Mumford maniac takes his ‘great place’

Randle to be inducted into Hall of Fame on Saturday

John Randle’s 137 sacks is the most by a defensive tackle in NFL history.  Randle went from being a walk-on to a lockdown to join the pro football Hall of Fame. Minnesota Vikings John Randle’s 137 sacks is the most by a defensive tackle in NFL history. Randle went from being a walk-on to a lockdown to join the pro football Hall of Fame. Minnesota Vikings The only real question concerning John Randle’s appearance at the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony Saturday is whether anyone is going to be able to see his face or not.

Randle—known as much for his face painting as his unrelenting play—will enter the hall with superstars Emmitt Smith and Jerry Rice in his second year of eligibility. The induction ceremony is this Saturday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m.

There are now 260 men in the hall.

Randle has tapped Colts defensive line coach John Teerlinck as his Hall of Fame presenter. Teerlinck was Randle’s position coach at Minnesota.

Randle is the third Hall of Famer from Texas A&I. The others are Gene Upshaw and Darrell Green.

He is also just the 14th undrafted free agent to be enshrined in Canton.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling because of where I came from and what it took to just make it in the NFL,” Randle told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Words can’t describe what it means. I’m in the Hall of Fame!”

“I actually grew up in a nostoplight town called Mumford, population 150,” Randle told the Houston Chronicle. “It still doesn’t have a stoplight. I went to school in Hearne, but that’s the big city to us. About 5,000 people, and it’s 12 miles away. I used to hitchhike home from practice every day.”

The youngest of three boys raised by a single mother named Martha, Randle grew up with no cable television and no air conditioning in the heart of Texas. “And no indoor plumbing, either,” Randle said.

Randle was a Class 3A secondteam all-state selection his senior year for a 10-2-1 Hearne squad.

Rockdale finished third to the Eagles that season at 8-2 in old District 23-3A.

Hearne blanked Rockdale 21-0 that season.

When it came time for college, Randle’s options were limited. “I wasn’t very tall, and I was 227 pounds,” he said. “The big schools weren’t looking for 227-pound defensive linemen.”

He attended Trinity Valley Community College, then went to Texas A&I, a Division II school, where he had a good college career.

The NFL wasn’t impressed on draft day.

The Vikings were lucky to have a scout named Don Deisch. He was at Portland State when he saw Randle playing the only way Randle knew how to play: loudly and full steam ahead.

The Vikings signed Randle as an undrafted free agent and he played 11 seasons for the Vikings and three more in Seattle.

An unusually skilled pass rusher for a defensive tackle, he was first-team All-Pro six times, a seven-time Pro Bowl pick and a member of the NFL’s 1990s alldecade team.

He didn’t miss a game in the 1990s and finished with 1371 /2 career sacks, a record for a defensive tackle.

“He was nearly unblockable,” said Vikings quarterback and former Packer Brett Favre, who faced Randle several times.

Randle’s famous “motor” never stopped. Neither did that even more famous motor mouth. “He might be one of those ADHD kids,” said Smith, referring to attentiondeficit hyperactivity disorder.

Said Rice: “I was terrified of him. Looking across the line and him making faces all the time, and all that makeup on.”


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2010-08-05 digital edition



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