|In 1973, a skinny freshman tailback named TONY DORSETT from Hopewell High School in Aliquippa, Pa., began a career at Pitt that would lead to a national championship, the Heisman Trophy and individual acclaim as the greatest running back in the history of college football.
In his fabulous four-year career with the Panthers, Dorsett set or tied 18 collegiate rushing records — more than any other player in the history of college football. He established the NCAA’s all-time career rushing record with 6,082 yards, a mark that stood for 22 years.
In 1976, Pitt went on to crush Georgia, 27-3, to become the first Eastern team since Syracuse in 1959 to win the national championship. That season Dorsett became Pitt’s first Heisman Trophy winner in 1976 when he led the nation in rushing with 1,948 yards.
“We had accomplished our mission,” Dorsett said. “I think back to those college days often, and I can’t help but smile. I’ve never had more fun in my life. We were a part of history. We helped save Pitt football.”
Tony Dorsett – RB, Dallas Cowboys (1977-1987), Denver Broncos (1988)
Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 1994
Holds a NFL record that can be tied but never broken. In a game against the Minnesota Vikings on Jan. 3, 1983, Dorsett scampered 99 yards for the longest run in NFL history.
The Cowboys worked a trade with the Seattle Seahawks to move up to the number two spot of the 1977 NFL Draft to pick Dorsett.
Ranked second behind only Walter Payton in rushing yards (12,739) at the time of his retirement.
A four-time All-American at Pittsburgh, Dorsett led the nation in rushing and won the Heisman Trophy during the Panthers’ 1976 national championship season. He is one of just eight members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to have won the coveted award.
Dorsett selected No. 33 as his uniform number to honor his older brother who also wore the number.