Western Pennsylvania is famous for producing quality football talent over the years, and the list is long and impressive.
Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas, Mike Ditka, Dan Marino, Lavar Arrington, George Blanda, John Cappalletti, Bill Fralic, Johnny Lujack, Russ Grimm, Fred Belitnikoff and so many more came from that part of the world.
But, few were any better than Aliquippa, Pennsylvania’s Tony Dorsett.
Pittsburgh had gone 1-10 in 1972. They fired their coach and brought in Johnny Majors from Iowa State to bring them back to respectability.
One of the first things Johnny Majors did was bring in a talented recruiting class including hotshot recruit, Tony Dorsett.
Just as in high school, Tony Dorsett was an instant star at Pitt. He rushed for 1,586 yards in 1973 as Pitt improved from 1-10 to go 6-5-1 and Tony Dorsett was a consensus First Team All-American.
Dorsett became the all time Pitt rushing leading after just 3 games of his sophomore season.
Dorsett was a real Notre Dame killer and rushed for 303 yards against them as a junior and 290 as a senior. Supposedly even one season they left the grass on the playing field tall to slow him down, but that clearly didn’t work.
Dorsett was a second team All-American his sophomore season in 1974, but made the 1975 and 1976 first teams again.
Dorsett broke Archie Griffin’s one year old college football career rushing record and he was the first guy to rush for 6,000 yards. He held the NCAA all time career rushing record for more than 20 years before Ricky Williams of Texas came along and broke it in 1998.
Dorsett broke the all time college football rushing record. He won the 1976 Heisman Trophy. His Pitt Panthers won the National Championship in his senior season of 1976.
Not much else you can do in college football.
He was the very first pick in the 1977 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys managed to pull a trade with the Seattle Seahawks and got the very first pick in the 1977 draft.
The Dallas Cowboys won the Super Bowl in the 1977 season and Tony Dorsett was the rookie of the year while rushing for over a 1,000 yards. Dorsett was the first player to win the NCAA national championship and then the Super Bowl in the very next season.
Dorsett wound up rushing for 12,739 in the NFL mostly for the Dallas Cowboys. He also caught 398 passes for an additional 3,554 yards and 92 total Touchdowns.
Tony Dorsett was the fastest player on his high school team. He was the fastest on his college team and he was the fastest on his NFL team. Nobody could have ever accused Tony D of being a power back. He liked to avoid contact if possible but he had moves and excellent breakaway speed and piled up the yardage in high school, in college, and in the Pros.
He is 8th in the NFL in all time rushing yardage and was one of the greatest Running backs to ever play the game.
Tony Dorsett was a 1994 Hall of Fame Inductee.
Not much else you can do in Professional football.