From Orange to Bronze

The induction of Floyd Little into the Pro Football Hall Fame cements a special place in history for Syracuse University.

That's because the college can now boast that two of its running backs who started together in the Orange's backfield during the mid-1960s have bronze busts in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Little and Larry Csonka, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1987, played together in Syracuse's backfield for two seasons. They represent only the second tandem of Pro Football Hall of Fame running backs who played in the same backfield in college.

The two men were a powerful one-two punch for Syracuse. During their two seasons on the same roster (1965-66) they combined for 3,683 yards and 37 TDs. Both players eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark once.

Little, who was a year ahead of Csonka, served as a mentor to the bruising fullback after Csonka made the transition from playing linebacker. The two future Hall of Famers teamed with their wingback and future NFL head coach Tom Coughlin during Little's senior year in 1966 to form one of the finest backfields in college football history.

The only other college backfield tandem in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is Barry Sanders (Class of 2004) and Thurman Thomas (Class of 2007) who played together at Oklahoma State from 1986-87.
Syracuse’s 1966 backfield – (L-R) quarterback Rick Cassata, Floyd Little, Tom Coughlin, Larry Csonka.

Notes - Floyd Little
Holds the Syracuse records for career touchdowns (46) and punts returned for touchdowns (6)
1965 All-American
1966 All-American
1966 ECAC Player of the Year
Rushed for a then school record 216 yards on 29 carries in the Gator Bowl against Tennessee on Dec. 31, 1966. Mark currently tied for sixth in the Syracuse record books with Larry Csonka

Notes - Larry Csonka
216 yards rushing against West Virginia on Nov. 13, 1965 was a then Syracuse single-game record. Is currently tied for sixth all-time with Floyd Little (216 yards against Tennessee on Dec. 31, 1966)
197 carries in 1966 was a then Syracuse single-season record
Csonka is the only Syracuse player to rank among the top-five in rushing yards in each of his sophomore, junior and senior seasons
Earned All-American honors in 1966

Csonka, Larry, Little, Floyd, Sanders, Barry, Thomas, Thurman
Recent Comments
  • Larry Goodsite - August 06 2010 10:01 AM

    BONUS FOR FLOYD LITTLE FANS: For fans that would like to know more about Floyd's return to Syracuse University in 2005, along with fellow HOFer Jim Brown, for the Retirement of #44, check out the articles and photos at the following link: Enjoy!


  • Larry Goodsite - August 05 2010 06:44 PM

    Just a "little" correction above. Floyd (b. 7/4/42) was NOT "a year older than Csonka [b. 12/25/46]" but rather was a year ahead of Larry, 1967 versus 1968 senior years, at Syracuse University. Heartiest Congratulations, classmate, to you (and your family and friends) on this long overdue honor!!! Very sorry I couldn't make it to Canton but I'll be watching the ceremonies and sharing your joy from here in Central Europe!!! Larry Goodsite SU '67, Law "73 Prague, Czech Republic

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