John Randle

American football player (born 1967)

American football player
John Randle
refer to caption
Randle with the Seattle Seahawks in 2002
No. 93
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1967-12-12) December 12, 1967 (age 56)
Mumford, Texas, U.S.
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:290 lb (132 kg)
Career information
High school:Hearne
(Hearne, Texas)
College:Trinity Valley (1986–1987)
Texas A&I (1988–1989)
Career history
  • Minnesota Vikings (1990–2000)
  • Seattle Seahawks (2001–2003)
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:556
Forced fumbles:29
Fumble recoveries:11
Defensive touchdowns:1
Player stats at PFR
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame

John Anthony Randle (born December 12, 1967) is an American former football defensive tackle who played eleven seasons for the Minnesota Vikings and three seasons for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He was a six-time first-team All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler. Since becoming an official stat in 1982, his 137.5 sacks rank tenth, tied with Richard Dent, and first among defensive tackles. On February 6, 2010, he was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[1] He played college football for the Trinity Valley Cardinals and the Texas A&I Javelinas, and was signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent after the 1990 NFL draft. He is considered one of the greatest undrafted players of all time.[2][3]

Early life

Born in Mumford, Texas, Randle was raised in poverty and worked odd jobs when he was young.[4] His brother Ervin played as a linebacker in the NFL for eight years.[5] Randle played high school football in Hearne, Texas. He started his college playing career at Trinity Valley Community College, before transferring to Texas A&M University–Kingsville.

Professional career

Minnesota Vikings

Randle went undrafted; he tried out for his brother's team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but was thought to be too small, and was not signed to a contract. The 6'1" 244-lbs. defensive lineman was picked up by the Vikings after the draft on the recommendation of Head Scout Don Deisch. Randle was told by the Vikings that he would only be picked up if he came back with his weight over 250 lbs, but he was at 244 lbs, so when he was weighed he hid a chain under his sweats to get his weight up.[6]

Randle played his first season in 1990. Randle went to his first Pro Bowl in 1993 after recording 11.5 sacks, and quickly became one of the dominant defensive tackles of his era. Once Henry Thomas left the Vikings, Randle increased his training regimen. Randle would record double-digit sacks during nine different seasons, including a career-high and league-leading 15.5 sacks in 1997.[7] In a 1999 game against the 49ers, he recorded his only career interception.

Like fellow Minnesota Viking Chris Hovan, Randle was known for eccentric face painting as well as trash-talking on the field, and disarming on-field heckling of opposing players.[8] Among Randle's most famous on-field catchphrases was "Six footers for LIFE!", an allusion to scouting criticism of being undersized for his position.

Randle had an ongoing rivalry with Packers quarterback Brett Favre, whom he sacked more than any other quarterback; Favre said that Randle was the toughest defensive player he faced and that "on artificial turf he's unblockable".[9] To play off the rivalry with Brett Favre, Randle starred in a commercial which featured him sewing a miniature version of Favre's #4 jersey which he put on a live chicken. The commercial then showed Randle chasing the chicken around what was supposed to be Randle's backyard and ended with Randle cooking chicken on his BBQ, leading to fierce protests from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.[9]

Randle's pass-rushing techniques were motion-captured for 989 Sports' NFL Xtreme series. He was the cover athlete for the second game in the series.[10]

Seattle Seahawks

At the end of the 2000 season,[11] Randle signed with the Seattle Seahawks. In his first season with the Seahawks, he earned an invite to the Pro Bowl, the last of his career. Randle retired in March 2004.[12] Although Randle had planned to retire a year earlier, Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren convinced him to stay one more year. The Seahawks made the playoffs in 2003 while he was on the roster, but did not reach the Super Bowl as they lost in the Wild Card Round to the Packers. Randle also acquired his final sack in 2003.

Randle left the NFL tied with Richard Dent for fifth in number of career sacks. His 137.5 career sacks remains the second-highest total by a defensive tackle in NFL history, only ranking below fellow Vikings legend Alan Page, who had a total of 148.5 sacks.[13] Over his career, he was named to seven Pro Bowl squads. He was named All Tackle Machine of 1999 by Tackle: The Magazine.[citation needed]

NFL career statistics

Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck FF FR
1990 MIN 16 0 21 1.0 1 0
1991 MIN 16 8 58 9.5 2 0
1992 MIN 16 14 56 11.5 0 1
1993 MIN 16 16 59 12.5 3 0
1994 MIN 16 16 42 30 12 13.5 3 2
1995 MIN 16 16 44 33 11 10.5 1 0
1996 MIN 16 16 46 35 11 11.5 4 0
1997 MIN 16 16 58 47 11 15.5 2 2
1998 MIN 16 16 41 27 14 10.5 3 1
1999 MIN 16 16 38 29 9 10.0 4 3
2000 MIN 16 16 26 25 1 8.0 2 0
2001 SEA 15 14 34 26 8 11.0 4 1
2002 SEA 12 12 15 13 2 7.0 0 0
2003 SEA 16 9 17 12 5 5.5 0 1
Career[14] 219 185 471 277 84 137.5 29 11

Vikings records

  • Most Seasons Leading Team In Sacks: 9, 1991, 1993-2000
  • Most Consecutive Seasons Leading Team In Sacks: 8, 1993-2000

After football and legacy

Randle was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame and inducted into the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor in 2008.[15] He was eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame starting in 2009, and was elected in his second year of eligibility in 2010.[16] Randle was inducted in Canton, Ohio on August 7, 2010, alongside Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Floyd Little, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson and Dick LeBeau.[17] He was also inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame during the same year[18] and had his number retired by his former high school team. He lives in Medina, Minnesota with his wife and children.[19] In 2019, Randle was also inducted into the Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame.


  1. ^ "Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010 Announced". Pro Football Hall of Fame Official Site. Archived from the original on December 11, 2022. Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  2. ^ Curtis, Jake (April 26, 2022). "Top 10 Undrafted NFL Players the Past 25 Years, and Top 10 Undrafted Players from Cal". Sports Illustrated Cal Bears News, Analysis and More. Archived from the original on May 21, 2022. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  3. ^ Tallent, Aaron (April 15, 2020). "25 Best Undrafted NFL Players of All Time". Athlon Sports. Archived from the original on July 1, 2022. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
  4. ^ "John Randle". CNN. November 28, 1994.
  5. ^ "Ervin Randle". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  6. ^ NFL Films - After being cut from two teams, John Randle..., retrieved December 2, 2021
  7. ^ "John Randle". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  8. ^ "NFL Draft - Vikings first pick draws comparisons to Randle". - 2000. April 16, 2000. Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  9. ^ a b Popovich, Mike (August 4, 2010). "Randle, Favre at heart of Vikings-Packers rivalry". The Repository. Canton, Ohio. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  10. ^ A Football Life, Season 2
  11. ^ "John Randle". CNN.
  12. ^ "After 14 seasons, John Randle retires". The Seattle Times. March 2, 2004.
  13. ^ Farnsworth, Clare (March 1, 2004). "Randle retires from Seahawks". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  14. ^ "John Randle Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  15. ^ "Ring of Honor". Minnesota Vikings. Archived from the original on September 18, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  16. ^ "John Randle - Pro Football Hall of Fame Official Site". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  17. ^ "John Randle - Pro Football Hall of Fame Official Site". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  18. ^ Oliver, Richard (February 6, 2011). "Randle enters Texas Sports Hall of Fame". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
  19. ^ "John Randle's House in Medina, MN". October 4, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2018.

External links

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Sack totals from 1960 to 1981 are considered unofficial by the NFL. Starting in 2013, the sack leader is officially given the Deacon Jones Award
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Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010
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Italics denotes members who have been elected, but not yet inducted.