BLACK BUZZ SPORTS NEWS SERVICE
January 4, 2011
CANTON....(BBSNS) Paul Brown the legendary Hall of Fame coach of the Cleveland Browns drafted the fast and nifty RB Bobby Mitchell out of the University of Illinois in 1958, and he was the last Big Ten Running back to make it into Canton.
Mitchell teamed with the great Jimmy Brown in one of the greatest back fields ever in the NFL. However Mitchell was traded by the Browns to the Washington Redskins in 1961 in a trade that brought the hard running Ernie Davis to the Browns, but Davis never played a down with the Browns.
Ernie Davis was the first Black collegiate to win the highly coveted Heisman Trophy and he died with leukemia before he could play one down with the Browns.
Mitchell was one of the first Black players too play with the Lilly white Redskins along with Jack Nisby and Leroy Jackson.
Mitchell was primary a wide receiver with the skins, and he made into Canton as a wide receiver not as a running back.
Ohio State's Eddie George had a good NFL career, but he didn't have a Hall-Of Fame career. I saw Ray Lewis take his heart out in every match-up between the Ravens and Titans. Study the game film and look at the statistics and you will see that Pittsburgh's Jerome "Bus" Bettis was more productive against the Ravens than Eddie George.
Notre Dame is not in the Big Ten.
Can anyone name two Big Ten Backs that can compare favorably to Bo Jackson or Hershel Walker? And neither Jackson or Walker are in Canton.
When is the last time a running back from the Big Ten led the NFL in rushing.
The Eagles Steve "the man" Van Buren was the last dominant great white running back in the NFL, and he played his ball at LSU. Van Buren was a beast and the great Jim Brown gave Van Buren his props at the 75th Anniversary team banquet.
John Riggins never won an NFL rushing title but the "Diesel" could really carry the leather. Riggins keeps telling people he's a Native American.
Red Grange and Bronco Nagurski played in the Big Ten before I was born.
I did happen too see the following Big Ten running backs such as J.C. Caroline, Abe Woodson, Mickey Bates, Herb Adderly, Archie Griffin, Jim Otis, Bob Ferguson, Bobby Watkins, Keith Byars, Howard Hopalong Cassidy, John Brockington, Alan "The Horse" Ameche, Vic Janowicz, Lynn Chadnois, the great George Taliaferro and the spectacular Claude "Buddy" Young.
But none of those previous named Big Ten backs could run like Bo Jackson or Hershel Walker. Alan Ameche was a good inside runner and he played the game like its suppose to be played with passion and true grit.
The great Buddy Young was a sprint champ, and he tied the wolrd record in the 60 yard dash. Buddy was also an NCAA Champion in the 100 yard dash at Illinois, and he was truly a scat back at five feet four inches.
Young ran a 9.4 100 yard dash and Bo and Hershel may not have beat Buddy. Both Bo and Hershel may have caught Buddy in the 100 meters, but that's still debatable. My money would be on Buddy Young to beat Jackson and Walker in the old 100 yard dash.
Buddy was lightning quick with great hands and he could block with the best of them. The late Buddy Young was built like a cannonball and many experts said he was a better running back than Army's Blanchard and Davis.
The Colts great Hall of famer Gino Marchetti states that " once Buddy Young beat the Colt's mascot a horse in the 100 yard dash, and he had a ten yard lead on the horse before the horse got going."
I had a 1950 Tops Football card of Buddy Young in a New York Yanks uniform. Buddy Young was truly a class act on and off the field.
* The Big Ten on a whole does not produce good quality swift hard running backs.