Former Utah State and NFL running back MacArthur Lane passes away

LOGAN, Utah – Former Utah State and NFL running back MacArthur Lane passed away on Saturday, May 4, in his hometown of Oakland, Calif. He was 77 years old.

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of MacArthur Lane,” said Utah State Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hartwell. “MacArthur was a tremendous football player, both at Utah State and in the NFL, and his passion for Utah State University and Aggie Football was unmatched. Our condolences go out to his wife Edna and his entire family. He will be missed by all.”

Lane was a three-year letterwinner at both linebacker and running back at Utah State from 1965-67. As a running back during his junior and senior seasons, Lane carried the ball 171 times for 1,182 yards and eight touchdowns. His 6.9 yards per carry average still ranks third all-time in school history, while his 1,182 rushing yards are the 27th most.

For his collegiate career, Lane had four 100-yard rushing games, including a career-best 207 yards on 20 carries against West Texas during his senior season. In fact, those 207 rushing yards is tied for the 22nd-best single-game performance in Aggie history. Lane also had a career-long 84-yard run against Hawai’i as a junior, which is the ninth-longest rush in school history.

At the conclusion of his senior season, Lane played in the All-Star Professional Game.

During his three seasons playing for the Aggies, USU went 19-10-1, including three wins against Utah and two against BYU.

St. Louis Cardinals MacArthur Lane (36) makes a cut as he goes around Philadelphia Eagles end for a gain of 4 yards during the first period, Nov. 29, 1970, St. Louis, Mo. As far as Lane was concerned it was a wrong turn as he ran into the Eagles Don Hultz (83). The rest of the players are unidentified. (AP Photo/Fred Waters)

Following college, Lane was drafted in the first round with the 13th overall pick by the St. Louis Cardinals. Overall, Lane spent 11 seasons in the NFL with the Cardinals (1968-71), Green Bay Packers (1972-74) and Kansas City Chiefs (1975-78). For his professional career, Lane carried the ball 1,206 times for 4,656 yards and caught 287 passes for 2,786 years. In all, he scored 37 touchdowns.

His best NFL season came in 1970 with the Cardinals, when he led the league with 11 rushing touchdowns and was chosen to the Pro Bowl. During the 1976 season with the Chiefs, Lane led the NFL in receptions with 66.

In all, Lane is one of just four Aggies to ever be drafted in the first round of the NFL, joining  defensive tackle Merlin Olsen (third overall) in 1962 by the Los Angeles Rams, quarterback Bill Munson (seventh overall) in 1964 by the Los Angeles Rams and defensive tackle Phil Olsen (fourth overall) in 1970 by the Boston Patriots.

Lane was inducted in the Utah State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.

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