|Born:||September 20, 1943|
San Antonio, Texas
|Died:||December 13, 2017 74) (aged|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||240 lb (109 kg)|
|High school:||San Antonio (TX) Thomas Jefferson|
|NFL Draft:||1966 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1|
|AFL draft:||1966 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Thomas Henry Nobis Jr. (September 20, 1943 – December 13, 2017) was an American football linebacker who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 11 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. He played college football at the University of Texas and was the first overall selection in the 1966 NFL draft.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Nobis played football at Thomas Jefferson High School, where he was an all-state offensive end and middle linebacker for the Mustangs.
Nobis is one of college football's all-time greatest linebackers. In his tenure with the Texas Longhorns (1963–1965) he averaged nearly 20 tackles a game and, as the only sophomore starter, was an important participant on the Longhorns' 1963 national championship team, which defeated #2 Navy led by Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach in the Cotton Bowl. Nobis was also a member of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity at the university.
Nobis was a two-time All-American and made the All-Southwest Conference team three times. As a junior in the 1965 Orange Bowl, he made one of the most famous tackles in the game's history. On fourth-and-inches, and clinging to a 21–17 lead, Nobis led his teammates to a game-saving halt of top-ranked Alabama’s QB Joe Namath. Nobis was an iron man, playing (and starting) on both defense and offense for his entire college career. Aside from being an All-American linebacker, he also played guard on the offensive side of the ball and was often the primary blocker on touchdown runs.Famed Texas head coach Darrell Royal called him "the finest two-way player I have ever seen." A knee injury slowed him during the latter part of his senior season, but he still was able to perform at a high level and won a number of major individual awards including the Knute Rockne Award, best lineman, the Outland Trophy, best interior lineman, and the Maxwell Award for college football's best player. Nobis also finished seventh in the Heisman voting to USC's Mike Garrett. He appeared on the covers of LIFE , Sports Illustrated and TIME magazines.
In November 1965, Nobis became the first player drafted by the expansion Atlanta Falconsas well as the second linebacker to be chosen first overall when he was taken with the #1 pick in the 1966 NFL draft, held on November 27, 1965. The Houston Oilers also selected him in the AFL draft. This presented a dilemma and also sparked a debate that reached as far as outer space when astronaut Frank Borman (a big Oilers fan), aboard Gemini 7, talked back to earth with the message, "tell Nobis to sign with Houston." (Borman's sons were ball boys for the Oilers.) Nobis instead signed with Atlanta on December 14 and became the first member of the Atlanta Falcons, gaining the nickname "Mr. Falcon."
Tommy Nobis joined the Falcons for their inaugural season in 1966. That season, he won the league's NFL Rookie of the Year, was voted to the Pro Bowl and amassed 294 combined tackles which still stands today as the team's all-time single-season record,and is unofficially the most tackles ever credited to one player, in a season, in NFL history. In eleven professional seasons he led the Falcons in tackles nine times, went to five Pro Bowls (one in 1972 after two knee surgeries), was named All-Pro twice and was chosen for the NFL's "All-Decade Team" for the 1960s. Miami Dolphins great, running back Larry Csonka commented, "I'd rather play against Dick Butkus than Nobis," and Falcons coach Norm Van Brocklin once pointed to Nobis' locker and proclaimed, "There's where our football team dresses."
Nobis is a member of the Atlanta Falcons' Ring of Honor and his #60 was the first number retired by the team. No other Falcons player has ever worn the number.In 2005, he was named to the Professional Football Researchers Association Hall of Very Good in the association's third HOVG class.
Nobis enjoyed a successful NFL career that many believe is worthy of Pro Football Hall of Fame induction. Former NFL player and coach Dan Reeves, while head coach of the Falcons, remarked, "As a running back for eight seasons in the NFL, I certainly took my share of hits. Unfortunately I remember some of them, particularly the ones from Falcons linebacker Tommy Nobis. 'Mr. Falcon,' as he is known in this part of the country, should be considered a worthy candidate for the Hall of Fame.” Reeves based his assertion on the fact that while playing in Atlanta, prior to the days of mass media coverage, Nobis was overlooked because of the “Falcons lack of success during his tenure”. He states, “I played and coached on some great teams while I was with Dallas. Those teams consisted of Hall of Fame members like Bob Lilly, Roger Staubach and Tom Landry. I feel that Nobis' contributions on the field merit those of the Cowboys Hall of Fame players.”Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist and Hall of Fame voter Furman Bisher wrote, "There isn't much more one can say about Tommy Nobis. In the glow of a winning team, where he would have been a star on the isolated camera, he would already have been residing in Canton. It's not a Falcons thing, it's a Nobis thing, and here is a man who lives up to all the ideals I would establish for admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame."
Number 60 is also revered at Texas where it was offered only to the best of linebackers. All American Britt Hager wore #60 during his senior season, as did All American Brian Jones. In 2004, another Longhorn All-American linebacker, Derrick Johnson, decided to wear the jersey in his final collegiate home game to honor Nobis.The number has recently joined Earl Campbell's #20, Bobby Layne's #22, Ricky Williams' #34, Vince Young's #10 and Colt McCoy's #12 as UT's only retired numbers.
Tommy Nobis was inducted into the Texas Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1976. He was named to Sports Illustrated ’s All-Century Team (1869–1969)and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, the State of Texas Hall of Fame, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame, and the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame. In May 2007, he was inducted as a charter member into the Thomas Jefferson High School Alumni Hall of Fame.
Tommy Nobis retired from the Falcons after 40 years as a member of the organization, in the front office and on the field.
Apart from football, Nobis was a co-founder and a Board of Directors member of the Tommy Nobis Center that began in 1976. The mission of the organization is to develop and provide job training, employment, and vocational support for youth and adults with disabilities and other barriers to employment. He won the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. award for his work with the Georgia Special Olympics and has been named the NFL Man of the Year.
Tommy Nobis died on December 13, 2017 at home at age 74, with his wife by his side, after an extended illness.On January 28, 2019 researchers from Boston University confirmed that Nobis had the most severe form of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Jessie Floyd Tuggle, III is a former professional American football linebacker who played for the Atlanta Falcons his entire career from 1987 to 2000. He graduated from Valdosta State College in Valdosta, Georgia. He appeared in the Pro Bowl five times, and played in Super Bowl XXXIII. His nickname is "The Hammer," because of the impact of his tackles.
Charles Louis Howley is a former American football linebacker who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 15 seasons, primarily with the Dallas Cowboys. Howley was a member of the Chicago Bears in his first two seasons and spent the remainder of his career with the Cowboys. He was named the MVP of Super Bowl V, and is the only player on a losing team to receive the award. He was also the first non-quarterback to receive the award.
Lee Roy Jordan is a former American football linebacker. After attending the University of Alabama, playing under head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, he played 14 years in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys from 1963 to 1976. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
Keith Howard Brooking is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft and also played for the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. He played college football at Georgia Tech. Brooking was a five-time Pro Bowl selection with the Falcons.
Darryl Victor Talley is an American former professional football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons during the 1980s and 1990s. He played college football for West Virginia University, and was recognized as an All-American. Talley played professionally for the Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings of the NFL, and played in four Super Bowls with the Bills.
Porter Michael Peterson is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the outside linebackers coach at the University of South Carolina. Peterson played college football at the University of Florida, where he was a member of a national championship team and earned All-American honors. He was a second-round pick in the 1999 NFL Draft and played professionally for thirteen seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL).
The 1990 NFL draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held April 22–23, 1990, at the Marriott Marquis in New York City, New York. The league also held a supplemental draft after the regular draft and before the regular season.
The 1966 National Football League draft was held at the Summit Hotel in New York City on Saturday, November 27, 1965.
Bruce Rankin Matthews is an American former professional football player who was an offensive lineman in the National Football League (NFL) for 19 seasons, from 1983 to 2001. He spent his entire career playing for the Houston / Tennessee Oilers / Titans franchise. Highly versatile, throughout his NFL career he played every position on the offensive line, starting in 99 games as a left guard, 87 as a center, 67 as a right guard, 22 as a right tackle, 17 as a left tackle, and was the snapper on field goals, PATs, and punts. Having never missed a game due to injury, his 293 NFL games started is the third most of all time, behind quarterbacks Brett Favre and Tom Brady.
Lewis Glen Carpenter was an American football player and coach. He played college football for the University of Arkansas and professionally for ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL) as a halfback and fullback with the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, and Green Bay Packers. He played on three NFL Championship teams, with Detroit in 1953 and with Green Bay in 1961 and 1962. After his playing career ended, Carpenter spent 31 years as an assistant coach in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings (1964–1966), Atlanta Falcons (1967–1968), Washington Redskins (1969), St. Louis Cardinals (1970–1972), Houston Oilers (1970–1974), Green Bay Packers (1975–1985), Detroit Lions (1987–1988), and Philadelphia Eagles (1990–1994). Carpenter also coached the Frankfurt Galaxy of the World League of American Football in 1996 and at Southwest Texas State University. He concluded his 47 years of playing and coaching football at the end of the 1996 season. Scientific tests on his brain diagnosed post-mortem that he had an advanced case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Don Larry Talbert is a former American football offensive tackle in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans Saints. He was drafted in the eighth round of the 1961 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Texas at Austin.
The 1965 Texas Longhorns football team represented the University of Texas at Austin in the 1965 NCAA University Division football season.
The 1964 Texas Longhorns football team represented the University of Texas at Austin in the 1964 NCAA University Division football season. The Longhorns finished the season as Orange Bowl champions. In the 1965 Orange Bowl, Tommy Nobis made one of the most famous tackles in the game's history. On fourth-and-inches, and clinging to a 21–17 lead, he led his teammates to a game-saving halt of top ranked Alabama's quarterback, Joe Namath.
Jacob Thomas Matthews is an American football offensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Falcons sixth overall in the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Texas A&M. He is a member of the Matthews family of football players.
Brooks Reed is an American football outside linebacker for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Arizona and was drafted by the Houston Texans in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
James Carlton "Carl" Russ is a former American football player. He played professional football as a linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets from 1975 to 1977. He also played college football at the University of Michigan from 1972 to 1974.
Malcom D'Shawn Brown is an American football defensive tackle for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Texas. He was drafted by the New England Patriots with the 32nd overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.
Deion Jones is an American football linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Louisiana State University (LSU).
Kris Boyd is an American football cornerback for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Texas Longhorns and was selected by the Vikings in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft.