NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame: Running Back Jon Arnett Forgotten but Not Gone

Michael PatmasCorrespondent IIIFebruary 2, 2013

Jon Arnett: One of the all time greats
Jon Arnett: One of the all time greats

One of the greatest football players of all time, Jon Arnett, has been overlooked and nearly forgotten by the NFL. Who, you ask, was Jon Arnett?  

"Jaguar" Jon Arnett was a running back from Southern California. He played for USC in the mid 1950s and for a time was the leading contender for the Heisman Trophy. That is, until allegations that he accepted a small amount of money from a booster cost him the award.

In a year where his competition included running backs with names you may recall, such as Paul Hornung and Jim Brown, Arnett was considered by many to be the best of the three.

Arnett was the second player drafted in the first round of the 1957 NFL draft—unfortunately by the then- hapless LA Rams. He played for the Rams from 1957-1963 and for the Chicago Bears from 1964-1966.

In his 10 years in the NFL, Arnett was selected for the Pro Bowl five times and was also a first-team All-Pro selection.

In his remarkable career, Arnett amassed some amazing stats. He had 964 rushes for 3,833 yards and 26 TDs. He also completed eight passes for 147 yards and two TDs.

As a receiver, he caught 222 passes for 2,290 yards and 10 TDs.

He had 126 kick returns for 3,110 yards and took it to the house twice. He averaged 24.7 yards per kick return. 

But wait, there's more. He also had 120 punt returns for 980 yards and one TD. 

He was the kind of all-around player you don't see anymore: running back, receiver, passer, return specialist.



All told, he produced 10,360 yards of total offense and 41 TDs. How is it that this great player has been all but forgotten?

Several years ago, I tried to contact the NFL and St. Louis Rams to inquire as to why Arnett has slipped through the cracks of time but got no response from either.

Arnett is nearing 80 years of age and lives quietly in the Portland, Ore., area. He made his living after football in the grocery business.

I say he has been seriously overlooked and deserves a place in the Hall of Fame. 

Fellow Bleacher Report readers, if you agree, speak up. Let's not forget Jon Arnett.