Syracuse, Denver Broncos great Floyd Little dies at 78

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Barry Werner
·2 min read
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Floyd Little, a great running back at Syracuse University and for the Denver Broncos died Friday at the age of 78.

Little had been battling cancer and was in hospice care.

The following is a statement from Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker:

Floyd Little was a true hero of the game. He was a man of great integrity, passion and courage. His contributions off the field were even greater than his amazing accomplishments he did on it. Floyd’s smile, heart and character epitomized what it meant to have a Hall of Fame life.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Floyd’s wife, DeBorah, and their entire family. We will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration for future generations. The Hall of Fame flag will be flown at half-staff in Floyd’s memory.”

A member of the 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, had 1,641 carries for 6,323 rushing yards, 215 receptions for 2,418 receiving yards, 81 punt returns, 893 return yards, and 54 total touchdowns.

In college, he played from 1964-66 for Syracuse and ran for 2,750 yards and scored 35 rushing touchdowns. He was a three-time All-American for the Orange and followed Jim Brown and 1961 Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis in Syracuse’s legendary running backs who wore the No. 44

Little served as a special assistant to the athletic director at Syracuse from 2011-16. In 2016, he received an honorary doctorate degree from Syracuse. Statues of him, Brown, and Davis are erected at the football practice facility.

“Floyd Little is a Syracuse treasure,” Syracuse University Director of Athletics John Wildhack said. “The legacy that he leaves here is so much more than just one who wore #44, was an All-American, was in the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Floyd’s legacy is that he was a wonderful, wonderful person. He treated everyone with genuine care and respect and was always there for people. His impact as a person is those who he impacted.

“He was always willing to share his time, his wisdom, his support. His passion for Syracuse University – not just Syracuse Athletics, but the entire University – was inspiring to all of us. It is a legacy that will last forever and will never be replaced. He is someone who leaves a legacy of pure class in every single respect. There was only one Floyd Little and there will never be another one like him.”