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Lydell Mitchell is the Mt. Holly Pro Day 2003 honoree.
Lydell attended Salem High School where he was an outstanding athlete. This brought him to the attention of many colleges.
Mitchell accepted a football scholarship from Penn State University where he played for legendary coach Joe Paterno. Franco Harris, a previous Pro Day honoree, was one of his college teammates.
Lydell was a standout running back from 1969-71, helping the Nittany Lions to a 294 record. Mitchell earned first-team All-America accolades and finished fifth in Heisman Trophy balloting in 1971 after breaking three NCAA season records — most touchdowns (29), most rushing TDs (26) and points scored (174).
Mitchell ran for 1,567 yards in 1971, a school season record that stood for more than 30 years. He still holds Penn State records for touchdowns in a season (29), TDs in a career (41) and rushing TDs in a career (38) and his 246 career points scored rank fourth.
Lydell was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1972. He starred for six years with the Colts and led the club to division championships in each of his last three seasons.
The consummate all-purpose back, he rushed for more than 1,100 yards for three successive years and twice led the NFL in pass receptions. In 1974 he established an NFL record for carrying the ball 40 times against the New York Jets at Shea Stadium, and set another mark that season, winning the league pass receiving title with 72 receptions.
In 1975, Lydell continued his record-setting pace by becoming the first running back in Colt history to rush for 1,000 yards, gaining 1,193 yards on 289 carries.
On a chilly November day in 1977, play stopped at the Colts' Memorial Stadium while the crowd of 50,957 fans stood and cheered the man who'd just set a new team career rushing record. The player whose mark he broke? Hall of Famer Lenny Moore.
'I don't remember anything else about that game except that, at that moment, Lenny came out on the field and presented me with the football and told me "You deserve this." That was big, man, when you break a legend's record [5,174 yards]—especially since we were both from Penn State.'
In 1978 Lydell became a San Diego Charger and then a LA Ram in 1980.
Mitchell's football stats include:
Lydell lives in Baltimore where he is president of the Parks Sausage Company in Baltimore, Md., and part owner of Super Bakery, the brainstorm of his college teammate, Franco Harris. The company sells nutritional snack foods to schools, colleges and the military. Mitchell is also active in lecturing students on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.
We salute Lydell for his achievements both on and off of the football field!
2015, Bill Gordon Mt. Holly Pro Day