West Virginia University Football's NFL Draft Legacy: Celebrating the Top 5 NFL Careers of Mountaineer Draft Picks

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3. Sam Huff (1956 NFL Draft, Round 3, Pick 5)

Jim Brown, Sam Huff
Sam Huff tackles legendary running back Jim Brown. / Robert Riger/GettyImages

Also a West Virginia native, Sam Huff grew up one of six children during The Great Depression. He was a three-year starter and four-year letterman for the Mountaineers, and the program went 31-7 and earned a Sugar Bowl berth during his time on the team. He was an All-American in 1955 and captained teams in both the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl.

As a professional, he struggled at first to find a position after being drafted in 1956 by the New York Giants. Then-defensive coordinator Tom Landry developed the new 4-3 defensive scheme and found a perfect position fit at middle linebacker. 

He spent time with the Giants and the then-Washington Redskins, earning five NFL Pro Bowl selections and two first-team NFL All-Pro selections, and earned the 1956 NFL Championship as a rookie with the Giants, cementing his status as one of the finest linebackers of his era. In 1982, Huff earned the honor of being just the second WVU player to be inducted into both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame.