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Joe Dan “Little Joe” Washington returned to the University of Oklahoma to run the Varsity O Association in 2007. One of most elusive college running backs ever and playing at 5-foot-10, 175-pounds, he was also one of the few players to leave the Sooners holding their rushing title, at 4,071 yards in 1976. His track-star speed was his ticket to greatness at OU. He said he owes his recruitment to the storied Sooner football program to his father’s hard work as head coach of Port Arthur (Texas) Lincoln High School.
A wishbone running back, receiver, punt and kick-off returner, and often a spirited blocker from the Barry Switzer-led national championships glory days of 1974-75, Washington is arguably one of the most complete offensive players ever to set foot on Owen Field. His 10-year NFL career was also successful, earning him playing time in a winning Super Bowl with the Washington Redskins in 1982
Washington was a Heisman Trophy finalist and two-time consensus All-American at OU in the mid-70s, before being drafted fourth overall in the 1976 NFL Draft. His 10 years in the NFL included a 1979 Pro Bowl berth. As a running back in 1979 with the Baltimore Colts, he led the NFL with the most receptions (82), a tribute to his versatility.
Washington and his wife, Meadow Lark, maintain a residence in Baltimore, Maryland, and have a grown daughter, Brandy. Washington’s book, The 7 Secrets of the Silver Shoes, is an autobiographical narrative of the principles ("secrets") that have guided his life.
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