August 8, 2014

Rookie of the Year: A.J. Duhe, 1977

Defensive End, Miami Dolphins

Age: 22 (Nov. 27)
College: LSU
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 247

Duhe averaged 72 tackles a season in college and was chosen by the Dolphins in the first round of the 1977 NFL draft (13th overall). Looking to refurbish the defense, Miami took another defensive lineman, DT Bob Baumhower, in the second round. Both moved into the starting lineup with outstanding results, along with LB Kim Bokamper, CB Norris Thomas, and FS Vern Roberson, who all gained All-Rookie honors.

1977 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Sacks – 7 (unofficial)
Interceptions – 0
Fumble recoveries – 2
Tackles – 83

Awards & Honors:
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year: AP, PFWA
AFC Rookie of the Year: UPI, Sporting News

Dolphins went 10-4 to finish second in the AFC East.  

Duhe improved in 1978, despite a leg injury, but was shifted to inside linebacker in ‘79. An outstanding blitzer, he proved to be a good fit as a hybrid outside linebacker/pass rushing end, receiving first-team All-AFC honors from UPI in ’81, and was especially prominent as the Dolphins won the AFC Championship during the strike-shortened 1982 season, most notably with three interceptions against the Jets in the conference title game. Following the ’83 season, when he received second-team All-AFC recognition from UPI, Duhe underwent surgery for rotator cuff and knee surgery, and while he came back to achieve Pro Bowl honors for the only time in his career in 1984, further injuries that required surgery finished him. Duhe ended up playing a total of eight years for the Dolphins and was credited with 8.5 sacks, which reflected his last three seasons after the NFL began to officially compile individual sacks, while the real total was likely closer to 30. He also accumulated around 486 tackles in 108 regular season games.


Rookie of the Year Profiles feature players who were named Rookie of the Year in the NFL (including NFC/AFC), 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).