Hagood Clarke
No. 45
Personal information
Born: (1942-06-14) June 14, 1942 (age 81)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:217 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Chattanooga (TN) Baylor
NFL draft:1964 / Round: 7 / Pick: 85
AFL draft:1964 / Round: 18 / Pick: 141
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career AFL statistics
INT return yards:178
Kick return yards:330
Punt return yards:583
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Hagood Clarke, III (born June 14, 1942) is an American former college and professional football player who was a defensive back in the American Football League (AFL) for five seasons during the 1960s. Clarke played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Buffalo Bills of the AFL.

Early life

Clarke was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1942.[1] For his high school education, he attended Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee,[2] where he played high school football for the Baylor School Tigers.

College career

Clarke attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he was a walk-on player for coach Ray Graves' Florida Gators football team from 1961 to 1963.[3] Clarke played both ways for the Gators, playing halfback on offense and safety on defense. Memorably, he caught a nineteen-yard touchdown pass to clinch the Gators' 17–7 upset win over the ninth-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions in the 1962 Gator Bowl,[4] intercepted a third-quarter Joe Namath pass to help preserve a 10–6 upset of the third-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa in 1963,[5] and ran for a seventy-yard touchdown to provide the margin of victory in the Gators' 27–21 win over the Miami Hurricanes later that same season.[6] He was also the Gators' principal punter in 1962, with forty-six punts for 1,884 yards (and average of 41.0 yards per kick).[3] Clarke led the Gators in punt return yardage in 1961 and 1962, and was the recipient of the Gators' Fergie Ferguson Award, recognizing the "senior football player who displays outstanding leadership, courage and character," in 1963.[3]

Clarke graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1965, and was later inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great."[7]

Professional career

Clarke was selected by the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL) in the seventh round (85th pick overall) of the 1964 NFL Draft,[8] but signed with coach Lou Saban's Buffalo Bills of the alternative AFL, and played his entire five-year career as a safety and punt returner for the Bills from 1964 to 1968.[9] In his first three seasons with the Bills, the team won the AFL Championship Game in 1964[10] and 1965,[11] and lost it in 1966.[12] Statistically, Clarke's best season was 1965, when he had seven interceptions and played in the AFL All-Star Game.[13] He also was an All-AFL 2nd team selection in 1966, when he had five interceptions,[9] including an interception of a George Blanda pass followed by a 66-yard return for a touchdown in the final twenty-seven seconds to beat the Houston Oilers, 27–20.[14] In 1968, his final season with the Bills, Clarke had an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown against the New York Jets.[15]

Clark appeared in sixty-seven games in his five-season AFL career, and compiled twelve interceptions for 178 interception return yards and a touchdown.[1] He also tallied sixty-five career punt returns for 583 yards and two touchdowns.[1]

Life after football

Clarke is a financial consultant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Hagood Clarke. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  2. ^ databaseFootball.com, Players, Hagood Clarke Archived February 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 85, 103, 149–150, 152, 180 (2011). Retrieved August 28, 2011.
  4. ^ John Crittenden, "Angry Gators Snap Up Penn State, Spring 17–7 Upset In Gator Bowl," The Miami News, p. 1C (December 30, 1962). Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  5. ^ Buddy Martin, "Biggest Gator Victory Yet: 10–6 Florida Win in Tuscaloosa-Town Makes History," Ocala Star-Banner, pp. 25–26 (October 13, 1963). Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  6. ^ Associated Press, "Florida Scores Over Miami, 27–21; Clarke's 70-Yard Touchdown Run Sparks Victors," The New York Times, p. 109 (November 23, 1963). Retrieved May 14, 2010. See also Norm Carlson, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, p. 74 (2007).
  7. ^ F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  8. ^ Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1964 Draft. Retrieved June 2, 2010.
  9. ^ a b National Football League, Historical Players, Hagood Clarke. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  10. ^ Deane McGowen, "Gilchrist's Hard Day's Work Nets Him 122 Yards, Bruised Ribs and a Rest," The New York Times, p. 122 (December 27, 1964). Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  11. ^ Associated Press, "Bills' Formula: 'Clawing and Digging'," The New York Times, p. 36 (December 27, 1965). Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  12. ^ Frank Litsky, "Garlett Tallies Twice on Rushes," The New York Times, p. 27 (January 2, 1967). Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  13. ^ Associated Press, "Namath Leads Stars to 30–19 Victory; Jet Rookie Directs a 24-Point Surge Against Bills," The New York Times, p. S1 (January 16, 1966). Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  14. ^ Associated Press, "Bills Win on Late Interception; Chargers Down Raiders, 29–20; Oilers Lose, 27–20," The New York Times, p. 53 (September 26, 1966). Retrieved May 14, 2010. See also "A Roundup Of The Sports Information Of The Week," Sports Illustrated (October 6, 1966). Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  15. ^ Associated Press, "Jim Turner's Toe Gives Jets Win," Spartanburg Herald-Journal, p. 15 (November 3, 1968). Retrieved May 14, 2010. See also Dave Andersen, "Jets Defeat Bills, 25–21, on Interception by Sample and Six Field Goals," The New York Times, p. 63 (November 4, 1968). Retrieved May 14, 2010.