Final Four connections: Part 4

The Packers have connections with each school celebrating NCAA Final Four appearances this weekend. Ties can be found even at schools much better known for hoops traditions than football legends, such as Kansas, Syracuse and Marquette (which discontinued its program in 1961).<P>Our final team is Texas, which has sent more players to the NFL via the draft than any other school. The Packers Longhorn legacy isn't quantity but rather quality of one outstanding player.<P>

Today: Texas. Previous installments: Marquette, Kansas, Syracuse.

True, Texas boasts more Packer draftees than another other 2003 Final Four school, but not by much. Nine Longhorn players have been selected by the Packers in their nearly 70-year draft history, which is only one more than "runner-up" Kansas. Like the rest of the Final Four field, Texas' list includes draft choices who didn't stick.

But one Longhorn has etched his name in the Packer record books in an impressive fashion.

With their third round pick in the 1952 NFL Draft (28th) overall, the Green Bay Packers selected defensive back Bobby Dillon from the Lone Star State. Not only did Dillon stick in Green Bay, he started for seven consecutive seasons of his eight campaigns with the Packers. Without fail, he led the team in interceptions from 1952-58. Along the way, he compiled the following milestones:

*Most Career interceptions: 52

*Most seasons AND most consecutive seasons leading team in interceptions (7).

*Most interceptions in a game (4, 1957)

*Most games in a season with an interception (5, 1957)

*Most consecutive games with an interception (3, 1957)

His 9 interceptions in 1953, '55 and '57 during a 12-game season is second in Packer annals to only Irv Comp's 10 interceptions during a 10-game season in 1943. Seven other Packers have also accomplished 9 picks in a season, including current Packer safety Darren Sharper, but only Dillon, Bob Forte (1947) and Dillon's rookie teammate John Symank (1957) did it in 12 games.

Which brings up a question – how did the 1957 Packers, with 18 interceptions between just two DBs manage to win only 3 games? Just wondering.

Dillon played one year under Vince Lombardi before retiring, making way for the likes of Willie Wood and Hank Greminger.

Dillon was inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame in 1974.

Two other Texas draft picks who made the Packer roster are back Roy McKay, a 5th round selection (38th overall) in 1943, and halfback Gib Dawson, a 4th rounder (43rd overall) in 1953. Both played a single season in Green Bay.

Other Packer draft selections from the Texas Longhorns:

1948: Travis Raven, B, 16th round (141 overall), and Charley Tatom, T, 19th round (171 overall).

1952: Bill Wilson, T, 12th round (135).

1953: Bill Georges, E, 17th round (199)

1964: Duke Carlisle, HB, 5th round (60) – from Dallas for Gary Barnes.

1991: Johnny Walker, WR, 8th round (203).


Packer Report Top Stories