Former Redskins great Sam Huff was recently recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company as a “Hometown Hall of Famer” in his native Farmington, W. Va.
The program is designed to honor the hometown roots and contributions of football’s greatest players with ceremonies and plaque dedication events in their local communities.
Huff, a five-time Pro Bowl selection as linebacker for the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, was a high school standout in Farmington. The presentation was made on Monday afternoon by Mike Arcure, former manager of Huff’s high school football team.
The ceremony was attended by Huff and his family, along with close friends and teammates from his alma mater’s 1954 Mountaineer Sugar Bowl team.
The ceremony was heavily attended by members of the Farmington community, and deeply touched the football giant (via The Times West Virginian)
“It’s wonderful to go back to your hometown,” Huff said. “You never forget your hometown, your home folks and things like that. Even though I’ve been to New York, I’ve been to Washington, D.C., I’ve been to Vietnam, I’ve been all over the world, No. 9 is where I was basically raised. I went to Farmington High School and everything else.
“Gee, it’s great to be back home again.”
As a standout student-athlete at Farmington High School, which has since closed, Huff led his team to an undefeated season in 1951. After high school, Huff excelled as a linebacker at West Virginia University where he led his team to a 31-7 record and a berth in the ‘54 Sugar Bowl. In 1955, Huff was voted All-America and named co-captain for both the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl.
Huff was a third-round draft pick of the Giants in 1956. He starred for New York from 1956 to 1963 and then finished his career with the Redskins from 1964-67 and one final season as a player-coach in 1969. In all, he played in six NFL championship games, earned All-NFL acclaim three times, and recorded 30 career interceptions. Only two linebackers in the Hall of Fame had more career steals than Huff (Nick Buoniconti and Jack Ham each had 32). Huff was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1950s.
Coming from humble roots, Huff took time away from his big day to thank dear friend and NFL opponent Frank “Gunner” Gatski. Gatski passed away in 2005, and Huff noted how special it was to have played with his idol:
“The great thing about where I came from, the No. 9 coal camp where my dad worked, is that’s where Gunner Gatski was from, who played pro football, too,” Huff said. “He was kind of my hero when I was a kid. Then we got to play against each other.”
Huff added, “To be from No. 9 coal camp and have two guys like us is pretty special, I think.”
Here are more of Huff’s genuinely candid comments on high school, the NFL, and West Virginia football:
Hometown Hall of Famers™ presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate is the Hall of Fame’s first nationwide plaque program and will lead into the celebration of its 50th anniversary in August 2012. More on Hometown Hall of Famers.