(Born: January 5, 1926. Died: September 5, 1983). Buddy Young was a man who excelled both on the football field as well as on the track. Young established his athleticism during high school and even graduated one semester early, he received scholarships from a number of Universities but eventually decided on accepting a scholarship offered by The University of Illinois. His impact on the football field was immediate. In his first season Young lead the Illini to to a 5-4-1 record and accumulated over and 13 touchdowns in his freshmen season, earning the nickname “Bronze Bullet” in recognition of his speed. Young was also a track star during his time at the university tying the world record for the 45 and 60 yard dashes and winning the National Collegiate Championships in the 100 and 220 yard dashes.
After college, in the year 1947, Young was drafted by the New York Yankees of the All-America Football conference and once the AAFC went under, Young played for the Baltimore Colts in the NFL. Young is also one of the smallest NFL players ever, measuring 5’4. Young made such an impact in the NFL that Young became the first Colt to have his jersey retired and in 1966 was hired as the first African American hired by the NFL. Young’s life came to an end in September of 1983 in a car crash.