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Jim Grabowski


James Steven Grabowski

Inducted 1995

Date of Birth



Chicago, IL


University of Illinois (1963-1965)


Jim Grabowski came out of Taft High School, Chicago and set records playing fullback for Illinois. In his sophomore year his peak performance was in the Rose Bowl. He rushed for 125 yards and was named the game's Most Valuable Player as Illinois defeated Washington 17-7. As a junior in 1964, his best game was 239 yards rushing against Wisconsin. He had a 58-yard run against Michigan State. For the season he had 1004 yards rushing, ranking second in the nation behind Brian Piccolo of Wake Forest. He was named a first-team All-America. In 1965, he had a 196-yard game against Wisconsin and a 57-yard run against Southern Methodist. His rushing yardage for the season was 1,258, second in the nation after Mike Garrett of Southern California. He was Illinois co-captain. These were his honors in 1965: unanimous All-America, Big Ten MVP, Player of the Year by the Washington Touchdown Club, Co-Player of the Year (with Donny Anderson of Texas Tech) by the Sporting News. Grabowski stood 6-2 in height, weighed 211, and was known as a powerful runner and excellent blocker. He played with the Packers and Bears in the National Football League 1966-71. Grabowski was Academic All-America 1964-65 and in 1993 was named to the GTE Academic All-America Hall of Fame. Illinois named him a member of its All-Century Team.


Height 6'2

Weight 211

Career Highlights

  • 1965 Academic All-America
  • 1965 All-Conference
  • 1965 Conference MVP
  • 1965 Heisman - Third
  • 1965 Unanimous All-America
  • 1964 Academic All-America
  • 1964 All-Conference
  • 1964 First Team All-America
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