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Johnny Bright


John Dee Bright

Inducted 1984

Date of Birth



Fort Wayne, IN


Drake University (1949-1951)


Johnny Bright grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and won all-state high school honors in football, baseball and track. He attended Drake University, played single-wing halfback, and in three years accounted for 5,903 yards in total offense. He led the nation in total offense 1949 and 1950. In 1951, his senior year, he suffered a broken jaw while playing Oklahoma A&M. He came back two weeks later, running for one touchdown, passing for two, in a victory over Great Lakes Naval Station. He placed fifth in the Heisman voting. Johnny was drafted in the first round by the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL but opted for the Canadian League. He started with Calgary in 1952, moved to Edmonton Eskimos in 1954 and played through 1964. When he retired, he held the Canadian League record for career yards rushing - 10,768. He was principal of a junior high school in Edmonton when he died in 1983, at age 53, following a heart attack.


Height 6'0

Weight 195

Career Highlights

  • 1951 All-Conference
  • 1951 Heisman - Fifth
  • 1951 Second Team All-America
  • 1950 All-Conference
  • 1950 First-Team All-America
  • 1950 Led nation in total offense
  • 1949 Led nation in total offense
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