QB: David Jaynes – Kansas: Definitely, David Jaynes was one of the Jayhawks best all time football players. Jaynes finished in 4th place for the 1973 Heisman voting. Jaynes threw for 748 yards in 1971 as a sophomore. He was the starter in 1972 and he responded with over 2,200 yards passing. In 1973, he threw for 2,131 yards and 13 Touchdowns. While at Kansas, Jaynes finished with 5,132 yards and 35 Touchdowns.
Jaynes was picked in the 3rd round by the nearby Kansas City Chiefs, but he only played there in 1974.
A long time after football, Jaynes married Cary Grant’s widow.
RB: John Cappalletti – Penn State: Penn State’s one and only Heisman Trophy winner, Cappelletti had an impressive season in 1973. Cappelletti grew up in Pennsylvania in Drexel Hill and he attended Monsignor Bonner High School. Cappelletti ran for 1,522 yards and 17 Touchdowns while leading
Penn State to an undefeated season. Besides the Heisman, Cappalletti won the Maxwell, the Walter Camp and Chic Harley Awards. He was also the UPI College Football Player of the Year. His most famous moment may have been his Heisman speech when he dedicated his award for his little brother, Joey who was sick. A movie was made about it later called “Something for Joey”.
He was picked in the 1st round by the Los Angeles Rams. He was not quite the same success in the NFL as he was in college, but he played for 10 years with the Rams and the San Diego Chargers.
RB: Woody Green – Arizona State: Returning All American from 1972. Green was a very productive Running Back for the Sun Devils running for over 1,200 yards in 1971 as a sophomore. His junior year was also a good one with 1,363 yards rushing and 15 Touchdowns while making the 1972 consensus All American team. His senior year of 1973 was actually his worst year as a Sun Devil when he ran for ‘only’ 1,182 yards. But, it was good enough for him to repeat as an All American.
Green was a 1st round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs, but his NFL career was a disappointment because of knee injuries. He only played 3 years for the Chiefs and ran for 1,442 yards. But, at Arizona State, he ran for an impressive 3,754 yards in 3 seasons.
RB: Roosevelt Leaks – Texas: Leaks was a farm kid from Brenham, Texas that was bigger than some Linemen on this All American list. He was a great Wishbone Fullback that ran for 1,099 yards in 1972 as a sophomore. In 1973, while earning All American honors, 1,415 yards including 342 yards in one game. He finished in 3rd place in the Heisman race in 1973 and was the favorite to win it in 1974. But, he injured his knee in a Spring practice and instead of taking a redshirt he elected to go ahead and play in 1974. Texas signed Earl Campbell in 1974 and Campbell received most of the
carries and Leaks only ran for 409 yards.
Leaks was incredible in 1973 and he was never quite the same after he injured his knee. Still, he was a 5-10, 255 Fullback and the Baltimore Colts took a chance on him with a 5th round pick. Leaks was in Baltimore for 5 years where he became one of the best blocking Fullbacks in the league. Leaks finished his career with Buffalo and he wound up playing 9 seasons in the NFL and rushing for 2,406 yards and 28 Touchdowns.
WR: Lynn Swann – USC: The stats won’t bear it out, but Lynn Swann was one of the best Wide Receivers of all time. He just played in the days when coaches ran the ball predominately, so he didn’t have huge numbers. He was super athletic and graceful and made some circus catches.
Swann grew up in Tennessee before his family moved to Northern California. He was a football and track star at Junipero Sierra High School before USC. Swann caught 27 passes as a sophomore in 1971. He repeated with 27 catches again in 1972 while helping the Trojans win the national championship. For his final season, Swann caught 42 passes for 714 yards and 6 Touchdowns.
The Pittsburgh Steelers picked him with their 1st round pick in 1974 and he helped them win 4 Super Bowls while catching 336 passes for 5,462 yards and 51 Touchdowns.
Swann was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
TE: Dave Casper – Notre Dame: Another one of the game’s all time greats. Casper was an Offensive Lineman up until his senior season of 1973. He was just too talented of an athlete to keep as an Offensive Lineman. As a senior, Casper caught 21 passes for 335 yards and 4 Touchdowns while helping the Fighting Irish win the national championship.
The Oakland Raiders got a bargain when they drafted Casper with their 2nd pick in the 1974 NFL Draft. Casper played for the Raiders for 7 seasons and helped them to a Super Bowl win. But, he did get off to a slow start there before becoming a star. In 1980, Casper was traded to the Houston Oilers. In his 4th season in Houston, he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings where he played 1 season before returning to the Raiders for a season. In the NFL, he caught 378 passes for 5,216 yards and 52 Touchdowns. Casper was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
OL: Booker Brown – USC: Another member of the unbeaten 1972 USC Trojans football team. Brown attended Santa Barbara High School and he attended Santa Barbara City College before transferring to USC. Brown wasn’t huge at 6-2, 255, but he was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1974 Draft after making consensus All American. Instead of going to the Chargers, Brown played a year in the soon to be defunct World Football League with the Southern California Sun. Then, he played 3 seasons for the Chargers.
OL: Buddy Brown – Alabama: Growing up in Tallahassee, Florida Brown attended the famous Leon High School. He signed with Alabama instead of the home team because, frankly, the Seminoles were not very good before Bobby Bowden. Brown teamed up with the great John Hannah to form an outstanding Offensive Line in 1971 and 1972. Hannah moved on to legendary status in the NFL, but Brown was back for his senior season in 1973. The Crimson Tide was named national champions in one Poll, but they lost to Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl giving the Irish the other national championships.
Brown was drafted by the New York Giants in the 16th round, but he signed with the Birmingham Americans of the World Football League. Birmingham also won the WFL championship that season. Brown probably saw the writing on the wall with the WFL which folded half way through the following season and he signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.
He was an All Star in the CFL before retiring after 5 years with the team.
OL: John Hicks – Ohio State: Hicks became a starting Offensive Tackle for the Buckeyes in 1970, but suffered a knee injury and missed the 1971 season. He was able to come back in 1972 and 1973 and dominate. The Buckeyes were 28-3-1 during Hicks time on the varsity. Hicks was so good, that he finished 2nd in the Heisman voting in 1973 behind Penn State’s John Cappelletti. He won the Outland Trophy for the nation’s best lineman in 1973.
The Buckeyes could have been national champs in 1973 if not for those pesky Michigan Wolverines. They tied 10-10 in their annual rivalry game. In the Rose Bowl, Hicks blocked for the great Archie Griffin and they crushed USC, 42- 21.
Hicks was a 1st round draft pick of the New York Giants who had the 3rd pick that season. He was NFC Rookie of the Year, but he was plagued by injury after that and only played 4 years for the Giants before they traded him to the Steelers for 2 players. Hicks never played in Pittsburgh. After football, John Hicks formed the John Hicks Company which is a commercial real estate company.
OL: Bill Wyman – Texas: Wyman grew up in Houston, Texas and he attended Spring Branch High School. He arrived at the University of Texas in 1970 and was a Center on the Longhorns from 1971 through 1973. The Longhorns won the Southwest Conference (SWC) every year he was at Texas and they were the last 3 SWC championships of the late Darrell Royal. Wyman was smallish and never played in the NFL. He suffered from Parkinson’s Disease starting in the mid 1990s and he passed away in 2013.
OL: Bill Yoest – North Carolina State: Playing high school football in Pittsburgh at North Catholic, Yoest somehow decided to go South and attend North Carolina State. The Wolfpack was terrible when Yoest arrived, but Lou Holtz came in 1972 and they were good for Yoest’s final 2 seasons. Yoest was All ACC in 1972 and 1973 and was a consensus All American in 1973.
Since Yoest was only 6-0, 250, he received little interest from the NFL and he was not drafted. He spent one season in the World Football League before getting out of football.
DL: Tony Cristiani – Miami: Super quick and way undersized Defensive Lineman that made a name for himself by beating bigger Offensive Linemen to the ball. These were way different times, but Cristiani was small even for those days at 5-9, 215. He was a two time All American, but a consensus All American only in 1973.
Cristiani was raised in Brandon, Florida by his family of circus performers. He learned how to walk a tight rope as a kid and apparently he used that skill to get past Offensive Linemen. At Brandon High School, Cristiani was All State. He totaled 279 tackles at Miami which was a phenomenal number for a Defensive Lineman. Cristiani played briefly in the short lived World Football League and in Canada
with the Hamilton Tiger Cats.
DL: John Dutton – Nebraska: Dutton grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota and he was a two time All State in both football and basketball. Dutton was more highly recruited for basketball than for football, but he chose to go to Nebraska and play football.
Dutton played during the 1971 national championship season, but he wasn’t a starter until 1972. In the 1973 season, Dutton earned All Big 8 and consensus All American honors.
Dutton was taken by the Baltimore Colts with their 1st pick of the 1974 NFL Draft. Dutton was 6-7, 265 and a really good football player and he made the All Rookie team. He was an All Pro for three seasons and then was traded to the Dallas Cowboys. In all, he played 14 seasons in the NFL, the early years at Defensive End and then later he moved inside to Tackle.
After football, Dutton returned to Lincoln, Nebraska where he went into the business world.
DL: Dave Gallagher – Michigan: In the early days of Bo Schembechler of Michigan, Gallagher was one of their better players. Gallagher was one of those Ohio boys that went North that Woody Hayes detested so greatly. He was a three year starter and was named consensus All American as a senior in 1973. As a Defensive Tackle at Michigan, Gallagher registered 175 tackles during his 3 seasons as a starter.
Gallagher was taken with the 20th selection of the 1st round of the NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. But, he only played 5 years with the Bears, the New York Giants and the Detroit Lions. There’s more to life than football and Gallagher was an Academic All Big 10 while he was playing. After football, Gallagher became an Orthopedic Surgeon.
DL: Lucious Selmon – Oklahoma: “God bless Mr and Mrs Selmon” is still said occasionally around Oklahoma fans, supposedly. Lucious Selmon was the 1st of 3 consensus All American Defensive
Linemen for the Sooners in the 1970s. The oldest Selmon, Lucious, was a bit undersized at 5-1. 235 but he played Nose Guard and he was extremely difficult to block. Selmon finished 2nd in the Outland voting and 7th in the Heisman race while earning Big 8 Defensive Player of the Year, and All America. Lucious at Nose Guard with brothers Dewey and Lee Roy on either side of him was just a none penetrable Defensive Line.
Lucious was picked by the Patriots but it was not until the 16th round. He went on to play for the Memphis Southmen of the World Football League for 2 seasons. After that, he returned to Oklahoma and became a coach under Barry Switzer. He coached at Oklahoma for 19 years before getting into the NFL.
LB: Randy Gradishar – Ohio State: The Ohio State star Linebacker was a returning consensus All American. He arrived at Ohio State from Champion, Ohio where he was a top football and basketball player. Gradishar was a 3 year starter at Linebacker for the Buckeyes and at 6-3, 235 he was one of the best Linebackers ever at Ohio State. Saving his best for last, the Buckeyes finished 10-0-1 in 1973 and could have won the national championship if not for a disappointing tie with their rivals Michigan who also was undefeated with 1 tie. In the Rose Bowl, they crushed USC 42-21. He also finished 6th in the Heisman voting.
The Denver Broncos drafted Gradishar with their 1st round pick which was 14th. Gradishar was a leader of the Broncos Orange Crush Defense and one of their best players ever. He played linebacker in Denver for 10 seasons and during that period he made 7 Pro Bowls. He was the consensus NFL Player of the Year in 1978. Woody Hayes of Ohio State said that Gradishar was the best Linebacker he ever coached. Denver Broncos coach Dan Reeves said he was as good a Linebacker as he has ever been around and he played with Chuck Howley and Leroy Jordan at Dallas.
Gradishar isn’t as famous as some other Linebackers but he was comparable.
LB: Rod Shoate – Oklahoma: Shoate was a smaller Linebacker that relied on speed and understanding the game to diagnose plays quickly. He was only 6-1, 215, but he was a 3 time All American and 2 times it was consensus. One advantage that Shoate did have over other Linebackers is that he had 3 Selmon brothers in front of him.
The Sooners were 11-1 in 1972, 10-0-1 in 1973 and 11-0 in 1974 and they were loaded on both sides of the ball.
Shoate was drafted by the New England Patriots in the 2nd round in the 1975 Draft. He played 7 years with the Patriots and then 2 more seasons in the United States Football League with New Jersey Generals and Memphis Showboats.
Shoate passed away in 1999 after a long illness.
LB: Richard Wood – USC: Wood grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey and traveled across the country to attend USC. He was of average size at 6-2, 225 but he made up for that lack of size much like Rod Shoate of Oklahoma did, with great speed. Wood was a 3 time All American and it was consensus in 1973 and 1974. In the 1972 season, USC was the national champion and Wood was their leading tackler. He was the heart and soul of a good Trojan defense the following 2 seasons as well. During
his 3 seasons at USC, the Trojans finished 31-3-2 with 3 Rose Bowl trips. He was nicknamed Batman because of the way he painted his face to intimidate offenses.
The New York Jets picked Wood with their 3rd round pick in the 1975 draft, but he struggled there. By then, his former USC coach John McKay had gone to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and he made a trade for Richard Wood. Reunited with McKay, Wood thrived in Tampa. He played for the Bucs for 9 seasons and then left to go to the United States Football League for a year.
After football, Wood got into coaching. He’s also a black-belt so don’t fool with him.
DB: Dave Brown – Michigan: At Garfield High School in Akron, Ohio Brown spent his early years playing Quarterback. He was later moved to Wide Receiver and Safety. Bo Schembechler and the Michigan Wolverines recruited Brown as a Wide Receiver and he played both ways on the freshman team. But, his sophomore season of 1972, Brown was a starting Safety on one of the nation’s premier defenses. He was also the Wolverines’ punt returner. He was selected as All Big 10 as a sophomore in 1972. During his junior year of 1973, Brown was All American which he repeated in 1974.
During his career at Michigan, he picked off 9 passes and returned 3 punts for Touchdowns. During his 3 year playing career at Michigan, the Wolverines were 30-2-1.
Brown was picked in the first round by the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers. He was there for a season as a back up. When the NFL started up the Seattle and Tampa Bay franchises, they were allowed supplemental drafts from other teams and the Seattle Seahawks picked Brown.
At Seattle, Brown started 11 seasons at Cornerback where he picked off 50 passes and returned 5 for Touchdowns. After 11 seasons, the Seahawks traded Brown to the Green Bay Packers and he played there for 3 more seasons. The Packers finally put him on the Physically Unable to Perform list and he was done by 1990. He played 15 seasons in the NFL and picked off 62 passes.
Brown got into coaching after his playing days were over. He coached for the Seahawks and then Texas Tech. While at Tech, he died from a heart attack in 2006.
DB: Artimus Parker – USC: A big Safety for his day at 6-3, 210, Parker was and is still USC’s all time leader in Interceptions with 20. With all of the great players that USC has had over the years such as Ronnie Lott, Troy Polumalu and so many others, it’s Parker that holds the record. He picked off 6 in 1971 and 1972 and then followed that up with 8 in 1973. With his size and ability, one would have thought he would have been more popular with NFL scouts, but he was a 12th round pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1974 NFL Draft. He played there for 3 years and Intercepted 4 passes in 1975. He played one more season with the New York Jets and then he was out of football.
DB: Randy Rhino – Georgia Tech: Rhino led his Charlotte, North Carolina’s Olympic High School team to a state championship. He was recruited to Georgia Tech as a Running Back, but moved to Defensive Back on the freshman team. That turned out to be a wise move by the Georgia Tech coaching staff. Rhino is Georgia Tech’s only 3 time 1st team All American, but he was only a consensus All American in 1973 which was his junior season. In 1972, he led the nation in punt
returns including one of 96 yards against South Carolina. He Picked off 8 passes that season and returned one for a Touchdown and he had 3 picks against Rice. In 1973, he intercepted 6 passes and led the team in punt returns and kick returns. For his career, he had 14 Interceptions which means he had 0 as a senior in 1974. He was also a star baseball player on the Tech baseball team.
Rhino was picked by the New Orleans Saints in the 14th round, but instead he went to the World Football League’s Charlotte team. After that league folded, Rhino went to Canada to play in the CFL where he was an All Star for 3 straight seasons and he broke punt return records.
The Rhinos were a Georgia Tech family with Randy’s father and brother also playing there and then his son, Kelley, was All ACC in 2001 at Tech. Rhino became a chiropractor after football and lives in Vinings which is a suburb of Atlanta.
DB: Mike Townsend – Notre Dame: Townsend grew up in Hamilton, Ohio and was heavily recruited. He grew up dreaming of playing for Notre Dame, so the choice was easy for him. Townsend was a tall Defensive Back at 6-3, and he played Cornerback as a junior and he led the nation in Interceptions with 10. That was in the 1972 season. As a senior in 1973, Townsend was moved to Free Safety and he had 3 picks. He also had 3 fumble recoveries and 26 tackles.
He was drafted in the 4th round by the Minnesota Vikings, but he chose to go to the new World Football League. He was only in the Pros for a season.
Townsend returned home after his single season in the WFL and he worked for the U.S. Department of Energy.