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Freddie Solomon
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Football Player
    (January 11, 1953-February 13, 2012)
    Born in Sumter, South Carolina
    Attended University of Tampa
    Selected 36th overall in the 2nd round of the draft by the Miami Dolphins
    Wide receiver and punt and kickoff returner for the Miami Dolphins (1975-77) and San Francisco 49ers (1978-85)
    371 recpetions for 5,846 yards and 48 touchdowns
    He was unable to play for the University of South Carolina because he was academically inelligible.
    He hoped to repeat his college success as a quarterback in the NFL but was converted to a receiver, partly because of concerns about his height (5'11).
    He was supposed to be the primary target on the 49ers final scoring drive against the Dallas Cowboys in the 1982 NFC Championship Game, but he slipped coming out of the cut, allowing Dwight Clark to gain immortality with 'The Catch.'
    He was quarterback for the University of Tampa at a time when blacks in that position were a rarity.
    Pete Elliott, coach of the rival University of Miami, called him 'the finest football player in the country.'
    In a game between the Dolphins and the Bills, he scored touchdowns three different ways: he ran 59 yards on a reverse to score, caught a 53-yard pass for another touchdown, and returned a punt 79 yards to score again (December 5, 1976).
    He did get to fulfill his dream of playing quarterback for one game: at the end of the 1978 season, he was sent in after the starting and backup QBs were injured. He completed 5 of 9 passes for 85 yards and scored a rushing touchdown.
    Jerry Rice said, 'He inspired me to go out there every day and emulate him.'
    After retiring from football, he worked with the Hillsborough County sheriff’s office in Tampa as a mentor to disadvantaged youth.

Credit: C. Fishel

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