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Lydell Mitchell

Running Back

Lydell Douglas Mitchell

Inducted 2004

Date of Birth



Salem, NJ


Pennsylvania State University (1969-1971)


If putting the ball in the end zone is the bottom line of college football, Lydell Mitchell’s 1971 season may be one of the most successful campaigns in history. That year he set an NCAA record that lasted for 17 seasons by rushing for 26 scores and adding three more on pass receptions. Over his career he was a multi-threat back who ran, caught passes and returned kicks and accumulated 3,904 yards in all-purpose yardage. Mitchell became an immediate starter for Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions. In his 1969 sophomore season he averaged five and half yards a carry as Penn State went undefeated. In the Orange Bowl his 28-yard pass reception was the only touchdown in a 10-3 victory that made PSU the nation’s second ranked team. Lydell’s numbers improved in his junior year with 751 yards rushing yards before he embarked on his record-setting senior season. In addition to scoring 29 times, Mitchell rushed for 1,567 yards for a 6.2 average. Penn State posted an 11-1 record as Mitchell was named the Outstanding Offensive Player in PSU’s Cotton Bowl victory over Texas. Other honors came his way as well. He was a first-team All-America and placed fifth in the Heisman voting. Baltimore drafted Mitchell in the second round of the NFL draft. He played six seasons with the Colts earning All-Pro status three times. He also played for San Diego and Los Angeles.


Height 5'11

Weight 204

Career Highlights

  • 1971 First Team All-America
  • 1971 Heisman - Fifth
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