September 30, 2016

Highlighted Year: Dutch Clark, 1931

Tailback/Defensive Back, Portsmouth Spartans

Age: 25 (Oct. 11)
1st season in pro football
College: Colorado College
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 182

Clark started at quarterback for three years at Colorado College and received first-team All-American recognition from the Associated Press in 1928, a season in which he rushed for 1349 yards, despite playing for a small college. After spending a year as an assistant coach at the school, he joined the Spartans.

1931 Season Summary
Appeared in 11 of 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Rushing TDs – 9 [1]
Receiving TDs – 0
Other TDs – 0
Total TDs – 9 [2]
Field Goals – 0
Extra Points – 6 [5]
Points – 60 [3]

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: League, UPI, Collyers Eye

Spartans went 11-3 to finish second in the NFL.

Clark had another outstanding year for the Spartans in 1932, rushing for 461 yards and leading the league in scoring with 55 points, and again receiving consensus first-team All-NFL recognition. He became head coach at the Colorado School of Mines in 1933 but returned to the team, which was now the Detroit Lions, in ’34 and continued from where he had left off, rushing for a career-high 763 yards, which ranked third in the NFL, and scoring 73 points, which placed second. An all-purpose tailback in a ground-oriented single-wing offense, Clark also excelled on defense and was a fine drop-kicker. In seven seasons with the Spartans/Lions, he led the league in rushing touchdowns and scoring three times, was part of a record-setting defense that had seven straight shutouts in 1934, and a key component in Detroit’s NFL Championship season in ’35. Overall, he rushed for 2772 yards while averaging 4.6 yards-per-carry, caught 28 passes for 341 yards, and passed for 1507 yards and 11 TDs. Clark scored 42 touchdowns and kicked 15 field goals and 72 PATs for a total of 369 points. He was a consensus first team All-NFL selection in six of his seven seasons, the Lions retired his number, and Clark was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a Charter Member in 1963. An excellent leader, he also coached the Lions in 1937 and ’38 and, following his playing career, was head coach of the Rams for four seasons.  


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970