August 13, 2013

Rookie of the Year: Boobie Clark, 1973

Fullback, Cincinnati Bengals



Age: 23 (Nov. 8)
College: Bethune-Cookman
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 245

Prelude:
Charles “Boobie” Clark played tight end in college but, chosen by the Bengals in the 12th round of the 1973 NFL draft, was shifted to fullback, a position he had played in only one game collegiately. Cincinnati was in need of a heavy-duty power back and, despite Clark’s inexperience at the position, he moved into the lineup. He teamed well with veteran HB Essex Johnson and both nearly reached the thousand-yard rushing threshold.

1973 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Rushing
Attempts – 254 [8]
Most attempts, game - 28 (for 112 yds.) vs. Pittsburgh 10/14
Yards – 988 [8]
Most yards, game – 112 yards (on 28 carries) vs. Pittsburgh 10/14
Average gain – 3.9
TDs – 8 [6, tied with Vic Washington & Larry Brown]
100-yard rushing games – 2

Pass Receiving
Receptions – 45 [11, tied with Isaac Curtis & Mike Siani]       
Most receptions, game – 10 (for 68 yds.) at Pittsburgh 10/28
Yards – 347
Most yards, game - 68 (on 10 catches) at Pittsburgh 10/28
Average gain – 7.7
TDs – 0

Scoring
TDs – 8 [15, tied with Walt Garrison & Vic Washington]
Points – 48

Postseason: 1 G (AFC Divisional playoff at Miami)
Rushing attempts – 7
Rushing yards – 40
Average gain rushing – 5.7
Rushing TDs – 0

Pass receptions – 2
Pass receiving yards - 18
Average yards per reception – 9.0
Pass Receiving TDs - 0

Awards & Honors:
AFC Rookie of the Year: UPI, NEA, Sporting News

Bengals went 10-4 to finish first in the AFC Central. Lost AFC Divisional playoff to Miami Dolphins (34-16).

Aftermath:
A broken arm limited Clark to eight games and 312 rushing yards in 1974. He came back to run for a club-leading 594 yards and catch 42 passes for 334 more yards in ’75. Clark followed up with 671 rushing yards in 1976 but lost his starting job to rookie Pete Johnson in ’77. After one more year as a backup in 1978 Clark was waived and, while he caught on with the Houston Oilers, saw scant action in his last two seasons. For his career, he rushed for 3032 yards (2978 with Cincinnati) while averaging 3.8 yards per carry and scoring 26 touchdowns. Clark also caught 157 passes for 1197 yards and another two TDs.

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Rookie of the Year Profiles feature players who were named Rookie of the Year in the NFL, AFL (1960-69), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press – Offense or Defense, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, or the league itself – Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year). 

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