Earl Edwin Morrall
(born May 17, 1934 in Muskegon, Michigan
) is a former American football quarterback
in the National Football League
. Morrall, who also occasionally punted, played 21 seasons in the National Football League as both a starter and reserve. In the latter capacity, he became known as the greatest backup quarterback in NFL history. Morrall made Pro Bowl
appearances following the 1957 and 1968 seasons.
Morrall led Muskegon High School
in Muskegon, Michigan
, to a state football championship in 1951, setting off a determined recruiting effort by the University of Michigan
, the University of Notre Dame
and Michigan State University
. The efforts of the colleges were enough for the principal of Muskegon High, George A. Manning, to complain that Morrall's education was suffering.
Eventually choosing Michigan State, Morrall played three seasons for the Spartans, leading them to a 9-1 regular season record in 1955. He capped his senior year with a victory over the UCLA Bruins
in the 1956 Rose Bowl
game. Morrall also played baseball at Michigan State and played in the College Baseball World Series as a shortstop and third basemen. He was offered the opportunity to play professional baseball but chose instead to play NFL football.
National Football League career
In his more than two decades on the professional gridiron, Morrall played for six different teams, starting with his rookie year in 1956 as a first-round selection by the San Francisco......