Willard Dewveall

Last updated
Willard Dewveall
Willard Dewveall 1961.jpg
No. 88
Position: End
Personal information
Born:(1936-04-29)April 29, 1936
Springtown, Texas
Died:November 20, 2006(2006-11-20) (aged 70)
Houston, Texas
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:224 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school: Weatherford
(Weatherford, Texas)
College: Southern Methodist
NFL Draft: 1958  / Round: 2 / Pick: 18
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions:204
Receiving yards:3304
Touchdowns:27
Player stats at NFL.com

Willard Charles Dewveall (April 29, 1936 November 20, 2006) was an American football end, the first player to jump from the National Football League to the American Football League.

Contents

He left the Chicago Bears of the NFL after the 1960 season to play for the AFL champion Houston Oilers. [1] He was the only one to switch leagues for five years, until kicker Pete Gogolak went from the AFL to the NFL in 1966. [2]

In 1962, Dewveall caught the (then) longest pass reception for a touchdown in professional football history, 98 yards, from Jacky Lee, against the San Diego Chargers. It is still the longest receiving touchdown in Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans franchise history. He was an American Football League All-Star in 1962.

He was Dandy Don's favorite receiver, and All-American at SMU. Selected by the Bears in the second round of the 1958 NFL draft, Dewveall played a year in the Canadian Football League with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1958 under head coach Bud Grant, [3] and they won the Grey Cup. He returned to the United States and played for the Bears for two seasons in 1959 and 1960.

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References

  1. "Chicago Bears veteran Dewveall joins". Victoria Advocate. Texas. Associated Press. January 14, 1961. p. 8.
  2. "Signing of Gogolak could trigger football battle". Ludington Daily News. Michigan. Associated Press. May 18, 1966. p. 12.
  3. "Sports shorts". Milwaukee Journal. January 9, 1958. p. 19, part 2.