Larry Csonka, a classic 6-3, 235-pound line-smashing fullback, provided the major rushing thrust in the Miami Dolphins' vaunted ball-control offense when the team was dominating the National Football League in the early 1970s.
A consensus All-America at Syracuse and the Dolphins’ No.1 draft pick in 1968, Larry contributed almost picture-perfect performances to Miami's three Super Bowl seasons in 1971, 1972, and 1973. Csonka surpassed 1,000 yards in rushing all three seasons with his best production – 1,117 yards – coming during Miami's perfect season in 1972. Larry earned AII-AFC honors four times and was named All-Pro in 1971, 1972, and 1973. He was also selected to play in five straight Pro Bowls, although injuries forced him to miss two of those games.
Perhaps his finest single-game effort came in Super Bowl VIII, when he was selected as the game’s Most Valuable Player. Miami's powerful attack was at its best with Csonka carrying 33 times for a then-Super Bowl record 145 yards and two touchdowns. Larry wound up his 11-year career with 8,081 yards rushing and added 820 yards on 106 pass receptions.
Extremely sure-handed, he fumbled only 21 times in 11 seasons. His 408 points came on 68 touchdowns. Csonka, who was born in Stow, Ohio, on December 25, 1946, startled the pro football world by playing out his option with Miami in 1974 and then joining the Memphis' Southmen of the World Football League. When the WFL folded, he joined the New York Giants as a free agent in 1976. He enjoyed moderate success for three seasons with the Giants before returning to the Dolphins for a final 1979 season. Csonka's final fling proved to be a success. His 873 yards rushing was his best since 1973 and his 13 total touchdowns and 12 touchdowns rushing both were career highs.
Lawrence Richard Csonka
December 25, 1946
Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame:
January 24, 1987
Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame:
August 8, 1987
Don Shula, Miami Dolphins head coach
Other Members of Class of 1987: Len Dawson
, Joe Greene
, John Henry Johnson
, Jim Langer
, Don Maynard
, Gene Upshaw
11 Seasons, 146 games (does not include seven games played with the Memphis Southmen of the World Football League in 1975 before league folded.)
1st round (8th player overall) in 1968 by Miami Dolphins
Mar. 31, 1974 – signed with Toronto Northmen (who later became Memphis Southmen) of the World Football League to start play in 1975. | April 7, 1976 – signed as free agent with the New York Giants. | Feb. 22, 1979 – signed as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins.