Born on this day: Longhorn Great, Big John Elliott

Big John Elliott went from tiny Warren, Texas to Austin and all the way to the NFL and the Super Bowl. Elliott was born on this day back in 1944.

Elliott anchored some great Texas defenses in the mid-60s. At 6-3, 225 pounds, Elliott was big for the era but quick enough to spend time at fullback at Warren, in the heart of Beast Texas. At Warren, the offensive line averaged around 150 pounds, blocking for big John. By the time colleges took notice only Lamar (then called Lamar Tech) and Stephen F. Austin joined Texas in their pursuit of the big east Texan.

Elliott, a defensive tackle, was a phenomenal athlete, running 40s with Texas’ running backs, including one of the best athletes in the state Bill Bradley, and getting the best of them on certain days. He was somewhat injury prone at Texas, injuring his shoulder as a sophomore, three games into his season, suffered a fractured leg in the 1965 Orange Bowl, where Texas beat Joe Namath’s Alabama squad and injured his knee his junior year against Indiana.

During the offseason, Elliott worked in the oil fields near Sinton and as an electrician’s helper. His senior season his teammates voted Elliott one of three captains; unfortunately, Elliott missed a large part of the game due to an ankle injury. He returned against Texas A&M and scored a safety on a sack in Texas’ win.

The Jets drafted Elliott in the seventh round of the 1967 NFL draft. Broadway Joe, of course, led the Jets, but four Longhorns, Elliott, Jim Hudson, Pete Lammons and George Sauer were teammates of Namath's with the Jets. Elliott started for the Jets in their legendary upset over the Colts in Super Bowl III. He made the Pro-Bowl and First Team All-Pro in 1970. He left the game in 1974.

Big John Elliott passed away in 2010.

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