Donny Anderson

Chad Burkholder
Packers Hall of Fame
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Garry Don "Donny" Anderson (born May 16, 1943, in Borger, Texas) is a former professional American football player who played nine years in the National Football League. A halfback and punter from Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University), Anderson was the first round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 1965 NFL Draft, the seventh overall selection in the draft that included future hall-of-famers Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, Joe Namath and Fred Biletnikoff.

During his time at Texas Tech, Donny Anderson earned the nickname the "Golden Palomino". Anderson received All-American honors twice in 1964 and 1965 and was a three-time all-Southwest Conference halfback 1963-65. Anderson held many of Texas Tech's football records as his legendary career ended with the 1965 season. He finished fourth in the 1965 Heisman Trophy race. Anderson is part of the Texas Tech Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.

Anderson began his career a year later in 1966, as #44 for the Packers. Anderson was drafted in the 1st Round as the 7th Pick for $600,000, the highest in NFL history to that date.

In 1972 he moved to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he played his final three seasons.

While with the Packers, Anderson originated the concept of hang time in punting. Until Anderson, punters typically strived for maximum distance, with the NFL's leaders usually averaging 45 or more yards a punt. Punt returns varied, with an average of perhaps 5 yards per return. In 1967, Anderson worked instead at punting the ball higher, shortening the distance traveled but increasing the ball's time in the air, allowing better coverage by his team on the punt return. Green Bay punted 66 times that year, 63 of them by Anderson; opponents were able to return only 13 of them, for a total of 22 yards or about 1/3 yard per punt. It was Anderson's coach, Vince Lombardi, who explained the concept to sportswriters who questioned why Lombardi didn't try to find a better punter than Anderson, who averaged only 36.6 yards per punt that year. Lombardi pointed out the lack of return yardage. Other punters soon followed Anderson, working for greater hang time. Eventually the NFL changed its rules governing punt coverage, to restore the ability to return punts.

He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1983

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Packers Hall of Fame player Donny Anderson
Packers Hall of Fame player Donny Anderson


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