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Legendary Pittsburgh Steelers running back and Pro Football Hall of Famer Franco Harris has passed away at the age of 72. The Steelers are set to retire Franco Harris’ #32 jersey this Saturday. One of the most famous plays in NFL history, the Immaculate Reception, occurred 50 years ago from this Friday on December 23, 1972.
Harris was a 4-time Super Bowl champion and 9-time Pro Bowler. He was drafted by the Steelers in the 1st round of the 1972 Draft with the 13th overall pick. Harris played college football at Penn State University where he amassed over 2000 rushing yards.
Franco Harris played 12 of his 13 seasons in Pittsburgh before finishing in Seattle. Harris had 11,950 rushing yards for the Steelers and 12,120 rushing yards during his illustrious NFL career. Add in Harris’ 2,287 receiving yards, and Harris totaled 14,407 offensive yards and 100 TDs. Franco made the Pro Bowl in each of his first 9 seasons. He also won offensive rookie of the year in 1972, and was a First-Team AP All-Pro in 1977.
Franco owns the all time Steelers rushing record with 11,950 yards. In today’s NFL, this record will become almost impossible to break.