Case 4

Richard Marvin Butkus and Doak Walker

Great Football Players With a Legacy of Awards

Richard (Dick) Marvin Butkus  (1942 - 
Doak Walker  (1927 - 1998)


Dick Butkus was known for being one of the most feared linebackers in the National Football League.  He was a tremendous competitor and adept at forcing fumbles, with 22 lifetime interceptions, and 25 opponents' fumble recoveries.  He spent his 8 year career with his hometown team, the Chicago Bears.  The Dick Butkus Award is given annually to the most outstanding linebacker at the high school, college, and professional levels as chosen by a nationwide panel of 51 coaches and sportswriters.


Doak Walker was an extremely versatile player and rushed, passed, caught passes, returned punts and kickoffs, punted, placekicked and played defense in emergencies.  He won the Heisman Trophy in his junior year as a halfback at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and played professional footbal with the Detroit Lions for six seasons.   He was voted All-Pro four times, and he helped lead the Lions to consecutive NFL championships in 1952 and 1953.   The Doak Walker Award is awarded annually since 1990 to the top running back in college football.


Both players were elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- Butkus in 1979 and Walker in 1986.