Earl Christian Campbell (born March 29, 1955), and began playing football in the fifth grade as a kicker, but by the sixth grade, he was moved to running back. In 1973, he led the John Tyler High School to a Texas 4A State Championship, then moved on to play for the University of Texas.
Campbell put up amazing stats in college, and was awarded for his achievements. In 1975 he was named All-American. In 1977, he won the Heisman, he became the first recipient of the Davey O'Brien Memorial Trophy, which was awarded for the best player in the now defunct Southwest Conference. A consensus All-American in 1977, due to Campbell rushing for 1,744 yards and leading the nation. When he played his final game for the Longhorns, he finished with 4,444 career rushing yards. This led him to be the first pick overall in the NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. He signed for a six-year, $1.4 million dollar contract.
In his first year, he was unstoppable. On 302 rushing attempts he gained 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year, and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year. Campbell's greatness came from his ability to mix speed and power. He would plow over anyone, then go the distance. His Houston Oilers playing days (1978-1985) he carried the rock 1,979 times for 8,574 yards and 73 touchdowns. In 1979 earned him All-Pro, Pro-Bowl, and NFL Offensive Player of the Year honors, the second of three consecutive seasons he led the league in rushing, and only Jim Brown previously accomplished that feat. Campbell led the NFL in rushing for the 1978, 1979, 1980 seasons. His nearly 2,000 carries in just seven seasons wrecked his longevity as a pro. Part way through the 1984 season he was traded to the New Orleans Saints. He played just a season and a half in New Orleans, and had just one touchdown on 208 carries for 833 yards. During the preseason of 1986, Earl Campbell retired, citing that his body could not go through any more punishment, and it was time to hang up the cleats.
Five years later on July 27, 1991 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 1999, he was ranked number 33 on the Sporting News list of 100 Greatest Football Players, he was also ranked #12 on ESPN's Top 25 players in College Football History.
Campbell is widely known as being one of the best power backs in NFL history. He would love to punish anyone getting in his way, by using his 34 inch thighs. and his wrecking ball 5'11, 244 pound frame. Slow? try a 4.5 in the 40 yard dash, this combination made him one of the most feared runners of his era. The University of Texas in 2006, unveiled a nine foot statue of honor of his Texas playing days, and in 2013 the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, given to the best running back with ties to Texas.
Due to his consistent punishment on the football field, Campbell has trouble walking and sometimes will request a wheelchair. Campbell has developed severe arthritis in his knees, and aggravating back pain. He has had surgery to try to relieve the back pain, by having the surgical doctor remove three large bone spurs. Earl is still a prominent business man living in Austin, Texas and still participates in Texas athletics. He has his own meat company, which manufactures and sells Earl Campbell's Smoked Sausage, barbecue sauce, and he also owned a restaurant called the Earl Campbell's Lone Star BBQ, but sadly closed in 2001.