||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2011)|
|Date of birth:||August 15, 1969|
|Place of birth:||Tarboro, North Carolina|
|NFL draft:||1991 / Round: 4 / Pick: 90|
|Career highlights and awards|
Career NFL statistics
|Stats at NFL.com|
Yancey Dirk Thigpen (born August 15, 1969) is a former professional American football wide receiver who played for the San Diego Chargers (1991), the Pittsburgh Steelers (1992–1997), and the Tennessee Oilers/Titans (1998–2000). Before his NFL career, he played for Winston-Salem State University, where he also played collegiate basketball.
National Football League years
Thigpen played infrequently in his first three seasons, but had a breakout year in 1994, catching 36 passes for 546 yards. Then in 1995, he made the Pro Bowl, catching 85 passes for 1,307 yards and five touchdowns, and assisting his team to Super Bowl XXX, where he recorded three catches for 19 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers 27–17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. His tough style of play earned him the nickname "Meatball," which was later changed to "Phil" when he joined the Oilers in 1998.
Thigpen played only six games in the following season due to injuries, but made a full recovery in the 1997 season, catching 79 passes for 1,398 yards and 7 touchdowns and making his second Pro Bowl selection.
In 1998, he signed with the Oilers with a contract that was then the highest known for any wide receiver and played with them for the final three seasons of his career, assisting the team (now known as the Titans) to Super Bowl XXXIV in the 1999 season. Such a large contract for a wide receiver was a signal of the role which wide receivers would begin to play in the NFL. Thigpen retired after the 2000 season with 313 career receptions for 5,081 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also rushed for four yards, returned two punts for 30 yards, and gained 188 yards on eight kickoff returns.
Thigpen went to Winston-Salem State University because he was not recruited heavily out of high school. The high school he attended was Southwest Edgecombe High School. His great performance there allowed him to be drafted relatively high for someone from such a small school.
- Yancey Thigpen. databasefootball.com