J. C. Caroline

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J. C. Caroline
Date of birth: (1933-01-17) January 17, 1933 (age 81)
Place of birth: Warrenton, Georgia
Career information
Position(s): Defensive Back, Halfback
College: Illinois
NFL Draft: 1956 / Round: 7 / Pick 82
Organizations
As player:
1955
1955
1956-1965
Toronto Argonauts
Montreal Alouettes
Chicago Bears
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls: 1
Career stats
Playing stats at DatabaseFootball.com

James C. "J.C." Caroline (born January 17, 1933) is a former American football player. Caroline was a collegiate All-American, and played professionally for ten seasons in the National Football League, and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Caroline played college football at the University of Illinois, lettering in 1953 and 1954. A running back, Caroline led the nation in rushing with 1256 yards in 1953 as a sophomore, and was named All-American. The next year he was ruled ineligible to play due to academic reasons, so instead of returning to college his senior year, Caroline chose to play Canadian football. He initially signed with the Toronto Argonauts for $15,000 and played with them through September. They then stunned the league when he was placed on waivers (Coach Bill Swiacki, amazingly, claimed he wasn’t good enough as a defensive back). The only team that could afford him was the division champion Montreal Alouettes, and he rushed for 575 yards on the season. He played in the 1955 Grey Cup game. Following that year, Caroline earned a physical education degree from Florida A&M University and was drafted by the Chicago Bears.

Beginning in 1956, Caroline had a ten-year professional career with the Chicago Bears of the NFL. Playing primarily defensive back, Caroline finished his career with 24 interceptions and six total touchdowns (two rushing, 1 receiving, 1 fumble recovery, and two on interceptions). Caroline intercepted Pro Football Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas's first NFL career pass attempt and returned it for a touchdown.

Caroline was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

Caroline was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 1956 NFL Draft with the 82nd overall pick.

After his professional football career, Caroline moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and taught PE at Urbana High School.

Caroline was portrayed by actor Bernie Casey in the 1971 biopic Brian's Song.

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