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Tony Dorsett: Gold-Standard Running Back


In 1973, a skinny freshman named Tony Dorsett began a Pitt career that would lead to a national championship, the Heisman Trophy, and acclaim as the greatest running back in college football history.

An Aliquippa, Pa., native and Hopewell High School graduate, Dorsett starred for the Panthers from 1973 to 1976. He led Pitt to a 12–0 record and the national championship his senior season. That same year, Dorsett was the runaway choice for the Heisman Trophy; he also won the Maxwell and Walter Camp awards as the college player of the year. He finished his Pitt career as college football’s all-time leading rusher with 6,082 yards.

A first-round National Football League draft selection of Dallas in 1977, Dorsett played 11 seasons for the Cowboys (1977–87) and his final year with the Denver Broncos (1988). He retired as the second all-time leading rusher in NFL history (12,739 yards). 

Dorsett became the first man ever to win a college national title, the Heisman Trophy, and a Super Bowl while also being elected to both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.