Some Famed Pitt Panther’s On The Gridiron
“Iron Mike” Ditka
A famed football player to the world. A guy only recruited by 3 colleges but chose one that’s lesser known. A multiple position player in college but excelled at only one(tight end). Considered by experts to be the absolute best ever at his position in college.
A player that garnered All-American status his final year at Pitt. Also, voted into the elite class of college football players(College Football Hall of Fame). Once leaving his college days, “Iron Mike” went on to the next level to both play & coach. He played for 3 different teams in the NFL. Garnering 5 Pro Bowl nominations & 3 Super Bowl titles.
Ditka is in a class by himself for being the very initial player elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame from his tight end position. He coached the very team(Bears) he played for to a Super Bowl championship. This title led to even more publicity with a “tune” about the Super Bowl victory.
His NFL days were also great. He holds an honor that no other player can claim. That is winning a championship in college & turning right around the next year to gain an NFL championship. He spent his NFL career with only 2 teams. He was voted best rookie in pro football in 1977. In the same year(1994), Dorsett was elected into both the Pro & College Football Hall of Fame.
“Run” Tony “Run”
A player that propelled Pitt to a national title back in 1976. A player that actually rushed for nearly 2000 yards his senior campaign. A player that ranks 2nd in college football history in rushing yardage. He only trails another former college great & current Dolphin’s running back Ricky Williams.
A great college career led to a great NFL career. Claiming something no other football player can claim. Also, spending his 12 NFL seasons with only two teams(Dallas Cowboys & Denver Broncos). Chosen as the best running back of all rookies during his inaugural NFL season. A player that ended up being inducted into the Hall of Fame at both the college & professional level. This is Tony Dorsett.
Dorsett went on to have a great NFL career as well. He played 11 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys & one with the Denver Broncos. He holds honors as being the only player to ever win a college national title one year & a Super Bowl championship the next. He helped lead the Cowboys to Super Bowl XXII win. During that Super Bowl winning season Dorsett was voted Rookie of the Year in the NFL. He has been voted into both the College Football & Pro Football Hall of Fame. Both were done in 1994.
Dan “The Man”
Probably the greatest QB in Pitt history & quite possibly in NFL history. Dan Marino played college football for the very program that he grew up around. It’s not often you see a guy playing for his hometown in college.
He had a great college career but his Heisman & national championship hype going into his senior season failed. Marino was the favorite for the Heisman heading into his senior campaign but it didn’t work out for him. Pitt lost to SMU in the 1983 Cotton Bowl with the “Pony Express” by his side. This was in reference to players Eric Dickerson & Craig James.
Those memories certainly help forget that this player wasn’t able to lead the Dolphins to