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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Harris caught football's most famous ricochet


Franco Harris supplied the bruising power to Pittsburgh's running attack. Harris, who came out of Penn State, was Pittsburgh's first-round pick, the 13th overall, in 1972 draft. Harris showed a sign of things to come when he became, at the time, only the fifth rookie in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards. In 1975, Harris became the first player in pro football history to rush for over 4,000 yards in his first four seasons. That year he rushed for 1,246 yards, which at the time was second best in the NFL and highest ever for a Steeler. Over the course of 13 seasons, Harris rushed for 2,949 times for 12,120 yards and 91 touchdowns. He rushed for 1,000 yards or more eight times and for more than 100 yards in 47 games. For all his accomplishments, Harris will probably be best remembered for the "Immaculate Reception" in his rookie season. In a playoff game, the Steelers trailed the Oakland Raiders, 7-6, with 22 seconds left in the game. On fourth down, Pittsburgh quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw a pass to John Fuqua. Oakland's Jack Tatum hit Fuqua just as the ball arrived. The ball ricocheted to Harris, who ran it in for the game-winning touchdown. Harris was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.





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