Sept 18, 2011; Chicago, IL, Chicago Bears legend Gale Sayers before the Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

Kansas Legends: Gale Sayers

Gale Sayers or the “Kansas Comet” as he was nicknamed during his stay at Kansas had an amazing career in football. He is a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame, plus was a two-time All-American and five-time All Pro while at Chicago.

Sayers should signs of being a great athlete while at Omaha Central High School, where he set the state long jump record of 24″11. He signed with Kansas, after spurning Iowa in the recruiting process.

While at Kansas, Sayers proved himself to be quite a dual-threat player. He could do it all on the field, run, pass, receive, and return kicks. As a freshman, Sayers amassed 1,125 rushing yards. He showed great ability to break open any play, leading to more opportunities as a kick returner as a sophomore. Here he rushed for 917 yards, added 11 receptions for 155 yards, and 314 returning kicks. While a senior, Sayers set a record a NCAA Division 1 record, with a 99-yard run vs Nebraska. Sayers finished with 2,617 rushing yards, and 3,917 all-purpose yards at Kansas. He was drafted by Chicago with the fourth pick in the 1964 NFL Draft.

Injuries cut his career short in the NFL, however he made a great mark on the field during seven seasons. As a rookie, he scored 22 touchdowns, 14 rushing, six receiving, and two returning kicks.

Sayers finished his career in 1971 after trying to play, yet succumbing to a nagging knee injury. He finished with 4,956 rushing yards while at Chicago. Sayers was a two-time NFL rushing champion, plus three-time Pro Bowl MVP. He was named a member of the NFL 75th Anniversary Team.

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