Tackling College Basketball's Significant Impact on Pro Football Hall of Fame

College basketball boasts a significant presence during the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement weekend in Canton, Ohio. After Akron's Jason Taylor joined honorees this year, Chattanooga's Terrell Owens is expected to be next to join the following alphabetical list of former college hoopers comprising about 10% of the gridiron HOF members:

DOUG ATKINS, Tennessee
Member of College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame. Eight-time Pro Bowl participant played 17 NFL seasons (1953 through 1969) as a defensive end with the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints. He was a first-round NFL draft selection (11th pick overall) after competing in two Cotton Bowls and one Sugar Bowl. . . . Atkins originally enrolled on a basketball scholarship at Tennessee, where he played one season of varsity basketball before concentrating on football. The 6-5, 210-pound center averaged 9.9 points per game for the 1950-51 Volunteers, ranking third on the team in scoring. He was selected by the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1953 NBA draft.

MORRIS "RED" BADGRO, Southern California
Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame was an offensive and defensive end with the New York Yankees (1927 and 1928), New York Giants (1930 through 1935) and Brooklyn Dodgers (1936) in a nine-year NFL career that was interrupted by a stint in major league baseball. Hit .257 in two seasons (1929 and 1930) as an outfielder with the St. Louis Browns after becoming a three-time All-Pro with the Giants. . . . Earned varsity basketball letters for the Trojans in 1924-25 and 1926-27. Named to the first five on the All-Pacific Coast Conference team as a forward in 1926-27 when he was USC's MVP.

CLIFF BATTLES, West Virginia Wesleyan College
Halfback became member of College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame. Led the NFL in rushing as a rookie with Boston in 1932 and in his final season with Washington in 1937. First NFL player to rush for 200 yards in a game (215 yards in 16 carries for the Boston Redskins against the New York Giants in 1933). . . . The 6-1, 195-pounder played four seasons of varsity basketball in college.

SAMMY BAUGH, Texas Christian
Member of College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame is considered by many as the finest quarterback in history. Consensus All-American in 1936. Passed for 21,886 yards and 186 touchdowns in 16 years (1937 through 1952) with the Washington Redskins. First-round pick led the NFL in passing five times, in punting five times and in pass interceptions once. Five-time All-Pro participant held almost all of the NFL's passing records when he retired. His 44-yard gallop was the longest run from scrimmage in a 3-2 victory over LSU in the 1936 Sugar Bowl before helping the Horned Frogs defeat Marquette, 16-6, in the 1937 Cotton Bowl. . . . Three-year letterman in basketball at TCU was an honorable mention selection on the All-Southwest Conference team as a senior in 1936-37.

BOBBY BELL, Minnesota
Member of the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a consensus All-American choice as a tackle and winner of the Outland Award as the nation's outstanding interior lineman in 1962. Selected in the seventh round of the 1963 AFL draft by the Dallas Texans. As a linebacker, the nine-time All-Pro selection intercepted 25 passes in his 12-year career with the Kansas City Chiefs. Bell played in two Super Bowls (I and IV). . . . He became the first African-American basketball player for Minnesota when he appeared in three games in the 1960-61 season, collecting four points and four rebounds.

JIM BROWN, Syracuse
Movie actor is member of College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame. Earned All-American honors in football and lacrosse. Averaged 6.2 yards per carry as a senior in 1956 and scored 43 points in a game against Colgate. Co-MVP in 1957 Cotton Bowl. The first-round draft choice established NFL career records for yards rushing (12,312), rushing attempts (2,359), rushing average (5.2 per carry), touchdowns (126) and years leading league in rushing (eight) in his nine seasons (1957 through 1965) with the Cleveland Browns. Nine-time Pro Bowl selection. . . . Averaged 14 ppg for the Orangemen basketball team as a sophomore and 11.3 as a junior. He is reluctant to specifically say why he quit the team before his senior season when Syracuse participated in the NCAA Tournament for the first time, but indicated it was because of a racial quota. "Well, they basically didn't want to start more than two blacks (Vinnie Cohen and Manny Breland) although nobody could outrun, outjump or outshoot me," said Brown, who was selected in the ninth round of the 1957 NBA draft by the Syracuse Nationals. "It really was a tragedy the way athletics were handled there at the time," said Cohen, who went on to become a Washington, D.C., lawyer for 40 years. Excerpt from school guide: "Brownie is a powerfully built youth, who helps under the boards, and is an excellent shot as well." His son Jimmy, a two-time All-MEAC first-team selection, played for three NCAA Tournament teams with North Carolina A&T from 1983 through 1985 after transferring from Southern Cal and was the Aggies' leading scorer as a senior with 18.2 ppg.

Pro Football Hall of Famer was the first pick overall in the 1962 AFL draft by the Dallas Texans. The 6-7, 285-pound defensive tackle missed only one game because of injury in his 13-year pro career, which included a streak of eight consecutive seasons being named to either the AFL All-Star Team or NFL Pro Bowl. Instrumental in the Kansas City Chiefs' victory over the heavily-favored Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV. . . . Concentrated solely on football after earning a basketball letter as a freshman in 1958-59. Buchanan and teammate Ernie Ladd both intended on only playing basketball for Grambling before legendary coach Eddie Robinson kept both from transferring by allegedly giving them a key to the cafeteria's kitchen so they could go there and eat whenever they were hungry if the pair would come out for the football squad.

EARL "DUTCH" CLARK, Colorado College
Member of College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame. Halfback and quarterback was named to All-NFL team in six of his seven seasons with Portsmouth (1931 and 1932) and Detroit (1934 through 1938). Led the NFL in scoring in 1932, 1935 and 1936. Player-coach of Detroit in 1937 and 1938) and head coach of Cleveland Rams from 1939 through 1942. First-team QB on the 1928 AP All-American team. Scored at least one touchdown in 21 consecutive college football games. . . . The 6-0, 180-pounder was an All-Rocky Mountain Conference choice in basketball all four seasons (first team as a freshman and senior, second team as a junior and third team as a sophomore). Sketch in Spalding Official Guide: "There isn't a man who could match Clark as a floor guard. The best dribbler ever to bounce a ball in the conference."

GEORGE CONNOR, Holy Cross/Notre Dame
Member of College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame was Outland Trophy winner (outstanding interior lineman) as a tackle on Notre Dame's 1946 national championship team. Consensus All-American football choice in 1946 and 1947. Earned All-America honors as a tackle at Holy Cross in 1943 before transferring to Notre Dame. First-round draft choice by the New York Giants in 1946 (5th pick overall). Played offensive/defensive tackle and linebacker with the Chicago Bears for eight years from 1948 through 1955, earning All-NFL first-team honors from 1949 through 1953. . . . Averaged 2.5 points per game as a 6-3, 225-pound center on the Irish's 1946-47 basketball team. Basketball letterman with Holy Cross in 1943 and 1944.

Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame completed 2,136 passes for 28,731 yards and 239 touchdowns in 19 seasons (1957 through 1975) with the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Texans and Kansas City Chiefs. First-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers went on to become a seven-time All-Pro. Quarterbacked the Chiefs to victory over Minnesota in Super Bowl following 1969 season. . . . Played in two games as a 6-0, 180-pound guard for Purdue's basketball team in the 1956-57 campaign.

MIKE DITKA, Pittsburgh
Member of College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame. The tight end caught 427 passes for 5,812 yards and 43 touchdowns in 12 NFL seasons (1961 through 1972) with the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. The first-round draft choice participated in two Super Bowls with Dallas (V and VI) after playing five Pro Bowls with the Bears (1962 through 1966). Coached Super Bowl winner in 1985 season when the Bears compiled an 18-1 overall record. Registered a 112-68 mark in 11 years (1982-92) as coach of the Bears. Coached the New Orleans Saints in the late 1990s between stints as a network analyst. . . . The 6-2, 205-pound forward averaged 2.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in two seasons with the Panthers (1958-59 and 1959-60) after playing in high school under Press Maravich, the father of Pete Maravich, the NCAA's all-time leading scorer. Sketch in school basketball guide: "A natural athlete who never quits. If Pitt wins a few games, there is a good chance he will be in the thick of things."

Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame is the only head coach to win championships in both the NFL (Baltimore Colts in 1958 and 1959) and AFL (New York Jets in 1968). . . . Two-year basketball letterman for Miami (1926-27 and 1927-28) compiled a 5-13 record as head basketball coach at his alma mater in 1938-39 and an 8-12 mark as Brown's head basketball coach in 1946-47.

OTTO GRAHAM, Northwestern
Member of College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame. Quarterback earned All-American honors and finished third in Heisman Trophy voting as a senior in 1943. First-round draft choice of the Detroit Lions in 1944 (4th pick overall). Played 10 seasons (1946 through 1955) with the Cleveland Browns and quarterbacked team to championship game each year (All-America Football Conference from 1946 through 1949 and NFL from 1950 through 1955). Compiled a 105-17-4 playing record in regular-season pro competition, completing 1,464 of 2,626 passes for 23,584 yards and 174 touchdowns. Five-time Pro Bowl selection (1951 through 1955). Compiled a 17-22-3 record as coach of the Washington Redskins in three years from 1966 through 1968. . . . Played three seasons of varsity basketball, finishing second in the Big Ten Conference in scoring as a sophomore (13.1 ppg) and as a junior (15.8). The 6-0 forward earned second-team All-Big Ten honors in 1941-42 and first five honors in 1942-43. Also played for Colgate as a senior. NCAA consensus first-team All-American in 1944 and second-team All-American in 1943. Left Northwestern with the highest scoring total in school history with more than 600 points. Played one season with the Rochester Royals in the National Basketball League, averaging 5.2 points per game for the 1945-46 squad that won the NBL title.

HARRY "BUD" GRANT, Minnesota
Former NFL and CFL end and coach. First-round choice by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1950 NFL draft. Played with Philadelphia in 1951 and 1952 and Winnipeg of the CFL from 1953 through 1956. Caught 272 passes for 4,197 yards and 20 touchdowns in six pro seasons, leading the CFL in pass receptions in 1953 (with 68), 1954 (49) and 1956 (63). Coached Winnipeg in the CFL (1957-66) and Minnesota in the NFL (1967-85). Coach of four CFL champions and four NFL Super Bowl teams. . . . Third-leading scorer for the Gophers' basketball squad in 1948-49 (8.5 ppg) after being named team MVP the previous season over first-team All-American Jim McIntyre. Finished 13th in the Big Ten Conference in scoring in 1946-47 with a 9.3 average. Played two seasons in the NBA, including a rookie year when he was a member of the Lakers' 1950 championship team.

Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame compiled a 324-151-31 record as an NFL coach, guiding the Chicago Bears to seven NFL titles. His 40-year NFL coaching career also included stints with the Decatur/Chicago Staleys. MVP of the 1919 Rose Bowl as an end for Great Lakes. . . . The 6-0, 175-pound Halas, known for his gritty defense, was a starting guard for the Illini team that won the Big Ten Conference basketball title in 1916-17 with a 10-2 record. He was captain of the squad the next season before entering the armed forces in mid-January. He was also an outfielder in 12 games for the New York Yankees in 1919.

MEL HEIN, Washington State
Hall of Fame charter member played with the New York Giants for 15 years from 1931 through 1945. In 1994, Hein was named to the NFL's all-time 75-year anniversary team. Eight-time All-NFL center scored a touchdown in 1938 when he was named the league's MVP. In college, he intercepted eight passes in a game against Idaho. . . . The 6-2, 220-pounder was a basketball letterman in 1930 after leading WSU to a Rose Bowl bid. He was supervisor of officials for the American Football Conference of the NFL until his retirement.

ELROY "CRAZY LEGS" HIRSCH, Wisconsin/Michigan
Member of College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame. First-round draft choice by Cleveland in 1945 (5th pick overall). Played halfback, defensive back and offensive end as a pro with the Chicago Rockets of the All-America Football Conference from 1946 through 1948 and Los Angeles Rams of the NFL from 1949 through 1957. Caught 387 passes and scored 66 touchdowns as a pro. Played in four NFL championship games. Held the Rams' team record for most touchdown receptions for almost 40 years until it was broken by Isaac Bruce in 2001. . . . Starting center for the Wolverines' basketball team in 1944 while undergoing military training there. Sketch in Michigan guide: "Naval transfer from Wisconsin was a big aid, chiefly through his flaming competitive spirit."

Member of College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame earned All-American honors as a quarterback in 1955 and 1956. Only Heisman Trophy winner to play for a losing team (2-8 as a senior). First pick overall in the NFL draft as a bonus selection. Played nine seasons as a halfback/placekicker with the Green Bay Packers, leading the NFL in scoring in 1959, 1960 and 1961. He rushed for 3,711 yards and 50 touchdowns and caught 130 passes for 1,480 yards and 12 touchdowns. Played in five NFL championship games and two Pro Bowls (1960 and 1961). . . . Played varsity basketball for the Irish as a sophomore, averaging 6.1 points per game in 10 contests. Wrote Hornung in his autobiography Golden Boy: "(Coach Johnny) Jordan liked to tip a few, and sometimes, on the road, he'd take me out drinking with him. He could do that because I wasn't on basketball scholarship."

MARV LEVY, Coe (Iowa)
Hall of Famer (elected in 2001) compiled a 143-112 record as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs (1978-82) and Buffalo Bills (1986-97). He had a 17-5 mark against Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history. Posted an 11-8 postseason mark with the Bills en route to becoming the only NFL coach to win four consecutive league or conference championships. But he lost four straight Super Bowls. He was special teams coach of the Washington Redskins' 1972 Super Bowl entrant. Also served as head coach for three colleges--New Mexico (14-6 record in two years in 1958 and 1959), California (8-29-3 record in four years from 1960 through 1963) and William & Mary (23-25-2 in five years from 1964 through 1968). . . . Coached basketball one season for his alma mater in 1955-56. The team compiled a 20-5 record, won the Midwest Collegiate Conference with a 14-2 mark and lost to Stephen F. Austin, 74-62, in the first round of the NAIA Tournament. Levy earned a basketball letter with the 1949-50 Coe squad that posted a 3-14 mark.

RONNIE LOTT, Southern California
Unanimous All-American defensive back played 15 seasons in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs (1981 through 1995). Intercepted 14 passes for the Trojans (two for touchdowns) before intercepting 63 passes in regular-season NFL competition and nine in the postseason. First-round draft choice played in 10 Pro Bowl games and four Super Bowls. . . . Collected nine assists, four points and three rebounds in six games for the Trojans' basketball squad as a junior in 1979-80.

Three-time All-Pro tight end became an NFL Hall of Famer after being a second-round draft choice by the Baltimore Colts in 1963. The 6-2, 220-pounder caught 331 passes for 5,236 yards and 38 touchdowns in 10 seasons. Six of his nine TD catches in 1966 came on plays of more than 50 yards. He grabbed a deflected pass from Johnny Unitas for a 75-yard TD in Super Bowl V after having three pass receptions in Super Bowl III. . . . Mackey collected 28 points and 28 rebounds in six basketball games with the Orangemen in 1960-61.

GEORGE MUSSO, Millikin (Ill.)
Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame played for seven divisional winners and four NFL title teams. The 6-2, 270-pound guard and tackle played for 12 seasons (1933 through 1944) with the Chicago Bears. As a collegian, he played against future President Ronald Reagan, who attended Eureka. As a member of the Bears in 1935, Musso played against future President Gerald Ford in the Bears-College All-Star Game in Chicago. . . . Three-year basketball letterman in college.

EARLE "GREASY" NEALE, West Virginia Wesleyan College
Pro Football Hall of Famer compiled a 63-43 record as coach of the Philadelphia Eagles for 10 years from 1941 through 1950, winning back-to-back NFL titles by shutting out their opponents in championship games in 1948 and 1949. Guided Washington and Jefferson (Pa.) to the 1922 Rose Bowl before coaching Virginia and West Virginia. He starred as an end on Jim Thorpe's pre-World War I Canton Bulldogs. Also played as a major league outfielder with the Cincinnati Reds for eight years from 1916 to 1924, hitting .357 in the infamous "Black Sox" 1919 World Series. . . . Class of 1915 at WVWC.

Member of College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame. He was a consensus All-American selection as a senior fullback in 1925 before rushing for 37 touchdowns in five NFL seasons with the Duluth Eskimos (1926 and 1927) and Chicago Cardinals (1929 through 1931). Set NFL record with a 40-point game against the Chicago Bears in 1929. Co-MVP of the 1925 Rose Bowl. . . . Compiled a 6-12 pitching record in three seasons (1926 through 1928) with the St. Louis Browns. He yielded two of Babe Ruth's record-tying 60 home runs in 1927. . . . Lettered in basketball for Stanford as a sophomore and junior. Named to the All-Pacific Coast Conference second five as a junior in 1924-25. Historians say he was a fine shooter, an excellent dribbler, tough on defense, and generally a terrifying figure for the opposition. The Spalding Basketball Guide said: "He is almost as good a basketball player as he is a football star. With his speed, weight and general all-around ability, he was a stellar performer."

College Hall of Famer led the Blue Devils to a three-year record of 24-5 in the mid-1930s, serving as team captain in his final season in 1936 when they went 9-1. After playing a variety of positions (quarterback, tailback, defensive back and punter), was a second-round choice in the 1937 NFL draft (13th overall). Passed for 3,935 yards and 22 touchdowns, rushed for 1,108 yards and 10 TDs and punted for a 39.5-yard average with the Brooklyn Dodgers/Boston Yanks in six years from 1937 through 1941 and 1945. Three-time consensus All-Pro led the NFL in passing yards in 1938 with 865. He paced the league with six interceptions in 1940 when he was named NFL Most Valuable Player. . . . Basketball letterman for the Blue Devils in 1935-36. Also played major league baseball with the Philadelphia Athletics.

ART SHELL, Maryland-Eastern Shore
Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame was head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders for six years from 1989 through 1994. Offensive tackle for the Raiders from 1968 through 1982 played in eight Pro Bowls (1973 through 1979 and 1981) after being picked in the third round. Participated in Super Bowls XI and XV. . . . Two-year basketball letterman as a 6-5, 265-pound center at school that was then known as Maryland State College. Sketch from school guide: "Pure muscle. Amazing agility. Uncompromising under the boards, nobody pushes big Art without a battle."

Member of College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame won Heisman Trophy in 1963. Passed for 3,571 yards and rushed for 682 in his career at Navy (1962 through 1964). Quarterback in four Super Bowls during his 11 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. Six-time Pro Bowl selection passed for 22,700 yards and 153 touchdowns after being a 10th-round draft choice in 1964. . . . Averaged 9.3 ppg for the 1961-62 Navy plebe (freshman) basketball team. The 6-2, 190-pound forward scored five points in four games for Midshipmen varsity squad the next season.

JOE STYDAHAR, West Virginia
Member of College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame. Earned All-American honors as a 6-4, 230-pound tackle in 1935. Played nine seasons (1936 through 1942, 1945, and 1946) with the Chicago Bears after being their first-round pick in the first NFL draft. Named to All-NFL team four times from 1937 through 1940. Coached Los Angeles Rams (1950-51) and Chicago Cardinals (1953-54), leading Rams to 1951 NFL title. In 1934, he he set a school record with seven blocked punts, including three for touchdowns. Participated in both the East-West Shrine Game and College Football All-Star Game in Chicago. . . . Three-year basketball letterman was captain of the Mountaineers' 1934-35 team that compiled a 16-6 record. Selected as a center to the first five on West Virginia's Pre-World War II team that was named as part of the university's all-time basketball squad.

All-Pro defensive end was a third-round draft choice of the Miami Dolphins in 1997 (73rd pick overall) after the first-team All-Mid-American Conference linebacker was named North Defensive MVP at the Senior Bowl. He managed more sacks than anyone in a six-year span from 2000 through 2007, including a league-high 18.5 in 2002. His five fumble returns for touchdowns is a Dolphins' team record. Also returned three interceptions for TDs. Also played with the Washington Redskins and New York Jets. Through 2010, he had 132.5 sacks and 387 individual tackles. . . . The 6-6, 250-pounder played 22 basketball games for the Zips in 1994-95, averaging 8 ppg and 5.4 rpg while shooting 46.8% percent from the floor.

Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame played in nine Pro Bowl games (1951 through 1958 and 1960). Defensive back established career records for interceptions (79), yards gained on interceptions (1,282) and yards gained on punt returns (2,209) in 14 seasons (1948 through 1961) with the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers. . . . The 6-1, 180-pound forward was a top reserve for the 1942-43 Toledo basketball team compiling a 22-4 record and finishing second in the NIT.

DOAK WALKER, Southern Methodist
Member of both the College Football and Pro Football Hall of Fame. SMU legend was a three-time All-American halfback and the school's only Heisman Trophy winner (as a junior in 1948). Finished third in Heisman voting in 1947 and 1949. Scored 38 touchdowns in his four-year SMU career, including two kickoff returns in 1947. Walker rushed for 1,928 yards in college, passed for 1,654, caught passes for 454 and returned eight interceptions for 176. He was also a punter and placekicker for the Mustangs. Co-MVP in back-to-back Cotton Bowls (1948 and 1949). First-round choice by the New York Bulldogs in the 1949 NFL draft (3rd pick overall). Walker rushed for 1,520 yards and 12 touchdowns in six years with the Detroit Lions (1950 through 1955), leading the NFL in scoring as a rookie (128 points) and in his final season (96). Member of NFL championship teams in 1952 and 1953 scored on a 62-yard run in the '52 title game. Five-time Pro Bowl selection (1951-52-54-55-56). . . . Walker was a basketball letterman in 1945-46 with SMU as a freshman.

LARRY RAYFIELD WRIGHT, Fort Valley State (Ga.)
Seventh-round draft choice played with the Dallas Cowboys for 13 years from 1967 through 1979. All-Pro offensive tackle six straight seasons from 1971 through 1976. Caught a touchdown pass as a tight end in 1968. Played in five Super Bowls (following 1970, 1971, 1975, 1977 and 1978 campaigns). . . . The 6-6, 245-pounder, an All-SIAC basketball player, averaged 17 ppg and 15 rpg as a junior and 21 ppg and 17.4 rpg as a senior.