EARL CAMPBELL

EARL CAMPBELL

Class of 1991
Running Back >>> 5-11, 232
(Texas)
1978-1984 Houston Oilers, 1984-85 New Orleans Saints

Earl Christian Campbell ... First player taken in 1978 NFL Draft ... Texas All-American, Heisman Trophy winner ... NFL rushing champion, Player of Year, All-Pro, Pro Bowl choice, 1978, 1979, 1980 ... Career high 1,934 yards rushing including four 200-yard rushing games, 1980 ... Career stats: 9,407 yards, 74 TDs rushing, 121 receptions, 806 yards ... Played in five Pro Bowls ... Born March 29, 1955, in Tyler, Texas.

Earl Campbell, a 5-11, 232-pound ball-carrying dynamo from the University of Texas, joined the Houston Oilers as the first player taken in the 1978 National Football League Draft. The first player to earn All-Southwest Conference honors four years, Campbell was a consensus All-America and the Heisman Trophy winner in 1977.

Born March 29, 1955, in Tyler, Texas, Campbell took the NFL by storm right from the very start. In 1978, he was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player, All-Pro, and Rookie of the Year. He won the league rushing championship with 1,450 yards and was named to the AFC Pro Bowl squad. It was more of the same the next two years with NFL rushing titles, MVP honors, and consensus All-Pro acclaim each season.

His finest year came in 1980, however, when he rushed for 1,934 yards, which at the time was second only to 0. J. Simpson’s 2003 yards gained in 1973. That year, he gained over 200 yards in four games. In 1981, he won his fourth straight AFC rushing title. A sensational runner, Campbell was picked for the Pro Bowl five of his first six NFL seasons.

In his eight-season career, Campbell rushed 2,187 times for 9,407 yards, and 74 touchdowns. He also gained 806 yards on 121 receptions to bring his career combined net yards total to 10,213. His most famous performance came in a Monday night game against Miami in his rookie season. That night, he rushed for 199 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Oilers to a spectacular 35-30 victory. In spite of the constant pounding he took from opposing defenders, Earl missed only six games out of 115 because of injuries. Midway into his seventh season, the powerful running back was traded by the Oilers to the New Orleans Saints for a first-round draft pick. He played a season and a half with the Saints before retiring after the 1985 campaign.

Year Team
G
No.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
No.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
1978 Houston
15
302
1450
4.8
13
12
48
4.0
0
1979 Houston
16
368
1697
4.6
19
16
94
5.9
0
1980 Houston
15
373
1934
5.2
13
11
47
4.3
0
1981 Houston
16
361
1376
3.8
10
36
156
4.3
0
1982 Houston
9
157
538
3.4
2
18
130
7.2
0
1983 Houston
14
322
1301
4.0
12
19
216
11.4
0
1984 Houston/New Orleans
14
146
468
3.2
4
3
27
9.0
0
1985 New Orleans
16
158
643
4.1
1
6
88
14.7
0
Career Total
115
2187
9407
4.3
74
121
806
6.7
0
Additional Career Statistics: Passing: 3-1-57, 1 TD, 1 Int

Championship Games

1978 AFC – Pittsburgh Steelers 34, Houston Oilers 5
Campbell started at running back. He carried the ball 22 times for 62 yards and had one reception for four yards. He also fumbled three times.

1979 AFC – Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Houston Oilers 13
Campbell started at running back. He carried the ball 17 times for 15 yards and had one reception for 11 yards. He also fumbled one time.

All-Pro: 1978 (AP, PFWA, NEA, PW), 1979 (AP, PFWA, NEA, PW), 1980 (AP, PFWA, NEA, SN, PW)

All-AFC: 1978 (UPI, SN, PW), 1979 (UPI, SN, PW), 1980 (UPI, PW)

All-AFC Second Team: 1981 (UPI)

(5) – 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984

(at time of his retirement following 1985 season)

• [1st] Most 200-Yard Rushing Games, Season – 4 (1980)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Consecutive 200-Yard Rushing Games – 2 (1980)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Consecutive Seasons Leading League, Rushing – 3 (1978-1980)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most 200-Yard Rushing Games, Career – 4
• [Tied for 2nd] Most 100-Yard Rushing Games, Season – 11 (1979)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Consecutive 100-Yard Rushing Games – 7 (1979)
• [3rd] Most Seasons Leading League, Rushing – 3 (1978-1980)
• [3rd] Most Yards Rushing, Season – 1,934 (1980)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Consecutive 100-Yard Rushing Games – 6 (1980)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most 100-Yard Rushing Games, Season – 10 (1980)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Consecutive Seasons, 1,000 or More Yards Rushing – 4 (1978-1981)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Touchdowns Rushing, Season – 19 (1979)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Touchdowns Rushing, Rookie Season – 13 (1978)

Post-Season Records

• [Tied for 2nd] Most Fumbles, Game – 3 (vs. Pittsburgh, 1978 AFC Championship)

Pro Bowl Records

• [Tied for 1st] Most Touchdowns, Career – 3
• [Tied for 1st] Most Touchdowns, Game – 2 (1980)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Points, Career – 18
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Touchdowns, Game – 2
• [3rd] Most Yards Rushing, Career – 220
• [3rd] Highest Average Gain Per Rushing Attempt, Game – 6.90 (1980)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Rushing Attempts, Career – 48

Oilers' records held by Campbell
(Records through the 1984 season, Campbell's last season with Houston)

• [1st] Most Touchdowns, Career – 73
• [1st] Most Touchdowns, Season – 19 (1979)
• [1st] Most Touchdowns Rushing, Career – 73
• [1st] Most Touchdowns Rushing, Season – 19 (1979)
• [1st] Most Touchdowns Rushing, Game – 4 (vs. Miami, Nov. 20, 1978)
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing, Career – 8,574
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing, Season – 1,934 (1980)
• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Career – 1,979
• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Season – 373 (1980)
• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Game – 39 (vs. Seattle, Oct. 11, 1981)
• [1st] Most Yards Rushing, Rookie Season – 1,450 (1978)
• [1st] Most Combined Net Yards, Career – 9,349
• [2nd] Most Total Points, Career – 438
• [2nd] Highest Rushing Average Per Attempt, Career – 4.33
• [2nd] Longest Rushing Play – 81t (vs. Miami, Nov. 20, 1978)
• [2nd] Most Touchdowns Rushing, Season – 13 (1978, 1980)
• [2nd] Most Yards Rushing, Season – 1,697 (1979)
• [2nd] Most Yards Rushing, Game – 206 (vs. Chicago, Nov. 16, 1960)
• [2nd] Most Rushing Attempts, Season – 368 (1979)
• [2nd] Most Rushing Attempts, Game – 38 (vs. Denver, Oct. 12, 1980)
• [2nd] Most Combined Net Yards, Season – 2,038 (1980)
• [3rd] Most Yards Rushing, Season – 1,450 (1978)
• [3rd] Most Rushing Attempts, Season – 361 (1981)
• [3rd] Most Rushing Attempts, Game – 37 (vs. Cincinnati, Oct. 4, 1981)

Saints’ records held by Campbell
(Records through the 1985 season, Campbell's last season with New Orleans)

• [1st] Most Rushing Attempts, Game – 35 (at Minnesota, Nov. 24, 1985)

League Statistical Championships
Rushing Titles: 1978, 1979, 1980
Touchdown Titles: 1979

AFC Statistical Championships:
Rushing Titles: 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981
Touchdown Titles: 1979, 1980

Team Statistical Championships
Rushing Titles: 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
Scoring Titles: 1978, 1979

• 1970s All-Decade Team
• 1978 Most Valuable Player (PFWA, NEA)
• 1978 AFC Player of the Year (SN)
• 1978 Offensive Player of the Year (AP, PW, UPI-AFC)
• 1978 Rookie of the Year (PFWA, NEA)
• 1978 AFC Rookie of the Year (UPI, SN)
• 1978 Offensive Rookie of the Year (AP, PW)
• 1979 Most Valuable Player (AP, PFWA, NEA, MX)
• 1979 Offensive Player of the Year (AP, PW)
• 1980 Most Valuable Player (NEA)
• 1980 Offensive Player of the Year (AP)

Year Team W L T Division Finish
1978 Houston Oilers 10 6 0 (2nd)
1979 Houston Oilers 11 5 0 (2nd)
1980 Houston Oilers 11 5 0 (2nd)
1981 Houston Oilers 7 9 1 (2nd)
1982 Houston Oilers 1 8 0 (13th*)
1983 Houston Oilers 2 14 1 (4th)
1984 New Orleans Saints 7 9 0 (3rd)
1985 New Orleans Saints 5 11 1 (3rd)
* NFC regular season finish in strike-shortened season.

Full Name: Earl Christian Campbell

Birthdate: March 29, 1955

Birthplace: Tyler, Texas

High School: John Tyler (Tyler, TX)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 26, 1991

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: July 27, 1991

Presenter: Bum Phillips, Campbell’s head coach with Oilers and Saints

Other Members of the Class of 1991: John Hannah, Stan Jones, Tex Schramm, Jan Stenerud

Pro Career: 8 Seasons, 115 Games

Drafted: 1st round (1st player overall) in 1978 by Houston Oilers

Transactions: October 9, 1984 – Campbell traded from Houston Oilers to New Orleans Saints in exchange for No. 1 draft pick, 1985 (11th overall - DB Richard Johnson, Wisconsin).

Uniform Number: #34 with Oilers. (Also wore #35 with Saints).

Mobile-Optimized Bio >>>