Greg Pruitt

Induction Year: 2003 Sport: Football

He joined the Cleveland Browns as a second round draft choice in 1973 after a sensational career at the University of Oklahoma where he was a two-time consensus All-American back and runner up in the 1972 Heisman Trophy balloting. It was apparent early-on in his Browns career what the cheering had been about. In his second year with Cleveland he topped the NFC in kickoff returns with a 27.5-yard average, and in his third year he began a string of three consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons, missing a fourth by only 40 yards when he was sidelined for four games with an injury. After suffering a severe knee injury in 1979, he was moved into a receivers’ role coming out of the backfield and in 1981 his 65 pass receptions lad all AFC backs. He was named to the 1973, 1974, 1976, and 1977 Pro Bowl teams during his nine-year career with the browns, which ended when he was traded to the Oakland Raiders for an 11th round draft pick in 1982. His final career rushing totals for Cleveland stood at 5,496 yards, still fourth best of all Browns backs. There was one more good season leading kickoff returner in the AFC and third in the NFL, helping the Raiders to the NFL Championship in Super Bowl XVIII. That earned him a final Pro Bowl appearance, which he celebrated with a record 75-yard punt return. After his career came to a close he came back to the Cleveland area where he has become a successful businessman, currently making his home in Shaker Heights.