Football List of Famous Football Halfbacks

Reference
7.9k views 447 items

List of the most famous (American) football halfbacks in the history of the sport, listed by popularity with photos of the players when available. There have been many legendary halfbacks in the NFL and NCAA, and you'll find all of them on this list below. Some of these men are considered to be the best halfbacks to ever play the game, and if you're looking for a specific football player you can look for them by using the "search" function on this list. These amazing halfbacks may currently be active while others have been retired for quite sometime. This list of the top halfbacks in American football includes all the greats from both the NFL and college football.

The list you're viewing is made up of many different items, like Burt Reynolds and Joe Biden.

This list answers the questions, "Who is the greatest halfback of all time?" and "Who are the best halfbacks of all time?"

1
Floyd Little is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Halfback Floyd Douglas Little is a Pro Football Hall of Fame running back, and was a three-time American football All-American running back at Syracuse University. In 1967 he was the 6th selection of the ...more

2
Frank Gifford is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Cornerback, Halfback Francis Newton "Frank" Gifford is a former American football player and American sportscaster.

3
Ollie Matson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Return specialist, Halfback Ollie Genoa Matson II was an American Olympic medal winning sprinter and professional American football running back who played in the National Football League, in 1952 and from 1954 to 1966. He ...more

4
Doak Walker is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Return specialist, Halfback Ewell Doak Walker, Jr. was an American football player. He played college football as a halfback at Southern Methodist University, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1948. Walker then played ...more

5
Mercury Morris is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback Eugene Edward "Mercury" Morris, is a former American football player, nicknamed early on for his quickness when running with the ball. Morris was a running back and kick returner for ...more

6
Bobby Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Return specialist, Halfback Robert Cornelius Mitchell is a former American football halfback and flanker in the National Football League for the Cleveland Browns and the Washington Redskins. Mitchell was inducted into the ...more

7
Mike Tolbert is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback, Fullback William Michael Tolbert, is an American football running back and fullback for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. He was signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free ...more

8
Johnny Lattner is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback John Joseph "Johnny" Lattner is a former American football player. While playing college football for the University of Notre Dame, he won the Heisman Trophy in 1953. He also won the ...more

9
Charley Trippi is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Return specialist, Halfback Charles Louis Trippi is a former professional American football player for the Chicago Cardinals. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968. Trippi currently resides in Athens, ...more

10
Billy Vessels is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback Billy Vessels was a gridiron football player. He played college football at the University of Oklahoma and won the Heisman Trophy in 1952. Vessels went on to play professional football with the ...more

11
Jim Kiick is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback James Forrest Kiick is a former professional football player, a running back for the Miami Dolphins in the American Football League from 1968 to 1969 and in the National Football League from ...more

12
Vic Janowicz is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback Victor Felix "Vic" Janowicz was an American football halfback in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins. He played college football at Ohio State University and was ...more

13
George Gipp is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback, Kickoff returner George "The Gipper" Gipp was a college football player who played for the University of Notre Dame. Gipp was selected as Notre Dame's first All-American and is Notre Dame's second ...more

14
Clem Daniels is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Return specialist, Halfback Clemon C. Daniels Jr. is an American former Professional Football star in the American Football League who also played in the NFL.

15
Alex Webster is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback, Fullback Alexander "Red" Webster was an American football fullback and halfback in the National Football League for the New York Giants. He was also the head coach of the Giants from 1969 to

16
John Kuhn is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback, Fullback John Allen Kuhn is an American football fullback for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. After playing college football for Shippensburg University, he was signed by the ...more

17
Emil Sitko is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback, Fullback Emil "Red" Sitko was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on September 7, 1923. He was of Polish descent. He earned the nickname of "Red" due to his red hair. He attended Central High ...more

18
Jack Concannon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback, Quarterback John Joseph "Jack" Concannon, Jr. was an American football quarterback in the National Football League.

19
Kyle Rote is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback, Wide receiver William Kyle Rote, Sr. was an All-American running back at Southern Methodist University, Class of 1951, played for 11 years for the New York Giants, 1951-1961. Following his playing career, ...more

20
Harry Gilmer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Halfback, Quarterback, Defensive back Harry Vincent Gilmer, Jr. is a former American football halfback and quarterback in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions. He was inducted into the College ...more

21
Johnny Morris is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback, Wide receiver Johnny Edward Morris is a former American football running back/wide receiver in the National Football League. He spent his entire ten-year career with the Chicago Bears, and is the franchise's ...more

22
Johnny Cain is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback, Quarterback John Lewis "Hurri" Cain was an American football player, coach of football, baseball, and tennis, and college athletics administrator in the United States. He played college football ...more

23
Howard Cassady is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback Howard Albert "Hopalong" Cassady is a former college and professional American football running back. He was the Heisman Trophy winner of 1955 and was inducted into the College ...more

24
Bruce Smith is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback Bruce Smith was an american football player.

25
Jim Crowley is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback James Harold "Jim" Crowley was an American football player and coach. He gained fame as one-fourth of the University of Notre Dame's legendary "Four Horsemen" backfield where ...more

26
Calvin Jones is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback Calvin D'Wayne Jones is a former American football running back. He played for the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders and the Green Bay Packers. He collegiately played for Nebraska Cornhuskers in the ...more

27
Don Perkins is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback Donald Anthony Perkins is a former American football Fullback who spent eight seasons with the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys.

28
Bobby Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback Bobby Reynolds was an American football player. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984.

29
Chic Harley is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, End, Halfback Charles William "Chic" Harley was one of the outstanding American football players of the first half of the 20th century and the player who first brought The Ohio State University ...more

30
George Sauer is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Halfback George Henry Sauer was an American football player, coach, college sports administrator, and professional football executive. He played college football as a halfback at the University of ...more

31
Burt Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Halfback Burton Leon Reynolds Jr. was an American actor, director and producer. He first rose to prominence starring in television series such as Gunsmoke and Dan August. His breakout film role was as ...more

32
Le'Ron McClain is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback, Fullback Le'Ron De'Mar McClain is a former American football fullback who played in the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Alabama, and was drafted by the ...more

33
Rocky Bleier is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback, Fullback Robert Patrick "Rocky" Bleier is a former National Football League halfback who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1968 and from 1971 to 1980.

34
Harry Newman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback, Quarterback Harry Lawrence Newman was an American football quarterback who played for the University of Michigan Wolverines, the New York Giants, and the Brooklyn/Rochester Tigers.

35
Glenn Davis is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback Glenn Woodward "Mr. Outside" Davis was an American college football player, famous in the 1940s. He played for the United States Military Academy at West Point from 1943 to 1946. He ...more

36
Dixie Howell is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback, Quarterback Millard Fleming "Dixie" Howell was an American football and baseball player and coach. He played college football as a back at the University of Alabama from 1932 to 1934 and with the ...more

37
Frank Sinkwich is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback Frank Francis Sinkwich, Sr. won the 1942 Heisman Trophy as a player for the University of Georgia, making him the first recipient from the Southeastern Conference. In the course of a brief but ...more

38
John David Crow is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback John David Crow is a former American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He won the Heisman Trophy as a halfback at Texas A&M University in 1957. He was not one of ...more

39
Joe Bellino is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback Joseph Michael Bellino is a former American football halfback who won the Heisman Trophy in 1960 playing for the United States Naval Academy and later played in the American Football League for ...more

40
Riley Smith is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Halfback, Linebacker, Quarterback Riley Henry Smith was an American college and professional football player who was a quarterback for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League during the late 1930s. He played ...more

41
Domanick Williams is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback Domanick Williams is a retired American football running back. He played three years for the Houston Texans of the National Football League before being released. He was drafted by Houston in ...more

42
Nile Kinnick is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Halfback Nile Clarke Kinnick, Jr. was a student and a college football player at the University of Iowa. He won the 1939 Heisman Trophy and was a consensus All-American. He died during a training flight ...more

43
Pete Dawkins is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Halfback Peter Miller Dawkins is an American business executive and former college football player, military officer, and political candidate. Dawkins attended the United States Military Academy, where ...more

44
Don Doll is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Cornerback, Return specialist, Halfback Donald LeRoy Doll, formerly Don Burnside, was an American football player and coach. Doll played college football for the USC Trojans and professional football in the National Football League ...more

45
Eddie Saenz is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback, Kickoff returner Edwin Matthew Saenz was an American football running back for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. He played college football at the University of Southern California and was ...more

46
Ken Strong is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Tackle, Halfback Elmer Kenneth Strong, Jr. was a college and professional American football player. After a college career as multi-year All-American at New York University, he went on to play professional ...more

47
Chuck Ortmann is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Halfback, Punt returner, Kickoff returner Charles H. Ortmann is a former American football player who played for the University of Michigan Wolverines from 1948 to 1950 and in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers in ...more

48
Bill Dudley is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Halfback, Punter William McGarvey "Bullet Bill" Dudley was a professional American football player in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions, and Washington Redskins. ...more

49
Jon Arnett is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Running back, Return specialist, Halfback Jon Dwane "Jaguar Jon" Arnett is a former American football player. He was a first-team All-American out of USC and Manual Arts High School.

50
Carl Beck is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Football Halfbacks
Tackle, Halfback, Fullback Carl Linnwood Beck was a professional football player from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. After attending high school, Beck attended the West Virginia University, Bucknell University and Lafayette ...more