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February 24, 1931|
|Died:||May 8, 2001(aged 70)|
|Height||6 ft 5 in (196 cm)|
|Weight||220 lb (100 kg)|
|NFL draft||1953 / Round: 3 / Pick: 27|
|Drafted by||Washington Redskins|
|1954–1962||Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL)|
|CFL East All-Star||1958, 1959, 1960, 1961|
Paul Nelson Dekker (February 24, 1931 – May 8, 2001) was an American and Canadian football player for the Michigan State Spartans and professionally for the Washington Redskins and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
At Michigan State, Dekker was a starting end in his junior and senior years. The Spartans were runners-up for the 1951 National Championship in the Associated Press poll and National Champions in the undefeated 1952 season .
He was selected by the Associated Press as a member of their All‑Western team.
Dekker represented the Spartans in the annual East‑West Shrine contest, pulling in a game-record nine receptions for 100 yards. A member of the 1953 College All‑Stars and the 1953 Hula Bowl squad, he was selected in the third round of the 1953 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. While at Michigan State, Dekker joined the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.
Dekker remained with the Redskins for only one season. In 1954, he joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. In nine seasons at Hamilton, Dekker played in the Grey Cup championship contest five times, winning once in 1957. He was elected to the All Eastern/All Western All‑Star team four times and tied a Grey Cup record for the longest completed pass with a 90‑yard touchdown reception in the Tiger‑Cats' 21‑14 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 1961 Grey Cup game. He died before seeing the record broken in the year after he passed. Dekker retired from professional football following the 1962 season.
Dekker was selected as an honorary member of Hamilton's "Fabulous Fifties Team of the Decade."
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