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Legendary USC star FB Sam ‘Bam’ Cunningham, credited with role of integrating football in South, dies at 71

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Sam “Bam” Cunningham, former fullback at USC and with the New England Patriots, has died at 71. Cunningham performed for the Trojans from 1970-72 and with the Patriots from 1973-82. USC introduced Cunningham’s dying Tuesday and no reason for dying was given. 

Cunningham rushed for 1,579 yards and 23 touchdowns throughout this three years with this system. He had 349 yards and 13 touchdowns in 1972, was named a first-team All-American by the American Soccer Coaches Affiliation and scored 4 touchdowns within the Rose Bowl win over Ohio State that earned the Trojans the nationwide title. He was inducted Rose Bowl Corridor of Fame for his efficiency in opposition to the Buckeyes. 

He rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns in his first profession sport in 1970 — a 42-21 win over Alabama in Birmingham. That efficiency got here alongside quarterback Jimmy Jones and working again Clarence Davis, which marked the primary time in main college football {that a} crew boasted an All-Black backfield. That sport vs. the Crimson Tide is thought to be one of many major catalysts to combine soccer within the South.

The New England Patriots drafted Cunningham with the eleventh total decide within the 1973 NFL Draft. He had 5,453 yards and 43 touchdowns in 10 seasons within the NFL — all with the Patriots. He rushed for 1,015 yards and 4 touchdowns in 1977 and 768 yards and eight touchdowns in 1978 — the latter of which earned him a spot within the Professional Bowl.

“Extraordinarily saddened by the loss of a school soccer legend,” said current USC coach Clay Helton. “Nearly as good a person as he was a player. Thanks Sam for being the instance of what a Trojan needs to be. You can be missed however by no means forgotten.”

Cunningham was inducted into the Faculty Soccer Corridor of Fame and the New England Patriots Corridor of Fame in 2010.



https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/legendary-usc-star-fb-sam-bam-cunningham-credited-with-role-of-integrating-football-in-south-dies-at-71/ | Legendary USC star FB Sam ‘Bam’ Cunningham, credited with function of integrating soccer in South, dies at 71

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