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Former JSU, Oilers’ gridiron star Brazile a step closer to NFL Pro Hall of Fame induction

L.A. BYLINE SM

Five-time Pro Bowl linebacker and former JSU gridiron phenom Robert “Dr. Doom” Brazile soon may claim his biggest sports victory ever if, as predicted, he’s inducted into the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame on Feb. 3.

Robert Brazile, known in the NFL as “Dr. Doom” for being a fierce defensive pass rusher, was drafted by the Houston Oilers in 1975 as the sixth overall pick in the first round. He recorded 1,281 tackles and 13 interceptions during his professional career.

Robert Brazile, known in the NFL as “Dr. Doom” for being a fierce defensive pass rusher, was drafted by the Houston Oilers in 1975 as the sixth overall pick in the first round. He recorded 1,281 tackles and 13 interceptions during his professional career.

Despite the former Houston Oilers’ stellar career on the field with 1,281 tackles and 13 interceptions, the coveted honor has eluded Brazile, who earned the nickname “Dr. Doom” as a fierce defensive pass rusher.

Now, after decades of oversight, his prospects have improved greatly and a selection committee will announce Hall of Fame finalists a day before Super Bowl LII (52) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” said Brazile, upon learning that he’s on the verge of making history. He wants to share with the world more of his story about his rise to the NFL, if ultimately selected.

A native of Mobile, Alabama, Brazile was drafted by the Oilers in 1975 as the sixth overall pick in the first round – a mere two spots behind college roommate Walter Payton, who became a legend with the Chicago Bears and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Although Brazile was overlooked for years by the NFL, his gridiron statistics can’t be ignored. His apparent impending honor in February would prove that “delay” does not mean “denied.”

Before his years in the NFL, there was JSU. When he arrived at the HBCU he was originally designated to play tight end. However, coaches moved him to a defensive position so that all of the best athletes were on the field at the same time. It was a total team success as Brazile helped the Tigers compile a 30-10-1 record.

Among Brazile’s professional and collegiate honors:

NFL:

  • 1975 Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year
  • Seven straight Pro Bowls, 1975-1982
  • NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team

Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC): 

  • A record 129 solo tackles at JSU
  • First-Team All-SWAC and First-Team All-American
  • 1974 Senior Bowl
  • SWAC Championships in 1972, 1973

Special recognition: 

  • JSU Sports Hall of Fame
  • SWAC Hall of Fame
  • Mobile Hall of Fame
  • Alabama Hall of Fame
  • Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame

After retiring from the NFL, Brazile taught special-needs children and coached at a high school for 29 years in Mobile. Although he was reportedly sidelined from his academic duties after undergoing a quadruple bypass in 2005, he relishes his role as a proud grandfather.