Canada is the most represented foreign country in the NFL, with 13 players, followed by Germany with 6 players.