Robert John Riggins

Robert John Riggins

Former American football player
Date of Birth: 04.08.1949
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Robert John Riggins
  2. High School and College Career
  3. NFL Career

Biography of Robert John Riggins

Robert John Riggins, also known as 'Diesel', was a former American football player who played in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins and the New York Jets. He was born on August 4, 1949, in Seneca, Kansas and grew up in Centralia, Kansas, where he attended high school.

Robert John Riggins

High School and College Career

In high school, Riggins excelled in three sports – football, basketball, and track. He brought All-American recognition to his school after football games and won several state-level awards for basketball. He also won the 100-yard dash twice at the national level competitions. The street where his school is located, is now named "John Riggins Avenue" in his honor.

Robert John Riggins

During his college years at the University of Kansas, Riggins played for the Jayhawks team. He achieved All-American recognition and was twice selected to the Big Eight Conference team. Riggins led the Jayhawks to victory in the 1968 Orange Bowl, but they narrowly lost to the Pennsylvania State University in the same year. Riggins set a record of 14 touchdowns and ran for 1,131 yards during the 1970 season, becoming one of the top running backs in the country. He studied journalism at the university.

NFL Career

Riggins was selected by the New York Jets in the first round of the NFL Draft. In his rookie season, he led the team in rushing yards and receptions. On October 15, 1972, Riggins and his teammate Emerson Boozer set a franchise record of 333 rushing yards in a game against the New England Patriots, with Riggins contributing 168 yards. He finished the season with 944 rushing yards, just four yards shy of the team record. Despite missing four games due to a shoulder injury, Riggins was recognized as one of the top players in the American Football Conference.

In 1975, Riggins became the first player in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season. He achieved this feat in a game against the Dallas Cowboys on December 21, where he ran for 121 yards, making it his fifth consecutive game with over 100 yards rushing. Overall, Riggins covered 1,005 yards during the season. In the 1976 season, his last with the Jets, Riggins made his only appearance in the Pro Bowl.

Riggins signed a four-year contract with the Washington Redskins in 1976, worth $1.5 million. In his first season with the team, he primarily played in short-yardage situations due to a knee injury. However, he had two more seasons of rushing over 1,000 yards and was a key component of the Redskins' offense.

In 1981, Riggins had a dispute with the team's management regarding payment issues, but the dispute was eventually resolved.

Riggins retired from football in 1985 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992. He left a lasting legacy as one of the greatest running backs in NFL history.