|Birthdate:||March 7, 1950|
|Birthplace:||Fort Dix, NJ|
|MVP:||Super Bowl IX|
|Other:||Inducted Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.|
Franco Harris gained national attention in 1972 by making the famous "Immaculate Reception" on a deflected pass from Terry Bradshaw that gave the Steelers their first playoff victory, 13-7 over the Oakland Raiders. It capped a remarkable rookie year.
Considered somewhat of an underachiever at Penn State, he nevertheless was the Pittsburgh Steelers' number-one pick and the thirteenth player selected in the 1972 NFL draft. He established himself as a future superstar when he became only the fifth rookie in NFL history to rush for more than 1,000 yards.
The 6-foot 2-inch, 225-pounder was sometimes criticized for running out of bounds instead of lowering his head for a few more yards. In truth, he'd blast when the yardage was vital, but his cerebral running style helped save his body for a long career.
In 13 seasons, Harris rushed 2,949 times for 12,120 yards and 91 touchdowns. He rushed for 1,000 yards or more eight times and for more than 100 yards in 47 games. He also caught 307 passes for 2,287 yards and 9 touchdowns.
The Fort Dix, New Jersey, native was an all-AFC choice in 1972, 1975, and 1977. He also earned all-pro honors in 1977. He played in eight Pro Bowls and missed a ninth because of an injury. Harris played in five AFC Championship Games--missing a sixth because of injury--and four Super Bowls.
In Super Bowl IX, when the Steelers won their first league title with a 16-6 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, Harris rushed for 158 yards, compared to just 17 yards rushing for the entire Vikings team. He was named the game's most valuable player.