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J.C. Caroline


James C. Caroline

Inducted 1980

Date of Birth



Warrenton, GA


University of Illinois (1953-1954)


A gifted 6-0, 184-pound speedy Illinois halfback known as "Mr. Zoom", J.C. Caroline led the nation in rushing as a sophomore in 1953 and was named a consensus All-America. In nine games, he gained 1,256 yards by rushing, 52 on pass receptions, 129 on punt returns, and 233 in kickoff returns. He averaged a gain of 7.7 yards for each time he had the football. In 1953, he helped the Illini defeat Ohio State, 41-20, a team which featured Hall of Famer Hopalong Cassady. Caroline dominated that contest with a stunning 192 yards rushing and two touchdowns. As a junior in 1954, Caroline rushed for 440 yards in four games. Then he was injured and missed the rest of the season. Caroline went to the Chicago Bears and played ten seasons.


Height 6'0

Weight 184

Career Highlights

  • 1953 All-Conference
  • 1953 Consensus All-America
  • 1953 Heisman - Seventh
  • 1953 Led nation in all-purpose yards
  • 1953 Led nation in rushing
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