Pro Football Hall of Fame running back returned to his former high school in Tyler, Texas, on Wednesday, April 10, to receive his “Hometown Hall of FamersTM” plaque. The atmosphere inside John Tyler High School’s gymnasium was buzzing as attendees were treated to a special performance by the high school's renowned marching band as they filed into the gymnasium to take their seats.
Brad Brookshire, chairman of the board for Brookshire Grocery Company and Campbell’s longtime friend, served as the event's plaque presenter. After sharing a detailed account that praised the adversity Campbell went through to reach his dream of playing in the NFL. Brookshire joked, "Earl was the very best employee we ever had at the grocery store, because everyone would want to come to see him when he was working."
After recognizing his wife and son who were in attendance, Campbell shared that he only had two things growing up, a dream and talent. Combined, these two elements allowed him to reach the pinnacle of his profession as a Pro Football Hall of Famer. Campbell also paid tribute to the great community support he had growing up in Tyler, Texas and that the students in attendance could rely on that same support to help them achieve their dreams.
“Allstate is honored to be a part of today’s special event for here in Tyler, Texas,” said Allstate representative Neal Nevejans. “We at Allstate know and understand the value of hometown pride, which was on full display today at John Tyler High School.”
Additional speakers at today’s event included John Tyler High School Interim Principal Joe Coburn, who served as the ceremony’s emcee and Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises President and CEO George Veras.
“’s impact on Tyler, Texas, has been immeasurable throughout the years,” said Veras. “The Pro Football Hall of Fame now hopes to add to his tradition with the addition of this ‘Hometown Hall of FamersTM’ plaque today.”
In addition to the plaque, a commemorative “Hometown Hall of Famer™” road sign will be on display in Tyler, Texas.
A University of Texas alumnus, Campbell was the first player to earn All-Southwest Conference honors four years in a row. Campbell was also a consensus All-American and the Heisman Trophy winner in 1977.
The first player taken in the 1978 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers, 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.
His finest year came in 1980, when he rushed for 1,934 yards, which at the time was second only to 0.J. Simpson’s 2,003 yards gained in 1973. That year, Campbell rushed for more than 200 yards in four separate games, an NFL record that still stands. In 1981, he won his fourth straight AFC rushing title. Campbell was picked for the Pro Bowl five of his first six NFL seasons.
In his eight-season career, that included a final stop with the New Orleans Saints, 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.
Campbell was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991.
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