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Paul “Tank” Younger was a trailblazer in the NFL. Standing 6 feet, 3 inches tall, and weighing 225 pounds, his nickname was “Tank” because he ran over anyone who got in front of him. During his college years at Grambling State University, he was a dominant force on both defense and offense, playing in the backfield and as a linebacker. In his freshman year, he led the nation in scoring with 25 touchdowns.

Paul Younger

By the end of his college career, he had scored 60 touchdowns, a record at that time. At the end of his senior year, he was named “Black College Football Player Of The Year.”?In 1949, Younger would become the first player from a historically black college or university to play in the NFL. He played for both the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers. Younger was also the first Black player to play in an NFL all-star game (now referred to as the Pro Bowl). He was selected for the Pro Bowl 5 times during his career.

Paul Younger

After retiring from football, Younger also became the NFL’s first black assistant general manager in 1975. He was truly a trailblazer, both on and off the field. He died in 2001 at the age of 73 due to complications related to Alzheimer’s Disease.

Check out this brief video tribute honoring the life and legacy of Paul “Tank” Younger.

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