, will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 7. He is just the third long-time Denver Broncos player to earn a bronze bust in Canton.
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Little was a charter member of the Denver Broncos' Ring of Fame in 1984. Joining Little in the original Ring of Fame class were defensive end Rich Jackson (1967-72), wide receiver Lionel Taylor (1960-66) and safety Austin "Goose" Gonsoulin (1960-66). Other notable players in the Ring of Fame include John Elway (1999), Gary Zimmerman (2003) and Randy Gradishar (1989).
Floyd became the first Broncos' first-round pick to ever sign with the franchise. He was selected sixth overall in the 1967 combined AFL-NFL draft ahead of fellow Hall of Famers Gene Upshaw and Alan Page.
To say that "was" the Denver Broncos during his career is not an understatement. This is evidenced by the fact that even though the team never made the playoffs, he was one of the most productive players in pro football. He amassed more all-purpose yards (12,157) in his career that spanned from 1967 to 1975 than any other player during that period.
In 1971, Little became the first Broncos player to eclipse 1,000 yards rushing in a season. He reached the milestone on a 14-yard run in the second quarter of a game against the San Diego Chargers on Dec. 12, 1971. He added a 79-yard effort the following week in the season finale against the Oakland Raiders to finish 28 yards ahead of Green Bay's John Brockington and win the NFL's rushing title.
During Little's career in Denver, from 1967-1975, no Broncos offensive lineman was voted to a Pro Bowl. Despite being Denver's only offensive threat Little was voted to play in two AFL All-Star games and three AFC-NFC Pro Bowls. By comparison, Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown ran behind a great offensive line unit that combined for 19 Pro Bowl selections. One, guard Gene Hickerson, was voted to the Hall of Fame.
The longest run of Little's career was an 80-yard touchdown run against the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 25, 1970. Little finished the game with 140 yards rushing and scored one touchdown in the game.
The Longest play of Little's career was an 89-yard kickoff return which occurred on the opening kickoff of the second half against the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 10, 1968. It remains the second longest non-scoring kickoff return in Broncos history behind Eddie Royal's 95-yard return against Miami on Nov. 2, 2008.
Little scored an exciting 66-yard TD reception in his final game at Mile High Stadium on Dec. 14, 1975 against the Philadelphia Eagles. That was his longest play of the season.
"Although his playing career with the Broncos took place before my time with the team, I am well aware of what means to this franchise, city and league. Aside from his stellar play on the field, he helped make the Broncos relevant in the NFL and strengthened the bond between this team and its fans. He has waited a long time for this honor, and I couldn't be happier for him." - Pat Bowlen, Broncos owner
"You can't tip-toe through games. If you're cautious, you're retired. You go all out and hope for the best." -
"Floyd's teammates when he broke in were as green as he was, so he had no one to turn to for help. New players are afraid to bug the coaches. So he just had to find his own way through a lot of tough games." - Dave Costa, former teammate
"Floyd's better because the whole team is better. But, he's a part of the reason we're better. He has great balance and a kind of spurting speed. When he really has to lay it on, he can. He also began breaking tackles. But his running is just part of his contribution. Leadership is another, the quiet type of leadership." - Lou Saban, former coach
"I've never seen a look of such pure determination on a man's face before. You just knew he was going all the way, and you knew things were going to be all right." - Bill Thompson, former Broncos cornerback
"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon…if I can." -
"He was within a few yards of leading the league in rushing for a last-place team in 1970, as well. That alone shows what kind of player he was." - Jeff Legwold, The Denver Post
" helped build the Denver Broncos in the early years, and created the opportunity for myself and others to come to Denver and play for a great franchise with the best fans in the world. Floyd was not only a special player, but is a man of great character and integrity." - Ed McCaffrey, former Broncos wide receiver
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