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Paul Palmer

Running Back

Paul Woodrow Palmer

Inducted 2018

Date of Birth



Bethesda, MD


Temple University (1983-1986)


A unanimous First Team All-American in 1986, Paul Palmer was the most prolific running back in Temple history. He deservedly becomes the first Owls player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The runner-up for the 1986 Heisman Trophy, Palmer led the nation in rushing yards (1,866), rushing yards per game (169.6), all-purpose yards (2,633) and all-purpose yards per game (239.4) that season. His all-purpose yards that season broke the NCAA record held by Hall of Famer Marcus Allen while his rushing yards were the ninth-highest FBS single-season total at the time. Palmer also tied the NCAA record with 417 all-purpose yards against East Carolina in 1986, which still stands as a school single-game record, and his 349 rushing yards in the game were a Temple record until 2012. He ended his collegiate career by earning MVP honors in both the Blue-Gray Classic and the Hula Bowl. A Second Team All-American in 1985, Palmer set 23 school records during his career and remains Temple’s all-time leading rusher with 4,895 yards, the sixth-best career mark in FBS history when his career ended. He also remains the Owls’ career leader in all-purpose yards (6,613), rushing attempts (935), 100-yard rushing games (21) and 200-yard rushing games (6). The owner of the top two single-season rushing performances in school history, Palmer led Temple in rushing, scoring and all-purpose yards all four seasons of his career. The Owls were independent at the time, but he received multiple honors from the ECAC, including the 1986 ECAC Player of the Year, 1985 ECAC Offensive Player of the Year and 1983 ECAC Rookie of the Year. The 19th overall selection in the 1987 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, Palmer also had stints with the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals. He also played two seasons for the Barcelona Dragons of the World League of American Football. The Potomac, Md., native was inducted into the Temple Football Hall of Fame in 2000. Palmer currently serves as the radio analyst for Temple football games.


Height 5'10"

Weight 180

Career Highlights

  • 1986 Consensus All-America
  • 1986 Heisman Trophy - Second
  • 1986 Led nation in all-purpose yards
  • 1986 Led nation in rushing
  • 1985 Second-Team All-America
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