Floyd Little, Syracuse and Broncos great, dies at 78

Broncos legend Floyd Little dies as 78
Broncos legend Floyd Little dies as 78(NFL)
Published: Jan. 2, 2021 at 1:42 PM MST
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DENVER (AP) - The Hall of Fame football player Floyd Little has died.

Little was a three-time All-American at Syracuse before starring for the Denver Broncos from 1967 to 1975. Little was a three-time All-American at Syracuse, where he wore No. 44 like Jim Brown and Ernie Davis before him. He played nine seasons in Denver, where he earned the nickname “The Franchise” because his signing was credited with keeping the team from relocating.

He was made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010 after a 30-year wait. Floyd Little was 78 years old.

Athletes, dignitaries, and even politicians spoke Saturday following Little’s death. President-elect Joe Biden, a classmate of Little’s, released the following statement.

“Floyd Little and I were students at Syracuse University together,” Biden said in a statement. “I was in law school and he was a star halfback on the football team. I watched him play in Archbold Stadium, his number 44 flashing by defenders who had no chance, running as if he was chasing the spirit of his dear friend and fellow 44 legend, Ernie Davis.

“In the years that followed, I got to know Floyd as the man behind the number. He was full of character, decency, and integrity. He was always gracious with his time with fans — parents and grandparents who wanted to introduce their children and grandchildren to a genuine role model.

“I was one of them. My family got to know Floyd. We’d call each other after Syracuse games and to check in on one another. I remember our call when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the joy in his voice. And I remember the more recent call when he shared his cancer diagnosis, and how fearless he was in his conviction to fight it. As with everything else he did in life, Floyd lived to the very end with grit and heart, and love for his family and faith in God.

“I will miss my friend. He was a good man. The entire Biden family sends our love to DeBorah and the entire Little family.”

John Elway, General Manger and President of Football Operations for the Broncos, also released a statement on Twitter:

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1/2/2021 1:31:20 PM (GMT -7:00)