1952 Heisman winner Vessels dies at 70

Sunday, November 18, 2001

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Billy Vessels, the elusive Oklahoma halfback who won the 1952 Heisman Trophy, died Saturday. He was 70.

He died at his South Florida home after a long illness, said his son, Billy.

Vessels was an All-American in 1952 and was the first Oklahoma player to win the Heisman. In 1950, he led Oklahoma in rushing and receiving, helping the Sooners capture their first national title. He was a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

A leg injury ended a brief professional career after stints with the Baltimore Colts and the Canadian Football League.

Vessels finished the 1952 college season second in the nation in rushing with 1,072 yards and second in scoring with 108 points.

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