James Lofton returns home

James Lofton returns home

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Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver James Lofton was honored in Los Angeles as a “Hometown Hall of Famer™” by the Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company. Lofton was welcomed home to Washington Preparatory High School by a crowd of 1,000 students, faculty and staff, in addition to former teammates, coaches, family and friends. 

Emcee James Coffield kicked off the event and expressed how proud the Generals are to call James Lofton one of their own by saying, “Once a General, always a General.”

Coffield then introduced Principal Todd Ullah who thanked Lofton for choosing to house the historic plaque at Washington Prep, making the school an extension of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Next to take the stage was school board member Marguerite LaMott, who encouraged the students to never give up.

After Lofton’s son Daniel spoke about his memories with his father, calling him a “Hall of Famer Dad,” he welcomed him to the stage to unveil the Hometown plaque. After holding up the plaque for the entire crowd to see, Lofton began his speech by sharing some of his early struggles and the lessons he learned. “I encourage each of you to hold on to what you're passionate about, never quit and always remember to give it your all," said Lofton.

In addition to the plaque, a commemorative James Lofton “Hometown Hall of Famer™” road sign will be on display in Los Angeles.

“Today we can see the impact that one player can have on a community,” said Brock Richards, program director for Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises. “Not only is Washington Prep welcoming Lofton home today, but he is showing the appreciation for the ‘angels’ in this community that helped him achieve success by bringing this plaque to his hometown.”

Also in attendance was local Allstate representative and Southern California native Robert Feldman, who recalled growing up watching Lofton on the field.

“It is an honor to take part in this ceremony today and celebrate James Lofton in his hometown,” said Feldman. “This program is really a chance to celebrate the hometown support that has helped so many of us achieve success, no matter what we choose to pursue.”

A constant deep-threat receiver, Lofton was selected 6th overall in the 1978 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, going on to catch 764 passes for 14,004 yards for an average 18.3 yards per catch over the course of his 16-year career. At the time of his retirement, Lofton’s reception yardage was an NFL record, while his 43 games with 100 or more yards receiving ranked third all-time.

Lofton proved his durability throughout his long career by becoming the first player to score a touchdown in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. He used his speed to simply outrun defenders, scoring many of his 75 touchdowns on deep routes. In 1991, at age 35, the still-speedy receiver became the oldest player in league history to record 1,000 receiving yards in a season.

Lofton, a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1980s, spent the majority of his career with the Packers and held numerous team receiving records at the time of his departure in 1986. From there, he moved to the Los Angeles Raiders, then the Buffalo Bills, where he made three Super Bowl appearances. Lofton began the 1993 season with the Los Angeles Rams before finishing his career with the Philadelphia Eagles.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

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