The second of three members of the Riggins family to play in the backfield for the Jayhawks in the late 60s and early 70s, John Riggins was one of the hardest runners in football history. Known as "The Diesel," he led the Jayhawks in rushing from 1968-70 and currently ranks fifth on KU's all-time career rushing charts with 2,659 yards. Riggins ranks in a tie for second on KU's all-time charts for rushing touchdowns in a season with 14 in 1970, fourth on the season rushing yardage list with 1,131 yards in 1970 and 15th on KU's charts for total offense in a career with 2,659 yards. Although he was recognized with All-Big Eight honors twice at Kansas, Riggins went on to accomplish much more in the pros. A first-round selection (sixth pick overall) of the New York Jets in 1971, he joined the Washington Redskins in 1976 and helped lead them to the Super Bowl three times. In Super Bowl XVII he broke a 43-yard run that won the game for the Redskins and earned him Most Valuable Player honors. An inductee of the Ring of Honor at Washington's RFK Stadium, Riggins was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992, his first year of eligibility. He was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
Oct. 13, 2007