Don Hutson

Donald Montgomery Hutson (January 31, 1913 – June 26, 1997) was the first star split end in National Football League history. He is considered by many to have been the first modern receiver.

In his senior season at the University of Alabama in 1934, Hutson was a first team All-American for six different organizations and a second team selection by one other. After his career at Alabama, he joined the Green Bay Packers in 1935 and retired in 1945 after 11 seasons. He led the league in receiving yards 8 years of his 11-year career. Charley Malone, with the Boston Redskins led in Hutson's rookie year in 1935, Gaynell Tinsley, of the Chicago Cardinals led in 1937, Don Looney of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1940 and Jim Benton, of the Cleveland Rams led in Hutson's Final Year in 1945.

Hutson is credited with creating many of the modern pass routes used in the NFL today. He was the dominant receiver of his day and is widely considered to be one of the greatest receivers in NFL history, holding almost all important receiving records at the time of his retirement. As of the end of the 2012 NFL season, Hutson still holds the following records: Most seasons leading league in pass receptions (8), Most consecutive seasons leading league in pass receptions (5), Most seasons leading league in pass receiving yards gained (7), Most consecutive seasons leading league in pass receiving yards gained (4), Most seasons leading league in pass receiving touchdowns (9), most seasons leading the league in total touchdowns (8), Most consecutive seasons leading league in pass receiving touchdowns (5), Most seasons leading league in scoring (5), and Most consecutive seasons leading league in scoring (5) (Source: NFL Record and fact book).

By Dean Hanley

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