Gale Sayers Named No. 10 on ESPN's College Football's 150 Greatest Players
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas’ Gale Sayers was honored at halftime of College Football Playoff Championship Game as the No. 10 player in ESPN’s College Football’s 150 Greatest Players list. A special, on-field ceremony recognizing the Top 11 took place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Monday evening, culminating the sport’s year-long initiative.
Sayers, who was born in Wichita, Kansas, compiled 4,020 all-purpose yards over three seasons with the Jayhawks and was recognized as a consensus All-American during both the 1963 and 1964 seasons. He finished his time at KU with 2,675 yards on the ground.
As a sophomore in 1962, his first year on Kansas’ varsity team, Sayers led the Big Eight Conference and was third in the nation with 1,125 rushing yards. His 7.1 yards-per-carry average was the highest of any player in the NCAA that season. He was an All-Big Eight selection in each of his three seasons playing at Kansas.
Following his stellar playing career at KU, Sayers was the fourth overall pick in the 1965 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. He had an illustrious seven-year career in the NFL, where he scored a rookie record 22 touchdowns in 1965. He led all NFL rushers in 1966 and 1969 and was tabbed All-NFL five-straight seasons spanning from 1965-1969. A four-time Pro Bowler, Sayers was the game’s MVP three times. During his NFL career, Sayers collected 9.435 all-purpose yards, including 4,956 rushing yards.
Nicknamed “The Kansas Comet,” Sayers was inducted into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. Additionally, Kansas retired his No. 48 and the Bears retired his No. 40.
The sport’s 150 greatest players list was voted on by a blue ribbon panel comprising 150 influential figures from across the spectrum of college football. The same panel previously determined the sport’s 150 Greatest Coaches, Games and Teams.