Jeff Zimmerman (American football)
|Date of birth:||January 10, 1963|
|Place of birth:||Enid, Oklahoma|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||320 lb (145 kg)|
|High school:||Orlando (FL) Evans|
|NFL draft:||1987 / Round: 3 / Pick: 68|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Jeffrey Alan Zimmerman (born January 10, 1963) is an American former college and professional football player who was an offensive lineman in the National Football League for four seasons during the late 1980s and early 1990s. He played college football for the University of Florida, and was twice recognized as an All-American. The Dallas Cowboys selected him in the third round of the 1987 NFL Draft.
He accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Charley Pell and coach Galen Hall's Florida Gators football teams from 1983 to 1986. Zimmerman was one of the members of the Gators' outstanding offensive line of the mid-1980s known as the "Great Wall of Florida," which included Phil Bromley, Lomas Brown, Billy Hinson and Crawford Ker. Behind their blocking, the Gators' quarterback Kerwin Bell, fullback John L. Williams and halfback Neal Anderson led the Gators to identical 9–1–1 overall win-loss records and best-in-the-SEC records of 5–0–1 and 5–1 in 1984 and 1985, respectively. In 1985, he lost two weeks due to a right knee injury he suffered against Rutgers.
Zimmerman was nicknamed "One Man Gang" by his teammates and was a three-year starter at right guard, until his senior season when he was named the starter at right tackle. He was a first-team All-SEC selection and a first-team All-American in 1985 and 1986, in two different positions.
The Dallas Cowboys chose Zimmerman in the third round (sixty-eighth pick overall) of the 1987 NFL Draft, as part of a change in the offensive line philosophy, when the team started to value size and strength over speed and athletic ability. Although he was initially projected as a first round draft choice, the weight problems he displayed as a senior and in the post-season dropped his value.
As a rookie, his only recognition came from knocking Lawrence Taylor unconscious in a game against the New York Giants. In 1988, a dislocated shoulder he suffered in training camp limited his playing time to one game, until he was placed on the injured reserve list on September 23. In 1990, he started the first 9 weeks of the year on the injured reserve list with a knee injury, until being reactivated on November 7.
During the 1991 off-season without any previous notice, he chose not to attend the Cowboys' conditioning program nor training camp, and was placed on the reserve/did not report list. He announced his retirement from pro football at a later time, after the problems he experienced controlling his weight hampered his performance and cut his career short.
- 1985 College Football All-America Team
- 1986 College Football All-America Team
- Florida Gators football, 1980–89
- List of Dallas Cowboys players
- List of Florida Gators football All-Americans
- List of Florida Gators football players in the NFL
- List of University of Florida alumni
- Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Jeff Zimmerman. Retrieved July 23, 2010.
- databaseFootball.com, Players, Jeff Zimmerman. Retrieved July 23, 2010.
- 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 87–88, 92, 96, 186 (2011). Retrieved August 31, 2011.
- Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1987 National Football League Draft. Retrieved July 23, 2010.
- Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
- Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
- Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
- McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
- Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.