John Brockington
No. 42, 43
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:(1948-09-07)September 7, 1948
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died:March 31, 2023(2023-03-31) (aged 74)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school:Jefferson (Brooklyn)
College:Ohio State
NFL draft:1971 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:5,185
Player stats at · PFR

John Stanley Brockington (September 7, 1948 – March 31, 2023) was an American professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) with the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs. He was a first round draft choice out of Ohio State University, and was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1971.

College career

Born and raised in Brooklyn in New York City, Brockington played halfback and fullback for the Ohio State Buckeyes from 1968 to 1970. He was a freshman with the so-called Super Sophomores who led the Buckeyes to an undefeated season and a consensus national championship in 1968. Brockington and the other Super Sophomores finished their college careers with a record of 27–2.

Brockington played left halfback in 1968 and 1969, used primarily as a blocker for fullback Jim Otis and quarterback Rex Kern. In 1970, Brockington moved to the fullback position and was the featured running back in head coach Woody Hayes' offense. Brockington finished his senior season with 1,142 rushing yards, which was at the time an Ohio State single-season record; he also scored 17 rushing touchdowns that season.

Brockington was selected onto the Buckeyes' All-Century Team in 2000, and was elected into the Varsity O Hall of Fame in 2002.

Professional career

The Green Bay Packers selected Brockington with the ninth overall selection in the 1971 NFL Draft.[1] Brockington became the first NFL player to ever rush for 1,000 or more yards in each of his first three seasons.[2] In his rookie year of 1971 with the Green Bay Packers, Brockington was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press, rushing for 1,105 yards and 5.1 yards per carry (YPC) in 14 games. Brockington retired with the second most rushing yards in Packers franchise history with 5,024 yards.[3] As of December 2022 Brockington ranks fourth in all time rushing yards as a Packer.[3] Brockington was named 1st Team All-Pro in 1971, 1st and 2nd Team All-Pro in 1973 and All-NFC in 1972. Brockington was also selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls (19711973).[4]

His first running mate in the Green Bay backfield was sixth-year halfback Donny Anderson, another Packer first round draft choice, who was traded the following offseason to the St. Louis Cardinals for running back MacArthur Lane. Together, Brockington and Lane formed a dynamic running duo in the backfield, carrying the Packers offense between 1972 and 1974. The Packers won the NFC Central division in 1972 for their first playoff berth in five years.

With a running style based on his great strength, Brockington epitomized the power running back – a player who preferred to break tackles and run over defenders rather than run away from them. He was one of the first running backs to combine brute force with speed.

Brockington's success was short-lived; after eclipsing 1,000 yards rushing during each of his first three seasons, he ran for 883 yards in 1974 (with a career-high 43 receptions for 314 yards), but dipped to only 434 yards rushing on 3.0 YPC in 1975 under new head coach Bart Starr. This was the result of typical wear-and-tear, the trade of Lane in July 1975 and changes in the Packers' playbook that did not take advantage of Brockington's abilities. In 1976, he had 406 yards rushing with 3.5 YPC.

After the first game of the 1977 season, Brockington was released by the Packers.[5][6][7] Signed by the struggling Kansas City Chiefs three weeks later,[8][9] he appeared in ten games for them and retired following the season. He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1984.[10]

John Brockington Foundation

Established in 2002 after receiving a kidney transplant from his future wife Diane Scott, Brockington created[11] the John Brockington Foundation to aid others impacted by kidney disease. They provide free screenings and educational material to those who require it, and also provide food vouchers for people on dialysis. Kidney drives also aid those seeking new kidneys.[12]


Brockington died in San Diego, California on March 31, 2023, at the age of 74.[13]


  1. ^ "1971 NFL Draft Listing".
  2. ^ Christl, Cliff (March 31, 2023). "John Brockington's hard-hitting style endeared him to Packers". Archived from the original on April 1, 2023. Retrieved April 1, 2023.
  3. ^ a b The Football Database, LLC. (December 19, 2022). "Green Bay Packers Career Rushing Leaders". The Football Database. Retrieved December 21, 2022.
  4. ^ "John Brockington Stats".
  5. ^ Hofmann, Dale (September 22, 1977). "Brockington is cut". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2.
  6. ^ Kupper, Mike (September 22, 1977). "Packers cut Brockington after he clears waivers". Milwaukee Journal. p. 16.
  7. ^ "NFL fame runs short – Packers drop Brockington". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. September 22, 1977. p. 21.
  8. ^ "Brockington signs, will replace Lane". Milwaukee Sentinel. wire services. October 13, 1977. p. 2, part 2.
  9. ^ "Ex-Packer Brockington picked up by Chiefs". Lawrence Journal-World. (Kansas). Associated Press. October 13, 1977. p. 16.
  10. ^ Christl, Cliff. "John Brockington". Archived from the original on May 30, 2023. Retrieved September 20, 2023.
  11. ^ "John Brockington".
  12. ^ "San Diego Kidney Foundation, John Brockington Foundation, Help for Kidney Patients". Archived from the original on October 18, 2011. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  13. ^ "Packers Hall of Famer John Brockington passes away". Packers. March 31, 2023. Retrieved March 31, 2023.