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Emlen Tunnell
Emlen Tunnell
Emlen Tunnell
Emlen Tunnell - Image courtesy of /images/1980_Iowa_Hawkeyes_Football_Media_Guide_Hayden_Fry.pdf
Emlen Tunnell
Emlen Tunnell
Emlen Tunnell
Emlen Tunnell

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Emlen Tunnell      Pennsylvania Wikipedia 

Position(s): QB, WR

HIGH SCHOOL: Emlen Tunnell attended Radnor High School and lived in or near Radnor, Pennsylvania. He was a star halfback in 1940 and 1941.

COLLEGE: He first attended Toledo, where he played football and basketball.

From 1943-1946, he was in the Coast Guard during World War II. After being discharged from the Coast Guard in April 1946, he enrolled at Iowa in the fall of 1946.

During the 1946 season, he led the team with 541 yards of total offense and 28 pass completions and ranked second on the team with 333 rushing yards.

In 1947, he set an Iowa single-game record with 155 receiving yards and three touchdowns on six receptions.

PROFESSIONAL: He left Iowa in January 1948 in order to make some money to enable him to return and play football in the fall, but didn't have enough money to return to complete his summer classes before the fall season.

On July 24, 1948, he signed with the New York Giants, becoming the first African American signed by, and the first to play for, the Giants. He was not drafted, since most teams assumed he was returning to Iowa for the 1948 season.

He remained with the Giants for a total of 11 years from 1948 to 1958. During that time, he was selected as a first-team All-Pro six times, played in eight Pro Bowls, and set franchise records that still stand with 74 intercepted passes for 1,240 interception return yards and four touchdowns. He also recovered 15 fumbles and still holds franchise records with 257 punt returns for 2,206 yards and five touchdowns, which was good for an average of 8.6 yards per return. His total of 3,421 return yards is also a franchise record.

After the 1958 season, the Giants' offensive coordinator Vince Lombardi left New York to become head coach and general manager of the Green Bay Packers. In June 1959, the Packers, in one of their first major personnel moves under Lombardi, purchased Tunnell from the Giants, where he helped tutor younger players.

OTHER: He was the first African American to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On June 2, 2018, a statue of him was installed in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He also had a nickname "The Gremlin."

Born 3/29/1924 and died on 7/23/1975 at the age of 51.

U of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame 6 time All-Pro, played in 8 Pro Bowls NFL Hall of Fame 


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Emlen Tunnell - Iowa Hawkeyes Player Profile | Football - Summary of Iowa football and basketball games