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Fran Tarkenton


Francis Asbury Tarkenton

Inducted 1987

Date of Birth



Richmond, VA


University of Georgia (1958-1960)


When Bud Grant was head football coach of the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL, he called Fran Tarkenton "the greatest quarterback to ever play the game." As a quarterback, he led Athens High School to the Georgia state championship, the University of Georgia to the Southeastern Conference title, and the Minnesota Vikings to three Super Bowls. He is the son of Dallas Tarkenton, a Pentecostal minister, and is named after Francis Asbury, a famous Methodist bishop. In college, he was a leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and an Academic All-American. He is best remembered at Georgia for the 1959 game with Auburn. Trailing 13-7 with time running out, Georgia had the ball, fourth down, on the 13-yard line. Tarkenton threw a touchdown pass, Georgia won the game and clinched the conference title. Georgia then won the Orange Bowl 14-0 over Missouri on two Tarkenton touchdown passes. Fran played 18 years in the NFL. He headed Georgia's bicentennial campaign, which raised $93 million for his alma mater. At his on-campus ceremony, the football program carried his life story with the apt title: "Born to be quarterback."


Height 6'1

Weight 185

Career Highlights

  • 1960 Academic All-America
  • 1960 All-Conference
  • 1960 Led nation in passing
  • 1960 Second Team All-America
  • 1959 All-Conference
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