Nate Borden

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Nate Borden
No. 87, 75
Position: Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1932-09-22)September 22, 1932
Place of birth: Detroit, MI
Date of death: September 30, 1992(1992-09-30) (aged 60)
Place of death: Las Vegas, Nevada
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 234 lb (106 kg)
Career information
High school: William L. Dickinson (NJ)
College: Indiana
NFL Draft: 1955 / Round: 25 / Pick: 293
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 92
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Nathaniel Borden (September 22, 1932 – September 30, 1992) was a professional American football defensive end in the National Football League (NFL) and the American Football League (AFL). He played college football at Indiana University.

Early years[edit]

Borden moved to Jersey City, New Jersey where he played high school football at William L. Dickinson High School. He also practiced track, doing the discus throw, the shot put and the two-mile run.

He accepted a scholarship from Indiana University, where he played as an offensive and defensive end. As a senior, he was moved to tackle and received honorable-mention All-American and second-team All-Big Ten honors.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Green Bay Packers[edit]

Borden was selected in the 25th round (293rd overall) of the 1955 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers under Coach Lisle Blackbourn, becoming the first African-American to play for the franchise.

During this early period, Borden was one of the few African-American players on the Packers along with Frank Purnell, who played in 1957. When he could not find housing within the city limits, he had to room at a rundown motel just outside Green Bay. A number of Packers were also staying at the motel. They told the manager he would lose their business if Borden could not room there. Quarterback Bart Starr befriended Borden and frequently had him and his family at Starr's home for dinner.

When Vince Lombardi was hired as the new head coach for the 1959 season, Borden was the only African-American player on the roster and Lombardi would help him find a decent place to live. He wasn't protected for the NFL Expansion Draft due to a knee injury.

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Borden was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960 NFL Expansion Draft and became the first starter at left defensive end in franchise history.[2] The next year he was moved to the right side, after John Gonzaga was traded and Bob Lilly was drafted. He was released on September 11, 1962.

Buffalo Bills[edit]

In 1962, after the Cowboys, he played one year with the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League.

Personal life[edit]

In 1965, he was hired to scout for the United Scouting organization of the NFL.[3] In 1967, he was hired as a scout by the Atlanta Falcons,[4] remaining with the team for twelve years. The Falcons first season was 1966 and was led by former Green Bay Packers coach Norb Hecker.

After finishing his scouting years, Borden became the assistant to the mayor of Jersey City, Jim Sutcliffe. After Sutcliffe lost a bid for re-election, Borden moved to Las Vegas, where he was assistant to the mayor Russ Dorn. He was also the Officer of Urban Development in the city of Las Vegas.

Borden died of cancer in Las Vegas on September 30, 1992. He left behind two sons and a daughter.


External links[edit]