Date of Birth
University of Minnesota (1961-1963)
With teammate Bobby Bell, Carl Eller helped give the Minnesota Golden Gophers one of the college football's best tackle combinations in the early 1960s. Like Bell, Eller came to Minnesota from North Carolina in an era when African-American players from the South came north due to the South's segregation policies. Eller became a starting left tackle as a sophomore at Minnesota. That season his team placed second in the Big Ten, but went to the Rose Bowl when Ohio State turned down the invitation. Eller and the sixth-ranked Gophers made the most of their opportunity in Pasadena by blasting the UCLA Bruins 21-3. As a junior, Minnesota was once again among the nation's elite teams as they finished tenth nationally. Despite a sub-par team performance in his 1963 senior year, Eller was named to the all-conference team and was a near-unanimous All-America. Of the nine major All-America teams, he was a first team choice on eight of the squads. In the one-platoon era of his time, Eller played both ways. As a professional he was moved exclusively to defense after being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Eller became a fixture in one of the greatest defensive lines in history. The "Purple People Eaters" also featured Jim Marshall, Alan Page, and Gary Larsen. In 15 seasons with the Vikings, he played in four Super Bowls and six Pro Bowls. He closed his career with one season in Seattle. In his post-football life, Eller has remained active with the Minnesota Letterman's Club and in the community as a chemical dependency counselor.
- 1963 All-Conference
- 1963 Consensus All-America
Class of 2006