Jug Girard

Earl Francis "Jug" Girard (January 25, 1927 – January 17, 1997) was an American football player. He played ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL) as an end, halfback, quarterback, punter, kickoff returner, defensive back, and punt returner. He played for the Green Bay Packers (1948-1951), Detroit Lions (1952-1956), and Pittsburgh Steelers (1957). He won two NFL Championships with the Lions in 1952 and 1953. He played college football at the University of Wisconsin in 1944 and 1947 and was selected as a first-team All-American halfback at age 17 in 1944.

Jug Girard
Jug Girard - 1951 Bowman
Girard on a 1951 Bowman football card
Born:January 25, 1927
Marinette, Wisconsin
Died:January 17, 1997 (aged 69)
Rochester Hills, Michigan
Career information
Position(s)End, punter
NFL draft1948 / Round: 1 / Pick 7
Career history
As player
1948–1951Green Bay Packers
1952–1956Detroit Lions
1957Pittsburgh Steelers

Early years

Girard was born and raised in Marinette, Wisconsin, at the mouth of Green Bay. He was a star athlete in multiple sports, including baseball, basketball, and football, in high school.[1]

Wisconsin and Army

While still in high school, Girard received offers to play baseball for five major league teams. Instead, he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in the fall of 1944. Girard gained acclaim for his play at the halfback position. Before playing his first college game he was touted as the greatest passer ever to play for the Wisconsin Badgers football program. He lived up to the hype, as he became a star player as a 17-year-old freshman.[1] At the end of the 1944 season, he was selected by Look magazine as a first-team All-American at the halfback position.[2] He was also selected by the undefeated 1944 Ohio State Buckeyes football team as the most valuable player on the teams that the Buckeyes played against.[3]

Girard's collegiate career was interrupted when he was inducted into the United States Army in April 1945.[4] In November 1945, Girard was discharged from the Army, but reenlisted a day later to continue in the military for another year.[5]

Girard returned to the University of Wisconsin as a student in January 1947,[6] and rejoined the football team for the 1947 season.[7][8] In a November 1947 game against Iowa, he returned two punts for touchdowns, one return of 63 yards and the other 85 yards.[9]

NFL career

Green Bay Packers

Girard was selected by the Green Bay Packers with the seventh pick in the first round of the 1948 NFL Draft.[10] He was also offered a $7,500 per year contract by the New York Yankees of the All-America Football Conference, indicating in early January 1948 that he intended to sign with that team.[11] Two days later, Girard agreed to join the Packers for an undisclosed sum.[12] Girard's mother refused to sign the contract with the Packers, and as a result Girard's formal signing with the Packers did not occur until his 21st birthday on January 25, 1948, at which time it was reported that he would be paid $8,000 for the 1948 season.[13]

He appeared in 10 games for the Packers in 1948, punting eight times for a 40-yard average.[14] He also played for the Green Bay Packers basketball team after the 1948 football season.[15]

In April 1949, Girard was married to Joan Leddy. At the time, Girard was training in Florida with the Cleveland Indians minor league baseball team in Dayton, Ohio.[16] Girard spent the summer of 1949 playing baseball for the Green Bay Bluejays, where he led the league with a .367 batting average, 122 hits, 34 extra base hits in 89 games. He was inducted into the Wisconsin State League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1952.[17]

In late July 1949, he signed a contract to return to the Packers, but was allowed to complete the baseball season with the Bluejays before joining the Packers' training camp.[18] After a disappointing rookie season in 1948, Girard emerged as a star for the Packers in 1949. He led the Packers, and ranked eighth in the NFL, with 881 passing yards. He also ranked seventh in the NFL in passer rating, led the NFL with three blocked punts, rushed for 198 yards, and led the NFL with 69 punts, including a career-long 72-yard punt. He also ranked ninth in the NFL with 1,079 yards of total offense (881 yards passing and 198 rushing).[14]

In November 1949, Girard signed to play with the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, basketball team in the Wisconsin State Basketball League. He agreed to join the team at the end of the NFL season.[19] In May 1950, he agreed to return to professional baseball, playing for the Cleveland Indians' minor league club in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.[20] Less than a month later, Girard left the Cedar Rapids club, stating: "I've decided to give my full attention to pro football and give up baseball altogether. It's too hard on me to do both."[21]

One day after retiring from professional baseball, Girard signed a contract to return to the Packers for the 1950 season.[22] That fall, Girard was limited to the role of punter, appearing in 10 games, none as a starter. He punted 71 times for an average of 38.2 yards per carry.[14]

In the summer of 1951, Girard made another attempt at professional baseball, playing for Wilkes-Barre in the Class A Eastern League. In July 1951, Girard signed his fourth one-year contract with the Packers.[23] During the 1951 NFL season, Girard appeared in 12 games and punted 52 times for an average of 40.4 yards per punt.[14] He also intercepted five passes and caught 10 passes, including two touchdown catches.[24] On October 27, 1951, he caught four passes for 130 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown reception.[25][26]

Detroit Lions

In July 1952, the Packers traded Girard to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Ed Berrang and Steve Dowden.[24] In Girard's first season in Detroit, the 1952 Lions won the NFL Championship. Girard appeared in 11 game for the 1952 Lions, several as a starting halfback, replacing Doak Walker who was injured in the second game of the 1952 season.[14][27][28] In his first game as a Lion playing in Green Bay, Girard scored two touchdowns in a 52-17 Lions victory.[29]

Girard gained 538 yards from scrimmage and scored four touchdowns for the 1952 Lions, compiling 222 rushing yards and 316 receiving yards.[14] When Walker returned to the starting lineup in mid-December 1952, Detroit head coach Buddy Parker said, "Jug Girard did a terrific job in place of Doak. There's nothing like having two top notch left halfbacks ready to go. Actually, I'd have a little trouble deciding which one to start. But since Jug's knee is banged up a little, the problem is settled. Doak will start."[30]

During the summer of 1953, Girard returned to baseball as the manager of the Kaukauna, Wisconsin, team in the Fox River Valley Semi Pro League.[31]

In late July 1953, Girard again signed to play for the Detroit Lions.[32] He appeared in 11 games for the 1953 Lions, but his playing time was limited due to the return of Doak Walker to the lineup. Girard gained only 73 rushing yards and 24 receiving yards in 1953.[14] Due to a knee injury, Girard was prescribed an "extra heavy right shoe" to wear during the 1953 season.[33]

In 1954, Girard helped lead the Lions to the NFL Championship Game for the third consecutive year. He became one of Bobby Layne's favorite targets, leading the team with seven touchdown catches. In all, Girard caught 27 passes for 421 yards in 1954. He also returned 12 kickoffs for 248 yards and punted 63 times for a 41-yard average.[14] On December 19, 1954, Girard caught the game-winning catch from Layne with 50 second remaining in the game to defeat the Cleveland Browns in the final regular season game.[34]

Girard continued to play for the Lions in 1955 and 1956 as a punter and end. He gained 307 receiving yards in 1955, but his production fell in 1956.[14] On December 2, 1956, Girard came into a game against the Chicago Bears on a fourth down play with nine yards to go. Girard lined up in punt formation, but he faked the punt and passed the ball 20 yards for first down to Dorne Dibble. It was his first completed pass for Detroit.[35]

Girard was dubbed "Mr. Versatility" in Detroit, having played for the Lions as an offensive end (left and right), halfback (left and right), punter, kickoff specialist, punt returner, kickoff returner, and some defense as well.[36]

Pittsburgh Steelers

In April 1957, Girard signed a contract with the Detroit Lions to play his tenth season in the NFL.[37] However, in May 1957, the Lions sold Girard to the Baltimore Colts.[38] Then, in September 1957, shortly before the start of the regular season, he was sold by the Colts to the Pittsburgh Steelers.[39] During the 1957 NFL season, Girard played at left end and punter for the Steelers. He was the Steelers' #2 receiver, catching 21 passes for 419 yards and four touchdowns. He also punted 68 times for a 40.5 yard average.[14]

Girard announced his retirement from football in 1958, but then attempted a comeback with the Steelers in August 1958.[40]

Later years and family

Girard lived in the Detroit area after retiring from football. He ran a bar called "The Lion's Den" and later worked as a manufacturer's representative.[41] He died in Rochester Hills, Michigan, in 1997, at age 69.[14]


  1. ^ a b Walter Johns (October 26, 1944). "Wisconsin Star, Jug Girard, Lives Up To Advance Rave Notices -- And How!". The Evening Independent. p. 17.
  2. ^ Hal Sayles (November 30, 1944). "Speaking of Sports". Abilene Reporter-News.
  3. ^ "Bucks Honor 'Jug' Girard". The Evening Independent. November 30, 1944. p. 18.
  4. ^ "'Jug' Girard Inducted Into Army". The Rhinelander Daily News. April 24, 1945. p. 6.
  5. ^ "'Jug' Girard Back Into Army for a Year". Monroe Evening Times. November 8, 1945. p. 5.
  6. ^ ""Jug" Girard Enrolls". Monroe Evening Times. January 22, 1947. p. 3.
  7. ^ "Jug Girard Badger Star". The Lincoln Star. November 2, 1947. p. 13.
  8. ^ "Wisconsin Pins Title Hope On Flashing Backs: What Can Michigan Do About Jug Girard? Is Question of Week". The Circleville Herald. November 11, 1947. p. 7.
  9. ^ "Badger Prepare for Game With Michigan Wolverines". November 10, 1947. p. 8.
  10. ^ "Jug Girard of Badgers Is Drafted by Packers". The Milwaukee Journal. December 21, 1947.
  11. ^ "Jug Girard Signs With Yankee Club". The Winona Republican-Herald. January 10, 1948. p. 8.
  12. ^ "Packers Sign "Jug" Girard". Janesville Daily Gazette. January 12, 1948. p. 11.
  13. ^ "Jug Girard To Play Pro Ball". Tucson Daily Citizen. January 27, 1948. p. 12.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Jug Girard". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  15. ^ "Packers Coming to Play Hardwares, Who Plan To Put Clamp On The 'Jug'". The Escanaba Daily Press. January 15, 1949. p. 10.
  16. ^ "Jug Girard Is Wed To Kaukauana Girl". The Escanaba Daily Press. April 21, 1949. p. 14.
  17. ^ "Two Added to State Loop Hall of Fame". The Rhinelander (Wis.) Daily News. January 24, 1952. p. 14.
  18. ^ "Packers Sign Girard". Waukeha Daily Freeman. July 26, 1949. p. 2.
  19. ^ "Oshkosh Signs Girard". Ironwood Daily Globe. November 15, 1949. p. 10.
  20. ^ ""Jug" Girard Signs with Cedar Rapids". the Terre Haute Tribune-Star. May 28, 1950. p. 46.
  21. ^ "Jug Girard Quits Cedar Rapids Again -- For Good, He Says". The Decatur Herald. June 16, 1950. p. 30.
  22. ^ "Jug Girard Signs Pro Grid Pact With Packers". The Decatur Herald. June 17, 1950. p. 10.
  23. ^ "Jug Girard Signs Packer Contract". The Rhinelander Daily News. July 26, 1951. p. 12.
  24. ^ a b "Jug Girard Is Traded to Detroit". Janesville Daily Gazette. July 26, 1952. p. 10.
  25. ^ "Green Bay Packers 29 at New York Yankees 27". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  26. ^ "Packers Rally, Defeat New York Yanks In Last 11 Seconds of Contest, 29-27". La Crosse Tribune. October 29, 1951. p. 11.
  27. ^ Harry Stapler (November 4, 1952). "Both Walker, Jug Girard To Play Sunday". The Owosso Argus-Press. p. 8.
  28. ^ "Lion Star Hurt; 'Jug' Girard May Be Swing Halfback". Oshkosh Daily Northwestern. December 2, 1952. p. 13.
  29. ^ "Lions Pound Packers, Take Second Place: Hoernschemeyer, Girard Score Twice Each in 52-17 Rout". The Owosso Argus-Press. October 27, 1952.
  30. ^ Harry Stapler (December 13, 1952). "Doak Walker Back to Pace Detroit Lions". Altoona Tribune. p. 12.
  31. ^ "Girard Will Manage Semi-Pro Ball Team". Janesville Daily Gazette. April 30, 1953. p. 8.
  32. ^ "Pat Harder signs with Detroit 11; So Does Jug Girard". The Post-Crescent, Appleton, Wis. July 23, 1953. p. 26.
  33. ^ "Jug Girard To Wear Extra Heavy Shoe Next Grid Season". The La Crosse Tribune. February 24, 1953. p. 13.
  34. ^ "Detroit Prepares for Title Defense". The Holland Evening Sentinel. December 21, 1954. p. 2.
  35. ^ "Girard Rubs It In, Hurls Pass on Fake Punt Play". Toledo Blade. December 3, 1956. p. 20.
  36. ^ "Versatile Jug Girard". East Liverpool (Ohio) Review. March 25, 1957. p. 13.
  37. ^ "Lions Sign Earl (Jug) Girard". The La Crosse Tribune. April 7, 1957. p. 19.
  38. ^ "Lions Sell 'Jug' Girard To Colts". Daily Independent Journal. May 9, 1957. p. 14.
  39. ^ "Steelers Buy Jug Girard". The La Crosse Tribune. September 11, 1957. p. 25.
  40. ^ "Jug Girard Comes Out of Retirement". The Terre Haute Tribune. August 23, 1958. p. 6.
  41. ^ "Tales from the old-time: Earl "Jug" Girard". Peshtigo Times.
1944 Big Ten Conference football season

The 1944 Big Ten Conference football season was the 49th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference (also known as the Western Conference) and was a part of the 1944 college football season.

The 1944 Ohio State Buckeyes football team, under head coach Carroll Widdoes, compiled a perfect 9–0 record, won the Big Ten championship, led the conference in scoring offense (31.9 points per game), and was ranked No. 2 in the final AP Poll. The team was retroactively selected as a national champion by the National Championship Foundation. Quarterback Les Horvath was a consensus first-team pick for the 1944 College Football All-America Team and received the Chicago Tribune Silver Football trophy as the most valuable player in the Big Ten and . End Jack Dugger and center John Tavener were also consensus first-team All-Americans.

Michigan, under head coach Fritz Crisler, compiled an 8–2 record, finished in second place in the conference, and was ranked No. 8 in the final AP Poll. Fullback Don Lund received the team's most valuable player award.

Indiana, under head coach Bo McMillin, compiled a 7–3 record and led the conference in scoring defense (7.9 points per game). Center John Tavener was a consensus first-team All-American and received Indiana's most valuable player award.

1944 Wisconsin Badgers football team

The 1944 Wisconsin Badgers football team was an American football team that represented the University of Wisconsin in the 1944 Big Ten Conference football season. The team compiled a 3–6 record (2–4 against conference opponents) and finished in seventh place in the Big Ten Conference. Harry Stuhldreher was in his ninth year as Wisconsin's head coach. This was the first season since 1905 that the Badgers started the season away from home.

On November 11, 1944, Allan Schafer, a 17-year-old freshman quarterback, died at Wisconsin General Hospital from a hemorrhage to the lung after a hit sustained in the second half of Wisconsin's 26-7 victory over Iowa. His jersey number (No. 83) was retired, and his name appears on the Camp Randall Stadium facade.Tackle Clarence Esser received the team's most valuable player award. Allan Shafer was the team captain. Jug Girard, a 17-year-old freshman, was selected by Look magazine as a first-team halfback on the 1944 College Football All-America Team.The team played its home games at Camp Randall Stadium. During the 1944 season, the average attendance at home games was 22,010.

1947 Big Nine Conference football season

The 1947 Big Nine Conference football season was the 52nd season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Nine Conference (also known as the Western Conference and the Big Ten Conference) and was a part of the 1947 college football season.

The 1947 Big Ten champion was Michigan. The Wolverines compiled a perfect 10–0 record, outscored its opponents by a combined total of 394 to 53, and defeated the USC Trojans by a score of 49 to 0 in the 1948 Rose Bowl game.

Michigan halfback Bob Chappuis led the conference with 1,395 yards of total offense, which was also the fourth best in the country. Chappuis also finished second in the voting for the 1947 Heisman Trophy, trailing Johnny Lujack by a tally of 742 votes to 555 votes, with both finishing ahead of Doak Walker and Bobby Layne.Wisconsin finished in second place in the conference, led by sophomore halfback Jug Girard. Girard, a triple-threat man who also returned two punts for touchdowns, was the first conference player selected in the 1948 NFL Draft, being chosen by the Green Bay Packers with the seventh pick in the first round.

1947 Wisconsin Badgers football team

The 1947 Wisconsin Badgers football team was an American football team that represented the University of Wisconsin in the 1947 Big Nine Conference football season. The team compiled a 5–3–1 record (3–2–1 against conference opponents) and finished in second place in the Big Nine Conference. Harry Stuhldreher was in his 12th year as Wisconsin's head coach. The team was ranked No. 9 in the AP Poll before losing to Michigan on November 15, 1947. The team averaged 280.1 yards per game of total offense, 205.9 yards per game by rushing, and 74.2 by passing.The team's statistical leaders included Clarence Self with 526 rushing yards, Jug Girard with 322 passing yards, Tom Bennett with 95 receiving yards, and Lisle Blackbourn, Jr., with 39 points scored. Center Red Wilson received the team's most valuable player award; Wilson also received first-team honors from the Associated Press, United Press, and International News Service on the 1947 All-Big Nine Conference football team. Jack Wink was the team captain.Several Wisconsin records were set during the 1947 season, including the following:

In a game against Iowa on November 8, 1947, Jug Girard set four Iowa single game records: 158 punt return yards; two punt returns for touchdowns, an 85-yard return; and an average of 52.7 yards per return. Three of those record still stand (the record for longest punt return was broken in 1970).

In a game against Purdue on September 27, 1947, Clarence Self set Iowa's single game record with an average of 12.7 yards per carry (10 carries for 127 yards). That record stood for 26 years.

In a game against Michigan on November 15, 1947, Clarence Self set Iowa's single game record with 178 kickoff return yards. That record stood for 60 years.The team played its home games at Camp Randall Stadium. During the 1947 season, the average attendance at home games was 44,200.

1948 NFL Draft

The 1948 National Football League Draft was held on December 19, 1947, at the Fort Pitt Hotel in Pittsburgh.

1952 Detroit Lions season

The 1952 Detroit Lions season resulted in the Lions winning their second National Football League (NFL) championship, having won their first championship 17 years earlier in 1935. The team's co-captains were halfback Bob Hoernschemeyer and defensive tackle John Prchlik, and defensive end Jim Doran was selected as the team's most valuable player. In their third year under head coach Buddy Parker, the 1952 Lions compiled a 9–3 record during the regular season, finished in a tie with the Los Angeles Rams for first place in the NFL's National Conference, defeated the Rams in a tiebreaker game, and defeated the Cleveland Browns, 17–7, in the 1952 NFL Championship Game at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland.

The 1952 Lions outscored opponents 354 to 192 in 12 regular season games and ranked first in the NFL with an average of 29.5 points scored per game. The offense was led by quarterback Bobby Layne who ranked second in the NFL with 2,410 yards of total offense – 1,999 passing and 411 rushing. End Cloyce Box led the NFL with 15 touchdowns, including nine touchdown catches in the final three games of the regular season. For the third consecutive year, Bob Hoernschemeyer was the team's leading rusher with 457 yards and an average of 4.3 yards per carry. Jack Christiansen led the NFL with an average of 21.5 yards per punt return, returned two punts for touchdowns, and ranked fourth in the NFL with 731 punt and kick return yards.

The Lions' defense ranked first in the NFL in points allowed, allowing 16 points per game during the regular season. Defensive back Bob Smith ranked among the NFL leaders with a 90-yard interception return (2nd), nine interceptions (3rd), and 184 interception return yards (3rd). Smith was also the team's punter and ranked second in the NFL with an average of 44.7 yards per punt. Six players from the 1952 Lions team, Layne, Christiansen, halfback Doak Walker, defensive back Yale Lary, and offensive linemen Lou Creekmur and Dick Stanfel, were later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

1954 NFL Championship Game

The 1954 National Football League championship game was the league's 22nd annual championship game, held on December 26 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Billed as the "1954 World Professional Football Championship Game," the turnover-plagued contest was won by quarterback Otto Graham and the Cleveland Browns, who defeated Bobby Layne and the Detroit Lions by a score of 56 to 10.

Green Bay Packers draft history

This page is a list of the Green Bay Packers NFL Draft selections. The Packers have participated in every NFL draft since it began in 1936, in which they made Russ Letlow their first-ever selection.

Green Bay Packers records

This article details statistics relating to the Green Bay Packers.

List of Green Bay Packers players

The following is a list of notable past or present players of the Green Bay Packers professional American football team.

List of Green Bay Packers starting quarterbacks

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) and are the third-oldest franchise in the National Football League (NFL). The club was founded in 1919 by coach, player, and future Hall of Fame inductee Curly Lambeau and sports and telegraph editor George Whitney Calhoun. The Packers competed against local teams for two seasons before entering the NFL in 1921.

The Packers have had 46 starting quarterbacks (QB) in the history of their franchise. The Packers' past starting quarterbacks include Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees Curly Lambeau, Tony Canadeo, Arnie Herber, Bart Starr and Brett Favre. The team's first starting quarterback was Norm Barry, while the longest serving was Brett Favre. The Packers' starting quarterback for the 2018 season was Aaron Rodgers, who was playing in his 14th season in the NFL.

They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Packers.

List of Wisconsin Badgers in the NFL Draft

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Badgers have drafted 294 players into the National Football League (NFL) since the league began holding drafts in 1936. The Badgers' highest draft position was second overall in 1944, when Pat Harder was selected by Card-Pitt. Wisconsin's first drafted player in the NFL was Eddie Jankowski, who was the 9th overall pick by the Green Bay Packers in 1937. Five former Badgers were selected from the latest NFL draft: Nick Nelson, Troy Fumagalli, Natrell Jamerson, Jack Cichy and Leon Jacobs.

Each NFL franchise seeks to add new players through the annual NFL Draft. The team with the worst record the previous year picks first, the next-worst team second, and so on. Teams that did not make the playoffs are ordered by their regular-season record, with any remaining ties broken by strength of schedule. Playoff participants are sequenced after non-playoff teams, based on their round of elimination (wild card, division, conference, and Super Bowl).Before the AFL–NFL merger agreements in 1966, the American Football League (AFL) operated in direct competition with the NFL and held a separate draft. This led to a massive bidding war over top prospects between the two leagues. As part of the merger agreement on June 8, 1966, the two leagues would hold a multiple round "Common Draft". Once the AFL officially merged with the NFL in 1970, the "Common Draft" simply became the NFL Draft. This list includes players that have transferred to or from Wisconsin.

Marinette, Wisconsin

Marinette is a city in and the county seat of Marinette County, Wisconsin, United States. It is located on the south bank of the Menominee River, at its mouth at Green Bay, part of Lake Michigan; to the north is Stephenson Island (Wisconsin), part of the city preserved as park. During the lumbering boom of the late 19th century, Marinette became the tenth-largest city in Wisconsin in 1900, with its peak population of 16,195.

Marinette is the principal city of the Marinette, Wisconsin–Michigan Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Marinette County, Wisconsin and Menominee County, Michigan. The population was 10,968 at the 2010 census. Menominee, Michigan is across the river to the north, and the cities are connected by three bridges. Menominee and Marinette are sometimes described as "twin cities" of the Menominee River.

Marinette High School

Marinette High School is a public high school serving grades 9 through 12 in the city of Marinette, Wisconsin. It is part of the School District of Marinette, and had an estimated enrollment of 623 for the 2014-15 school year. It is the only public high school in Marinette.

Robert Hoernschemeyer

Robert James "Hunchy" Hoernschemeyer (September 25, 1925 – June 18, 1980) was an American football player. A native of Cincinnati, he played college football as a halfback for the Indiana Hoosiers football in 1943 and 1944 and as a quarterback for the Navy Midshipmen football team in 1945. He led the NCAA in both total offense and passing yards during the 1943 season.

He played professional football for ten years in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and National Football League (NFL). He played for the Chicago Rockets and Brooklyn Dodgers from 1946 to 1948 and was among the AAFC leaders in multiple offensive categories and, when the league folded in 1950, Hoernschemeyer held the league record with 6,218 yards of total offense (4,109 passing yards and 2,109 rushing yards). He then played six years in the NFL with the Detroit Lions from 1950 to 1955. He was the Lions' leading rusher for four consecutive years and was a member of the club's 1952 and 1953 NFL championship teams. He played in the 1952 and 1953 Pro Bowls and was selected as a second-team All-Pro player in 1952 and 1953.

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