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Randy Gradishar  

Randy Gradishar was born March 3, 1952 in Warren, Ohio and is a former college and professional American football linebacker who played in the 1970s and 1980s.

He played along with Tom Jackson as part of the "Orange Crush" and is considered by some to be the greatest defensive player in Broncos history. Gradishar was inducted to the Broncos' Ring of Fame in 1989.

Before his NFL career, he played college football at Ohio State University from 1971-1973. He made the College Football All-America Team in 1972 and 1973, assisting his team to a 25-6-1 record in his 3 years as a starter, with 2 Big Ten championships and splitting 2 Rose Bowl games. In 1998, Gradishar was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame

Gradishar was drafted 14th overall in the 1974 NFL Draft by the Broncos. Gradishar went on to spend 10 seasons with Denver, assisting them to Super Bowl XII after the 1977 season. He made the Pro Bowl 7 times, including 6 consecutive appearances from 1977-1983.

Gradishar retired after the 1983 season, finishing his career with 20 interceptions, which he returned for 335 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also recovered 13 fumbles, returning them for 72 yards and 1 touchdown. Since his retirement, he has been nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame several times, but has yet to be enshrined. He was among the 15 finalists in 2005.


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