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Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Bill 'Earthquake' Enyart to enter Hall

By Ivan Maisel

As a sophomore, Bill Enyart started at linebacker for Oregon State in 1966. Coach Dee Andros made him a fullback for his junior year, and the rest, as of Tuesday, is Hall of Fame history.

The Oregon State teams of the late 1960s lived in the shadow of their more prominent Pac-8 brethren in Los Angeles. UCLA quarterback Gary Beban won the 1967 Heisman Trophy while USC won the national title. Trojan tailback O.J. Simpson won the 1968 Heisman. The Beavers, meanwhile, finished second in the conference each season, in no small part because of the pounding delivered by “Earthquake” Enyart.

The only game that USC lost in that national championship season of 1967 was played in Corvallis, where Oregon State won, 3-0. While Simpson ran for 188 yards on 33 carries, Enyart finished with 135 yards in 24 carries.

Those Beavers, known as “Giant Killers,” would beat four top-10 teams before Enyart finished his college career in 1968. Oregon State went 21-8-1 during Enyart’s three seasons. However, outside the borders of Oregon, Enyart played in the shadow of the glamorous halfback at USC.

As seniors, Enyart rushed for 1,304 yards and 17 touchdowns, while Simpson rushed for 1,709 yards and 15 touchdowns. Both made All-America, but Simpson added the Heisman Trophy.

The Buffalo Bills selected Simpson in the first round of the 1969 NFL draft. They took Enyart in the second. Enyart played three seasons for Buffalo and Oakland. He joins Terry Baker, the 1962 Heisman winner, as the only Oregon State players in the Hall of Fame.