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  • FOOTBALL

    Ex-Medford great Enyart honored as collegian

    Bruising fullback is selected for induction into College Hall of Fame
  • NEW YORK — Former Medford High and Oregon State great Bill Enyart was one of 14 first-team All-America players and two legendary coaches selected for induction into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame.
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    • BILL ENYART
      WHO: Medford High graduate of 1965, who went on to star for Oregon State's "Giant Killers" team of '67.
      • RECORDS: He set OSU single-game records with 50 carries and 299 yards in 1968 agai...
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      BILL ENYART
      WHO: Medford High graduate of 1965, who went on to star for Oregon State's "Giant Killers" team of '67.

      • RECORDS: He set OSU single-game records with 50 carries and 299 yards in 1968 against Utah. His season marks that year of 293 carries, 1,304 yards and 17 TDs stood until 1999.
      • OF NOTE: The Buffalo Bills selected him to start the second round of the 1969 draft. Their first pick, and No. 1 overall, was used on USC running back O.J. Simpson.
  • NEW YORK — Former Medford High and Oregon State great Bill Enyart was one of 14 first-team All-America players and two legendary coaches selected for induction into the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame.
    Enyart, who helped Medford High to the 1962 state championship as a sophomore, went on to become a two-time first-team All-Pac-8 selection and a first-team All-American in 1968.
    Nicknamed "Earthquake" following a monster game against Utah in which the fullback set school records that still stand, Enyart was an integral member of the famed Oregon State "Giant Killers" team of '67.
    He is the second OSU player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame, joining Terry Baker. Former OSU coach Tommy Prothro is also in.
    In 1967, the junior Enyart helped the "Giant Killers" topple No. 2 Purdue and No. 1 USC and tie No. 2 UCLA.
    He boasted a 135-yard performance on 24 carries in the upset of the Trojans, who were led by running back O.J. Simpson.
    A year later, Enyart had a campaign that went unmatched in Oregon State lore for more than three decades as he set school single-season records of 293 carries for 1,304 yards and 17 touchdowns. Each record stood until 1999 and still ranks in OSU's top 10.
    The 1968 team went 7-3, losing at Iowa and at Kentucky by one point each and at USC by four.
    In an October 2004 story in the Mail Tribune, Enyart said the Beavers "would have been national champions if we had one of the hundreds of soccer kickers you see floating around now."
    The game for which he's most remembered was that season against Utah. Enyart set school records with 50 carries for 299 yards in a 24-21 win.
    In the 2004 article, Enyart, who lives in Bend, said fate played a part in his big game.
    When quarterback Steve Preece was injured the previous week, OSU turned to untested Bobby Mayes.
    "Everything he learned, he pretty much learned in practice that week," said Enyart. "Before the Utah game, (coach) Dee Andros said, 'If you can't figure out what to do, just give the ball to Bill. When in doubt, run 56 or 57 power.'
    "That's how I got to carry the ball so many times."
    The team was unaware of how close he was to 300 yards, he said, and he sat the final four minutes when OSU had the ball.
    But, he added, "299 has a certain ring to it."
    "Earthquake" came about after that game, dreamed up by John Eggers, the Beaver sports information director.
    Enyart still holds a share of the school record with four touchdowns in that loss to Kentucky. He's also in the top 10 with 492 career rushes for 2,155 yards and 25 scores.
    Oregon State was ranked in the top 15 his junior and senior seasons.
    Enyart entered the NFL in 1969 as the first pick in the second round by the Buffalo Bills. They used their first pick, No. 1 overall, to take Simpson.
    Whereas Enyart was the chief ball carrier at OSU, in Buffalo, he was asked to block, a skill he admitted he needed to learn.
    On the flip side, some of the schemes called for Simpson to lead for him on the linebacker.
    "O.J. was not a blocker," said Enyart. "Having him blocking for you was not a good deal."
    Enyart played two seasons with Buffalo, then was traded to Oakland in 1971, where he hoped a switch to linebacker would provide more playing time.
    That appeared to be the case until a knee injury in an exhibition game against the New York Jets ended his career.
    In the NFL, he had 387 rushing yards and one touchdown on 105 carries. He also caught 54 passes for 421 yards and three scores.
    Enyart now works as a caseworker for a Medicaid agency. He is a member of the Medford, OSU and State of Oregon halls of fame.
    Joining him in this year's College Hall class are Carlos Alvarez (Florida, 1969-71), Doug English (Texas, 1972-74), Eddie George (Ohio State, 1992-95), Marty Lyons (Alabama, 1975-78), Russell Maryland (Miami, 1986-90), Deion Sanders (Florida State, 1985-88), Jake Scott (Georgia, 1967-68), Will Shields (Nebraska, 1989-92), Sandy Stephens (Minnesota, 1959-61), Darryl Talley (West Virginia, 1979-82), Clendon Thomas (Oklahoma, 1955-57), Rob Waldrop (Arizona, 1990-93) and Gene Washington (Michigan State, 1964-66) as well as coaches Lloyd Carr and Fisher DeBerry.
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