5 things you didn't know about O.J. Simpson's football career

O.J. Simpson, a decorated football star, died at 76 on Thursday. 

Simpson was a two-time All-American from the University of Southern California and the 1968 Heisman Trophy winner. 

He was one of football’s most heralded rookies when the Buffalo Bills selected him as the No. 1 overall pick in the 1969 NFL/AFL common draft, according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

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FILE-O.J. Simpson of the Buffalo Bills runs during a game against the San Diego Chargers in San Diego, California. (Photo by Focus On Sport/Getty Images)

In 11 NFL seasons, Simpson ended his pro career with 11,236 rushing yards, 2,142 receiving yards, and 990 kick return yards. He also amassed 14,368 all-purpose yards in 135 games, scoring 76 touchdowns (61 rushing, 14 receiving, and one kick return).

The Pro Football Hall of Fame noted that Simpson led the NFL in rushing four times from 1972-1976, and his 7,699 rushing yards during that time was No. 1 in the league. 

Simpson had an MVP season in 1973 when he became the first running back in league history to run for over 2,000 yards. With 419 rushing yards in his last two games of the season, Simpson broke Jim Brown’s single-season rushing record (1,863 in 1963) and ended the season with 2,003 yards. 

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During that year, he averaged 143.1 rushing yards a game which is still the highest mark in NFL history.

When Simpson’s career ended, he made six Pro Bowls (1969, 1972-76) and was a first-team All-Pro selection five times (1972-76). 

The San Francisco native was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1970s, the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, and the NFL 100 All-Time Team.

This story was reported from Washington, D.C.