TSU mourns the loss of NFL great Claude Humphrey

Courtesy: TSU Athletics

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is mourning the loss of Pro Football Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey, who passed away on Dec. 3 at the age of 77.

Humphrey was an All-American defensive tackle at TSU who went on to be one of the greatest pass rushers in the National Football League. Humphrey played for the Tigers from 1964 to 1967. He was initially an offensive tackle, but was switched to defensive end his freshman year, where he became a three-time All-American.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

“I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Mr. Humphrey’s family during this very difficult time,” said Dr. Mikki Allen, TSU’s director of athletics. “Mr. Humphrey was truly loved by his TSU family and across the landscape of football.”

During the 1980 season with the Philadelphia Eagles, Humphrey totaled a team-high 14.5 sacks on the way to an NFC Championship and an appearance in Super Bowl XV.
“He played the game with passion and was a hard worker in an era when sacks weren’t an official stat,” said Allen. ”For that, he was properly enshrined as a Hall of Famer as one of the original great pass rushers.”

Even though the sack didn’t become an official NFL statistic until after he retired, Humphrey is still credited with 122 career sacks, including holding the all-time career sacks mark for the Falcons with 94.5
“His spirit will live on forever at Tennessee State as a gentleman on-an-off the field,” said Allen.

Humphrey is in the Tennessee State University Hall of Fame, the Georgia Hall of Fame, the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame, the Tennessee Hall of Fame, the Atlanta Falcons Hall of Fame, and his high school’s Hall of Fame. Humphrey’s college and high school both retired his jersey. 

To see Claude Humphrey featured in a video of TSU Draft Day Memories, visit https://bit.ly/3diDkqO.

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.