Johnny Musso
No. 22
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1950-03-06) March 6, 1950 (age 73)
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:201 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school:L. Frazier Banks
(Birmingham, Alabama)
NFL Draft:1972 / Round: 3 / Pick: 62
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Player stats at PFR

Johnny Musso (born March 6, 1950) is an American former gridiron football player, who played professionally a running back for three seasons with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and in the National Football League (NFL) with the Chicago Bears. Musso played college football at the University of Alabama, where was a consensus selection on the 1971 College Football All-America Team. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

Early years

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Musso graduated from L. Frazier Banks High School in 1968, and played college football at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa under head coach Bear Bryant. He was an All-American in 1971 and led the Crimson Tide to an undefeated regular season and a berth in the Orange Bowl against top-ranked Nebraska. He was nicknamed The Italian Stallion.

Professional career

Musso was a third round selection in the 1972 NFL Draft, with 62nd overall pick, by the Chicago Bears. He opted for a higher offer in Canada,[1] and played for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League for three seasons (1972–1974), where he ran for 1029 yards in 1973 and was a West All-Star.

In March 1974, he was selected by the Birmingham Americans in the first round, with seventh overall pick, of the WFL Pro Draft. After injuries and being moved to backup to all-star Lou Harris, Musso left the Lions in 1975 for Birmingham where he rushed for 681 yards.

After the WFL folded, he signed with the Bears in late November 1975,[2] and was the backup to Walter Payton. Musso had surgery on his right knee in August 1978 and spent the season on injured reserve; he failed his physical in July 1979 and retired.[3]


Musso was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1989,[4][5] and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

See also


  1. ^ Cochran, Mike (June 21, 1972). "Tide's Musso happy with Canadian pick". Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. p. 12.
  2. ^ "Bears sign Johnny Musso but few refugees absorbed". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. November 26, 1975. p. 14.
  3. ^ "Musso retires from football". Gadsden Times. Alabama. July 18, 1979. p. 17.
  4. ^ "Johnny "Italian Stallion" Musso - Class of 1989". Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 8, 2010.
  5. ^ Smith, Wayne (May 14, 1995). "Musso remains one of the most popular Tide stars". Gadsden Times. p. D6. Retrieved April 9, 2010.