26 Facts About Earl Campbell

1. Earl Campbell was drafted first overall by the Oilers in 1978 and had an immediate impact in the league, earning NFL Rookie of the Year honors.

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2. Earl Campbell was named the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year in each of his first three seasons, during which he averaged nearly 1,700 rushing yards per season.

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3. Earl Campbell won the AP NFL Most Valuable Player Award in 1979 after leading the league in rushing yards and touchdowns.

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4. Earl Campbell was traded to the Saints six games into the 1984 season, where he spent his final season and a half before retiring.

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5. Earl Campbell was inducted into both the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame (1991).

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6. Switzer, who unsuccessfully recruited Earl Campbell, said in his 1989 book that Earl Campbell was the only player he ever saw who could have gone straight from high school to the NFL and immediately become a star.

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7. Earl Campbell attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he played college football for the Texas Longhorns from 1974 to 1977.

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8. Earl Campbell led the nation in rushing as a senior in 1977, with 1,744 yards and 19 touchdowns.

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9. Earl Campbell was awarded the Heisman Memorial Trophy as the most outstanding college player after the season, becoming the University of Texas' first winner of the award.

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10. Earl Campbell became the first recipient of the Davey O'Brien Memorial Trophy which was awarded to the outstanding player in the Southwest Conference.

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11. Earl Campbell was a unanimous All-American, being named to the first team by every major selector.

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12. Earl Campbell finished his college career with 4,443 rushing yards and 40 rushing touchdowns in 40 games through four seasons.

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13. Earl Campbell was the first overall draft pick in the 1978 NFL Draft, selected by the Houston Oilers, who signed him to a six-year, $1.4 million contract.

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14. Earl Campbell set NFL records with eleven 100-yard rushing games, seven consecutive 100-yard games, and 368 carries.

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15. Earl Campbell was held to just 15 yards on 17 carries against Pittsburgh's "Steel Curtain" defense.

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16. Earl Campbell threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to receiver Billy "White Shoes" Johnson against the Steelers for his only career completion out of three attempts.

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17. Earl Campbell rushed for a total of 468 yards and four touchdowns in 1984, and failed to record a 100-yard game during the season.

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18. Earl Campbell is widely acknowledged as one of the best power running backs in NFL history, and was highly regarded by his peers.

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19. Cornerback Lester Hayes of the Raiders said "Earl Campbell was put on this earth to play football.

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20. On July 27, 1991, Earl Campbell was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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21. In 1999, Earl Campbell was ranked number 33 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 greatest football players, the highest-ranked player for the Houston Oilers franchise.

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22. Earl Campbell was honored at halftime against Ohio State on September 9, 2006, including the unveiling of a 9-foot bronze statue of Campbell in the southwest corner of Royal-Memorial Stadium.

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23. In 2019, Earl Campbell was one of twelve running backs selected to the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

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24. On January 13, 2020, Earl Campbell was honored during the College Football Playoff National Championship for the 150th anniversary of college football.

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25. Earl Campbell developed foot drop due to nerve damage in his legs, and has difficulty bending his back and knees.

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26. In 2009, Earl Campbell became addicted to painkillers prescribed for his spinal stenosis, taking as many as ten OxyContin pills a day with Budweiser.

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