Larry Grantham (born September 16, 1938 in Crystal Springs, Mississippi) is a former American collegiate and Professional football player.
A member of the "Ole Miss" Athletic Hall of Fame, he was a linebacker of the University of Mississippi who came to the American Football League's New York Titans in the 1960 college draft and helped form the backbone of a New York Jets defense that reached the playoffs in 1968 and 1969, and in 1968 captured the AFL Championship and the World Championship, over the NFL's Baltimore Colts. Thus Grantham's team, with him as a starter throughout, went from being the worst team in an upstart league (the AFL) to World Champions in just nine years.
From his left outside linebacker spot, Grantham wrought havoc on opposing offenses. One of the Jets leading tacklers, he was named to the AFL All-Star team five times and played in eight league All-Star games. He was selected to the All-Time All- AFL second team.
He is one of only twenty players who were in the American Football League for its entire ten-year existence, and only seven AFL players who played their entire careers in one city. Grantham was also named the 1971 New York Jets MVP.
He played one last season in 1974 for the Florida Blazers of the start-up World Football League. The Blazers made it to the World Bowl 1, losing to the Birmingham Americans.
By Dean Hanley
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