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Gordie Lockbaum

Sport: Football

Born: November 16, 1985

Town: Glassboro

Gordon Carl Lockbaum was born November 16, 1965 in Media, PA and grew up in Glassboro. Fast, smart and muscular, he gravitated toward wrestling and football and became a star running back and linebacker for the Glassboro High Bulldogs. He also played baseball in high school. Gordie earned All-South Jersey honors in all three sports, was All-State in baseball and football, and was his conference Scholar Athlete of the Year in 1984-85.

Gordie attended Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and immediately went out for the football team. He won a starting job with the Crusaders as a defense back in 1985, and played well on special teams. He continued to star for defensive coordinator Mark Duffner as a sophomore in 1985.

Prior to Gordie’s junior year, Duffner was elevated to head coach. One of his first decision involved the team’s offensive and (new) defensive coordinators, who both were lobbying to have Gordie play for them. Eventually, Duffner gave them both got their way, and Gordie became the first player since Leroy Keyes at Purdue in the late-1960s to be a bona fide full-time player on both offense and defense.

Gordie started to draw national attention in 1986 in a game against Army. He was the top rusher in a 17–14 victory and also made 21 tackles. That notoriety snowballed until, at season’s end, he was nominated as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy—despite playing for a Division I-AA school. He rushed for 827 yards, caught 57 passes and scored 22 touchdowns on offense, played almost every down on defense, and was the Crusaders’ main kickoff return man. He finished fifth the Heisman voting. He was honored as an All-American defensive back.

In 1987, Gordie caught 77 passes, rushed for 403 yards and found the end zone 22 times for the second season in a row. In his final game, televisedby ESPN, he caught a school-record 15 passes in a win over Villanova that gave the Crusaders a perfect 11–0 record.

Gordie finished third in the Heisman voting and place second in the Maxwell and Payton Award balloting. In the East-West Shrine Game, he played five different positions. He earned All-America status again as a DB and was named Division I-AA Player of the Year.

Gordie was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 9th round of the 1988 NFL Draft. The team tried him at running back but he did not make the team. He tried to catch on with the Bills as a safety in 1989 but again was cut in camp. He walked away from the game, except for a brief moment in Arena Football in 1994. Gordie found his way into the insurance business in Massachusetts. He also coached local youth sports.

In 2001, Gordie was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. In 2002, his son Gordie Jr. was a member of the Little League World Series team from Worcester. Gordie Jr. played football at Amherst and later helped his dad coach wrestling. In 2017, Gordie was featured in an ESPN 30 by 30 short entitled The Throwback.

 

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