James Nathaniel “Jim” Brown (February 17, 1936-) (FB) was considered the best lacrosse player in the nation when he starred at Syracuse in the 1950s, where he also lettered in three other sports including football. Brown earned All-American honors in both football and lacrosse for the Orangemen and demolished the Syracuse record books on the gridiron. The Cleveland Browns took Brown with the sixth overall pick of the 1957 NFL Draft. Jim Brown continued his assault on the record books when he joined Cleveland as a rookie starter at fullback. In his first season, he led the league rushing touchdowns (9), rushing yards (942), average yards per game (78.5) and offensive touchdowns (10). He was a unanimous choice for the NFL Rookie of the Year Award and the league’s unquestionable Most Valuable Player in 1957. Jim won three more NFL MVP Awards (1958, 1963, 1965), was an eight-time NFL All-Pro First Team selections and was named to nine NFL Pro Bowl appearances winning the Pro Bowl MVP Award three times.
Though Jim Brown played in the NFL, he was in a league of his own, running through, around and over opposing tacklers as he led in numerous categories in each of his nine seasons with Cleveland (1957-1965). In his 9-year career, he led the NFL in rushing attempts and yards from scrimmage six times, five times in rushing and offensive touchdowns and eight times in rushing yards and average yards per game. Usually considered strictly an offensive threat, Brown also amassed 648 kick return yards and recovered eight fumbles. In a shocking move in 1966, Jim Brown retired from the NFL at the top of his game with 12,312 rushing yards in 2,359 attempts and 106 touchdowns. In all, Brown scored 756 points on 126 all-purpose touchdowns. Brown still holds the record for most seasons leading the league in all-purpose yards and he is the first player in NFL history to eclipse the 100-touchdown mark. Jim Brown is widely considered among the greatest players to ever play in the NFL. Following his playing career, Jim enjoyed a Hollywood career, appearing in numerous movies and television series from 1964 to present. Jim Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995.