Neal Colzie

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Neal Colzie
No. 20
Position: Defensive back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1953-02-28)February 28, 1953
Place of birth: Fitzgerald, Georgia
Date of death: August 20, 2001(2001-08-20) (aged 48)
Place of death: Miami, Florida
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school: Coral Gables (FL)
College: Ohio State
NFL Draft: 1975 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interceptions: 25
Kickoff returns: 7
Punt returns: 170
Player stats at

Cornelius Connie Colzie, better known as Neal Colzie, (February 28, 1953 – August 20, 2001) was an American football defensive back for the Oakland Raiders (1975–1978), Miami Dolphins (1979), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1980–1983). He also played for the Orlando Renegades of the USFL in 1985.

Early years[edit]

Born on February 28, 1953 in Fitzgerald, Georgia,[1] Colzie was one of six children of Thelma and Jim Colzie.[2] His father was a Negro league baseball pitcher. After attending Coral Gables High School, he played for Ohio State University,[2] where he recorded 15 interceptions and returned 60 punts for 855 yards and two touchdowns. At the time, his 15 interceptions ranked him fourth in school history, and his 855 punt return yards were a school record.


During his nine-season career, Colzie recorded a total of 25 interceptions, which he returned for 412 yards and a touchdown. He also recovered five fumbles, returning them for 42 yards and a touchdown. His best season was in 1981, recording six interceptions for 110 yards and a touchdown, along with one fumble recovery. Colzie also returned seven kickoffs for 130 yards in his career.

Colzie excelled as a punt returner on special teams. In his first NFL season, he recorded 655 punt return yards, the most ever by an NFL rookie. Overall, Colzie returned 170 punts for 1,759 yards during his career. One of his more notable performances was in the Raiders' 32-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI. Colzie recorded four punt returns for a Super Bowl record of 43 yards, including a 25-yard return that set up a Raiders touchdown, and a 12-yard return that set up a field goal.

Colzie died on August 20, 2001 in Miami of a heart attack at the age of 48.[2]


External links[edit]