Not Specialists in the NCAA

We old-timers remember Fred Cox and Sam Baker as placekickers and punters in the NFL. In college, they were both running backs who also handled all kicking chores. I never understood why their coaches never used them as running backs.

Sam Baker from Oregon State played 18 years for Washington, Cleveland, Dallas, and the Eagles; 1951 to 1969. In the pros Baker made 179 of 316 field goal attempts for 56.6%; 428 of 444 extra points for 96.4 %, and punted 703 times for 29,938 yards; the only year he carried the ball was in 1956 for the Redskins; Baker carried 25 times for 117 yards, one touchdown, and a whopping 9.8 yards per carry.

At Oregon State from 1949 to 1951. Sam Baker carried 487 times for 1,947 yards, scored five touchdowns, and had five games of over 100 yards rushing.

Fred Cox from Pittsburgh played 17 years 1963 to 1978 with the Minnesota Vikings. He kicked 282 of the 455 field goal attempts for 62.9%; kicked 519 of 539 extra point attempts for a 96.0%. He never played running back in the pros.

at The University of Pittsburgh from 1959 to 1961. Cox carried 175 times for 861 yards, a 4.9 average, and two touchdowns; caught 31 passes for 437 yards and three touchdowns.


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