Saturday, October 6, 2012

Craig Ironhead Heyward

Craig Ironhead Heyward, Craig William “Ironhead” Heyward (September 26, 1966 – May 27, 2006) was an American football running back who played for the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, St. Louis Rams, and Indianapolis Colts in an 11-year National Football League career.

He was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the first round (24th pick overall) of the 1988 NFL Draft out of the University of Pittsburgh, Heyward’s 3,086 career rushing yards rank third all-time at Pitt. in only three seasons. He declared himself eligible for the 1988 draft after his junior year. In 1987 at Pitt Heyward rushed for 1,791 yards to earn consensus All-America honors and finish fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting.

Heyward was widely regarded as a nightmare for opposing defenses because he was often as big, and sometimes bigger, than the defenders who had to stop him, and had surprising quickness and agility. One of the NFL’s best “big man” running backs in the vein of Earl Campbell, Heyward, at 5′-11″ and reportedly between 250-340 pounds (the latter is arguably more accurate) was a punishing runner who was also a devastating blocker and good receiver. Heyward slimmed down to closer to 280.

In the mid-1990s, Heyward showcased his sense of humor in a series of television commercials for Zest body wash, introducing a generation of American men to the modern version of the Luffa that is now a fixture in many showers and bathtubs. The “lather-builder” and Heyward’s tough-guy image created a humorous contrast in the advertisement, culminating in a voting campaign that named it the “thingy”.

Heyward finished his 11 seasons with 4,301 rushing yards, 177 receptions for 1,559 yards, and 34 total touchdowns (30 rushing, 4 receiving), playing for 5 total NFL teams in his career.
Title: Craig Ironhead Heyward
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