Earl Campbell, nicknamed The Tyler Rose, is an American former professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints. Known for his aggressive, punishing running style and ability to break tackles, Campbell gained recognition as one of the best power running backs in NFL history….and for three pryor to playing pro football…..he was “ginding out and gobbling up” yards like never seen before at Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, TX…..and as Bone Daddy puts it….The Tyler Rose was filling up the stands at Madison Square Garden, The Sports Place at 302 E. 6th St. in downtown Austin…..while packing the house when the Horns were away from home for a televised road game. The truth be known….not many athletes drew crowds like a game that The Tyler Rose was participating in….cuz Earl Campbell was beloved as a “native son” during his years at Texas.
NCAAF – 1978 – Special Career Highlights – University of Texas Longhorns HOF Tailback Earl Campbell
Campbell played college football for the Texas Longhorns, where he won the Heisman Trophy and earned unanimous All-America honors in his senior season, as well as numerous other accolades. He was drafted first overall by the Oilers in 1978 and had an immediate impact in the league, earning NFL Rookie of the Year honors. Earl Campbell was named the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year in each of his first three seasons, during which he averaged nearly 1,700 rushing yards per season. He won the AP NFL Most Valuable Player Award in 1979 after leading the league in rushing yards and touchdowns.
NCAAF – 1977 – Special – Highlights Of Texas Longhorns RB Earl Campbell’s Heisman Trophy Season
With head coach Bum Phillips, Campbell’s emergence in Houston coincided with the Luv Ya Blue era….. which was a period of sustained success wherein the Oilers made three straight playoff appearances. Campbell became the centerpiece of Houston’s offense during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s…..the he was traded to the Saints six games into the 1984 season….where he spent his final season and a half before retiring. Campbell was inducted into both the College Football Hall of Fame (1990) and Pro Football Hall of Fame (1991)…..while his jersey number is retired by the University of Texas and the Tennessee Titans.
NFL – 1979 – Special Film – The Human Wrecking Ball – Houston Oilers RB Earl Campbell
Earl Christian Campbell was born to Ann and Bert “B.C.” Campbell, on March 29, 1955, in Tyler, Texas, leading to the eponymous nickname, “the Tyler Rose” later in his career….and was the sixth of 11 siblings…..while his father died when Earl was 11 years old. He began playing football in fifth grade as a kicker…. but moved to linebacker in sixth grade after watching Dick Butkus….whom he modeled his playing style after. His Mom attempted to persuade him not to play football in high school. “I dis-encouraged Earl,” she said. “But he always loved football”. In 1973, he led the Corky Nelson–coached John Tyler High School to the Texas 4A State Championship….as 4A then was the largest classification in the state. That season, he was named Mr. Football USA…..as he was adjudged the national high school player of the year.
NFL – 1977 To 1985 – Special Highlights – The Life & Career Of HOF Running Back Earl Campbell
While heavily recruited, Campbell narrowed his choices to Houston, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Baylor. After in-home visits from Barry Switzer from Oklahoma and Darrell Royal from Texas, Campbell ultimately chose Texas. Switzer, who unsuccessfully recruited Campbell, said in his 1989 book that Campbell was the only player he ever saw who could have gone straight from high school to the NFL and immediately become a star. Let it be known that this lil ole chiweenie Sportsphile just loves it when I hear about Oklahoma University losing out on a top shelf recruit to Texas….especially when it was Coach Royal over Coach Switzer.
NFL – 1977 To 1985 – Special Film – Earl Campbell: A Football Life
Campbell attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he played college football for the Texas Longhorn from 1974 to 1977. As a freshman in 1974, he played in all 11 games and rushed for 928 yards and six touchdowns on 162 attempts. In 1975, he was a first-team All-America selection at fullback by the American Football Coaches Association, after he led the Southwest Conference with 1,118 rushing yards, 13 rushing touchdowns, and 78 points scored. Leg injuries kept him out of four games during his junior season, and he rushed for 653 yards and three touchdowns in seven games as Texas finished with a 5–5–1 record. Campbell led the nation in rushing as a senior in 1977, with 1,744 yards and 19 touchdowns. In the third game of the season, against the Rice Owls, Campbell scored four touchdowns during a 72–15 blowout….in which Texas kicker Russell Erxleben set an NCAA record with a 67-yard field goal. In his final regular season game, Campbell rushed for a career-high 222 yards in a 57–28 victory over rival Texas A&M….and the Longhorns finished the regular season undefeated. After clinching the Southwest Conference championship, the top-ranked Longhorns then faced # 5 Notre Dame, led by quarterback Joe Montana, in the Cotton Bowl Classic…..when Campbell carried 29 times for 116 yards in the game….but Notre Dame was victorious, 38–10….and claimed the national championship…..while Texas was ranked fourth in the final AP Poll.
NCAAF – 1978 – Cotton Bowl Classic Highlights – # 5 Notre Dame Vs # 1 Texas Longhorns
Campbell was awarded the Heisman Memorial Trophy as the most outstanding college player after the season, becoming the University of Texas’ first winner of the award. He also became the first recipient of the Davey O’Brien Memorial Trophy which was awarded to the outstanding player in the Southwest Conference. The Sporting News and United Press International each named Campbell the college football player of the year. He was a unanimous All-American, being named to the first team by every major selector. He finished his college career with 4,443 rushing yards and 40 rushing touchdowns in 40 games through four seasons.
NFL – 1977 To 1985 – Special Highlights – The Top Rated Power Back Of All Time