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1973 - 39th Award
John Cappelletti
Penn State Back

John Cappelletti had the third best year in Penn State history when he gained 1,117 yards rushing in 1972. In 1973, he had the second best year in Penn State history rushing for 1,522 yards. In his two-year running career, he gained 100 yards in the thirteen games and had a career total of 2,639 yards and twenty-nine touchdowns for an average of 120 yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry. John's statistics cover two years as running back inasmuch as he played defensive back in 1971. He was named to virtually every All-American team, including the Kodak All-American team. John's acceptance speech at the Heisman Dinner (with Vice President Gerald Ford next to him on the dais) was considered the most moving ever given at these ceremonies, as he honored his brother Joey, a victim of leukemia. John was signed by the Rams (first round draft choice) and spent two years grinding out short yardage. In 1976, he was promoted to starting duties and rushed for 688 yards in 177 carries. Placed on the Injured Reserve list in 1979, he was traded to the San Diego Chargers in 1980 and retired after the '83 season. John is a partner in Alpha Stainless, providing fluid transfer systems & components to the Biotech and Pharmaceutical Industries. He and his wife, Betty, reside in Laguna Niguel, California, with their four sons, Nicholas, John Jr., Thomas and Joseph.

The Voting

 

Points

 

Place

Name

School

Class

Pos.

1

2

3

Total

1stJohn CappellettiPenn StateSr.RB229142 861,057
2ndJohn HicksOhio StateSr.OT114 64 54524
3rdRoosevelt LeaksTexasJr.RB 74 80 100482
4thDavid JaynesKansasSr.QB 65 68 63394
5thArchie GriffinOhio StateSo.RB 45 63 65326
6thRandy GradisharOhio StateSr.LB 47 53 35282
7th Lucious SelmonOklahomaSr.NG 39 52 29250
8thWoody GreenArizona StateSr.RB 31 55 44247
9thDanny WhiteArizona StateSr.QB 32 22 26166
10thKermit JohnsonUCLASr.RB 24 15 20122

Penn State's John Cappelletti won in the East, the South and the Far West, with Ohio State's imposing John Hicks taking the Midwest and Roosevelt Leaks of Texas leading the the Southwest. Ohio State players took three of the top six spots, with sophomore sensation Archie Griffin finishing fifth and linebcker Randy Gradishar taking sixth.

No. registered electors: 1,075
Date of announcement: December 4, 1973
Date of dinner: December 13, 1973

The positions within each region are as follows:

Place

EAST

SOUTH

MIDWEST

SOUTHWEST

FAR WEST

1stCappellettiCappellettiHicksLeaksCappelletti
2ndHicksLeaksJaynesWhiteJohnson
3rdLeaksJaynesCappellettiGreenSwann
4thDorsettHicksGriffinSelmonGreen
5thGriffinHollowayGradisharCappellettiWhite

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