22 Interesting Facts About Former Rams And Chargers Running Back John Cappelletti


John Cappelletti burst onto the national scene as a junior tailback for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team. He had an amazing junior and senior season that resulted in him winning many awards, including the 1973 Heisman Trophy. He came into the professional ranks with a lot of promise, but never really became a superstar. He was always a fan favorite where ever he played, be it at Penn State, with the Los Angeles Rams, or with the San Diego Chargers. He was even part of the subject of a TV movie early in his career.

Here is a look at 22 interesting facts about Penn State, Rams, and Chargers running back John Cappelletti.

-Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has referred to John Cappelletti as the best player he ever coached.

-While with the Rams from 1974 to 1978, Cappelletti wore jersey number 22. When he was with the Chargers from 1980 to 1983, he wore jersey number 25.

-He won many awards he won after his senior year of college at Penn State University, including the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, and the UPI Player of the Year.

-In 1974, the Los Angeles Rams selected John Cappelletti with their first round pick in the NFL Draft, he was the 11th pick overall.

-A television movie called ‘Something For Joey’ was made in 1977. It starred Marc Singer as John Cappelletti and chronicled the close relationship he had with his younger brother Joey who died from childhood leukemia.

-In 1993, John Cappelletti was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

-Not only did John Cappelletti win the Heisman Trophy, his sister-in-law is the daughter of former Baltimore Colts great Alan Ameche, another Heisman Trophy winner.

-In addition to the College Football Hall of Fame, Cappelletti is also a member of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame.

-Two running backs were taken ahead of him in the 1974 NFL Draft, they were Bo Matthews out of Colorado with the second overall pick by the Chargers and Wilbur Jackson out of Alabama with the 9th overall pick by the 49ers.

-Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who were drafted the same year as Cappelletti include Lynn Swann, Dave Casper, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster.

-The most yards ever gained in one year by Cappeletti was 688 in his third season with the Rams.

-The longest run of his career was 46 yards and came in 1980, his first season in San Diego.

-In John Cappelletti’s second season in pro football he would only carry the ball 48 times for 158 yards, but he would still score six touchdowns.

-Cappelletti scored more touchdowns against the San Francisco 49ers, a total of five, than he did against any other team in the NFL.

-During his career, he caught four touchdown passes. Two of them were thrown by Pat Haden, one by Dan Fouts, and one by James Harris.

-Of Cappelletti’s 28 career touchdowns in the NFL, nine came in the first quarter, nine in the second quarter, and eight in the fourth quarter. Just two of his touchdowns were scored in the third quarter of play.

-John Cappelletti’s first career NFL touchdown came in a 38-14 win against the New Orleans Saints in 1975. It was a one yard run in the second quarter that put his team up 17-0.

-In the Los Angeles Rams 37-7 playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys following the 1975 season, their only touchdown was scored on a fourth quarter one yard run by John Cappelletti. His stat line for that game was one carry for one yard, a one yard average, and one touchdown.

-The last touchdown of his career came in 1981 when he scored on an eight yard run in the second quarter of a 24-23 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while playing for the Chargers.

-Cappelletti scored 28 touchdowns in the NFL, exactly half of those came on one yard runs at the goal line.

-John Cappelletti played in 101 games during his NFL career.

-He racked up four 100 yard games during his ten year career. Three came with the Rams, including his career best of 128 yards, and one came with the Chargers.

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