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Class of 2018 Finalist Spotlight: Robert Brazile

Class of 2018 Finalist Spotlight: Robert Brazile

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Former linebacker Robert Brazile was named a senior finalist in August. If elected, he would become the 27th linebacker Enshrined into the Hall.

Brazile was a preeminent linebacker in the NFL during a career that spanned from 1975 to 1984 with the Houston Oilers. A consensus All-American at Jackson State, he was drafted by the Oilers in the first round (sixth player overall) of the 1975 NFL Draft. He lived up to the high expectations and was named to multiple All-Rookie teams and earned Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Noted for his size (6-4, 241 pounds) and speed (4.6 in the 40), Brazile had a reputation as a tremendous hitter and earned the nickname “Dr. Doom” by his peers.

He continued to dominate at the linebacker position and was a leading force on an Oilers defense that helped the team to three consecutive 10-win seasons (10-6 in 1978, 11-5 in 1979, 11-5 in 1980). Houston advanced to back-to-back AFC title game appearances in 1978 and 1979.

Leading the way was Brazile who finished second on the team in tackles and was named by the NFLPA as the top linebacker in the AFC in each of those seasons. He recorded a career-best 185 tackles (95 solo, 98 assisted) during the 1978 season and had nine tackles and one fumble recovery in 1978 AFC Championship Game.

Brazile started every game of his 10-year career with the Oilers and his 147 consecutive games were the most in Oilers history at the time of his retirement in 1984. He had 13 career interceptions for 201 yards and made 14 fumble recoveries. He amassed 11 sacks during the last three years of his career (1982-84), once sacks became an official statistic in 1982.

Brazile was named first-team All-Pro five times (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1980) and was elected to seven consecutive Pro Bowls (1977-1983). He is a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1970s.

After retiring from football, Brazile moved back to his hometown where he coached a minor league pro team. He then became a middle-school teacher for children with special needs. He was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and Bancorp Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

The Black College Football Hall of Fame has a permanent home in Canton, Ohio as part of the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, a nearly $800 million mixed-use development under way on the Hall’s campus.

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