UW + NFL Football: Corey Dillon
Some of the most exciting northwest athletes to cheer for are the ones who excelled playing in the very places they grew up.
As an outstanding tailback for the University of Washington Huskies in his native Seattle before his NFL career exploded, Corey Dillon fits that bill.
In high school, Dillon was one of Seattle’s best all-around athletes.
He was, naturally, a football star, but he also dominated in baseball as a catcher.
He was so good that the San Diego Padres selected him in the 1993 MLB draft.
After one powerhouse season at Dixie State College of Utah, Dillon was recruited by UW and so began a career filled with running-back records.
As a Husky, he set school records for rushing yards (1,695) and touchdowns (122) in a single-season. In a 1996 game, he set NCAA records for rushing yards (222) and all-purpose yards (305) in a single quarter.
The Cincinnati Bengals drafted him in the second round of the 1997 NFL draft and his record-setting ways didn’t stop. Dillon set an NFL rookie record for rushing yards in a game with 246 against the Tennessee Titans.
Dillon etched his name in the record books again on October 22, 2000 with a game for the ages.
Dillon exploded for 278 rushing yards, breaking Walter Payton’s 23-year-old record for most in a single game. The record has since been broken but football fans will still never forget Dillon after that monster game.
He rattled off 1,000-yard-seasons and made the Pro Bowl three times despite playing on perennially bad Bengals teams.
After an injury-plagued 2003, Dillon began an exciting final act for his career when he was traded to the New England Patriots.
He had his best season as a pro in 2004, setting Patriots franchise records with 1,635 rushing yard and 12 touchdowns, making his fourth Pro Bowl and winning his first and only Super Bowl.
Corey Dillon was a can’t-miss prospect throughout his developing career and left the NFL as one of the best players of his era.
He remains one of the most accomplished tailbacks ever to come out of the Northwest.