George Taliaferro

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George Taliaferro
George Taliaferro - 1952 Bowman Large.jpg
Taliaferro on a 1952 Bowman football card
Born: (1927-01-08) January 8, 1927 (age 90)
Gates, Tennessee
Career information
Position(s) Halfback
Quarterback
College Indiana
NFL draft 1949 / Round: 13 / Pick: 129
(By the Chicago Bears)
Career history
As player
1949 Los Angeles Dons (AAFC)
1950–1951 New York Yanks
1952 Dallas Texans
1953–1954 Baltimore Colts
1955 Philadelphia Eagles
Career highlights and awards
Pro Bowls 1951, 1952, 1953
Career stats
Rushing touchdowns 15
Rushing yards 2,266
Carries 498
Receptions 95
Receiving yards 1,300

George Taliaferro (born January 8, 1927) is a former professional American football player. He was the first African American drafted by a National Football League team.[1]

As the leading rusher and an All-American at Indiana University, he led the Hoosier football program to their only undefeated Big Ten Conference championship. The 1945 Indiana Hoosiers football team handed Fritz Crisler and the University of Michigan their only Big Ten loss, a 13-7 win for IU--in Ann Arbor. A three-time All-American, Taliaferro led the Hoosiers in rushing twice, punting in 1945 and passing in 1948. Taliaferro helped break the color barrier in sports, playing for the Hoosiers two years before Jackie Robinson suited up for the Brooklyn Dodgers.[2] He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981.[3] While at IU, Taliaferro became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.[4]

Taliaferro, a halfback, quarterback, and punter, was picked by the Chicago Bears in the thirteenth round of the 1949 NFL Draft but chose to play instead with the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference.[5] He played with the Dons in 1949, then moved to the NFL, where he played with the New York Yanks 1950-51, Dallas Texans 1952, Baltimore Colts 1953-54, and Philadelphia Eagles 1955. He went to the Pro Bowl in 1951, 1952, and 1953.[6]

A documentary about Taliaferro, titled Indiana Legends: George Taliaferro, was recently produced by WTIU public television in Bloomington, Indiana. As of 2015 he resides in Bloomington, Indiana where his wife is a retired juvenile court judge. His nephew is Baltimore Ravens halfback Lorenzo Taliaferro.[7]

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