It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these. If you have missed the first two parts, look no further (1920s-1930s, 1940s-1950s). This attempts to be an exhaustive list, however, no guarantees can be made on that.
Dwight Nichols - 1960 AFL Draft - Buffalo Bills
Nichols (October 21, 1934 – February 2, 2009) had his first of many battles as a Korean War veteran. He was brought to Ames in 1956 with a "prove yourself scholarship". He recalled coaches saying "we’ve heard some good (stuff) about you. Your credentials are good. But what can you do now?"
He first made waves in a 7-7 tie against Syracuse in 1957. According to a Des Moines Register article, vendors before the game were selling black and gold memorabilia. Local folk thought the Hawkeyes were coming. "It was unbelievable," Nichols recollected "they knew the hell who we were then."
First Team All-American (in 1959) Dwight Nichols ranked 3rd nationally in rushing in 1958 and 1959.
He is also Iowa State’s first 2,000 yard career rusher, totaling 2,232 yards.
He was also the first Cyclone ever to have Heisman votes finishing eighth overall in ‘59.
He played in the Hula Bowl (West Team), the Blue-Gray Bowl, and the Optimist Bowl.
Dwight Nichols was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the first ever AFL Draft (1960) who offered him $8,000 a year with a $1,000 signing bonus.
He declined due to the weather in upstate New York's winters being worse than Iowa's winters.
He then started working at an insurance company. Dwight Nichols was inducted in the Iowa State Hall of Fame in 1999.
Tom Watkins - 1960 NFL Draft - 15th Round, 177th Overall - Cleveland Browns
(NFL Career: 1961-1968 - 3 Teams) (heading 4)
Tom (October 23, 1937 – October 29, 2011) rushed for 1,605 yards over three years as a Cyclone. Watkins was a two time All-Big Eight Conference. In 1959, he finished second in the nation for rushing. He appeared in the East-West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl and the Lions’ Club All-American Bowl after the 1960 season.
He played for the Lions from 1962-1967. In a 1963 game against the 49ers, Watkins returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown. A Lions record that stood until 2000. He also led the NFL in punt return average in 1963 and 1964. The above jersey is from Watkin’s 1965-66 season(s) with the Lions, the trading card is also from 1966.
He then went to the Steelers for the 1968 season, as seen above, Watkins makes a rush against the Bengals in a preseason game at Mountaineer Stadium in Morgantown, WV. He finished his NFL career with 1,791 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.
After finishing his playing career, he became the head coach of Detroit Chadsey High School's football team. He retired after 35 years as head coach in 2006. In 2002, he was inducted into ISU’s Hall of Fame.
Don Webb - 1961 AFL Draft - 24th Round, 186th Overall - Boston Patriots
Webb played at Iowa State from 1958-1960, averaging 14.4 yards per reception and he would also score four touchdowns. On the Dirty Thirty team, he led the Big 7 in receptions (24) and receiving yards (309).
His best game came against the Chargers in 1961 when he returned a blocked punt 20 yards for a TD and returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown that helped lead Boston to a 41-0 win.
He would be an AFL All-Star in 1969, and he would play until 1971. He missed only 6 games in his 10-year career and picked off 21 total passes.
Here’s 2017 article featuring Webb reflecting on his playing days courtesy Fulton Sun.
Chuck Lamson - 1961 NFL Draft - 4th Round, 43rd Overall - Minnesota Vikings
Chuck (March 14, 1939 – November 23, 2015), the Ames High graduate, played at Iowa State in 1958, before transferring to Wyoming. As a Big Cyclone, he gained 262 yards rushing on 52 attempts.
The Vikings used their fourth pick of the draft on Lamson, and their third pick on Fran Tarkenton. He would make the transition to defensive back during his five year NFL Career.
By 1965, he would be with the Los Angeles Rams. He would finish his career with 67 games played and 11 interceptions. He would be married to his wife for 56 years before passing away in Evergreen, Colorado. He was 76.
Chuck Walton - 1963 NFL Draft - 4th Round, 55th Overall - Detroit Lions
“Dick” (July 7, 1941 – October 6, 1998) as he was known to those that knew him best, was a stellar defensive player for the Cyclones. Selected to the 1962 Blue Gray game as well as the Senior Bowl (which was coached by Tom Landry) Walton was noticed by both the NFL and the CFL.
He would be drafted by the Lions, however, he spent his first four seasons up in Canada. (1963–1964 Montreal Alouettes & 1965–1966 Hamilton Tiger-Cats) Dick showed his might early and was honored as Rookie of the Year in ‘63. Additionally, Walton would be honored as a CFL East All-Star in 1963, 1965, and 1966. While a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Walton played in (and won) one of the most well known Grey Cup games of all time due to the adverse weather conditions. In 1966, he would also be named a CFL All-Star.
Following his time with the Tiger-Cats, Walton moved to another professional cat monikered team. This time, it was the Detroit Lions, where he stayed for the rest of his career (1974).
The following is from his obituary:
In his eight year career with the Lions, he continued to build his reputation as one of the league’s most competitive, respected, and feared offensive guards. On many occasions his teammates awarded him the game ball in admiration of his stellar play. He was selected as Third Team All-Pro for two years and as an alternate in the Pro Bowl. While playing for the Lions, he generously gave of his time to play in various charity games throughout the Detroit area during the off-season. In 1975 he was traded to the Denver Broncos , and unfortunately due to previous injuries, his professional football career ended before the season had started.
From his father, Dick learned the skills of woodworking and furniture refinishing and he continued working at these hobbies until his death. He also was interested in collecting and refurbishing Model-A Fords and Thunderbirds.
Dave Hoppmann (undrafted)
Dave (September 5, 1940 - November 17, 1975) was Iowa State’s first two time All-American in both 1961 and 1962. He also was All-Big Eight those two years leading the way on the ground in Coach Stapleton’s balanced line single-wing attack. Hoppmann led the nation in total offense with 1,638 yards during the 1961 season. He had the most rushing yards in a game in ISU history until Troy Davis came along.
Per Cyclones.com “The Iowa State back ended his career in style, passing for a career-high 206 yards with scoring strikes of 30 and 44 yards against Sun Bowl-bound Ohio University.”
Dave also played in the Blue-Gray Bowl, the Senior Bowl and the All-American Game.
Dave Hoppmann moved to Winter Park, Florida after playing (hometown of former ISU quarterback Sam Richardson), where he sold water meters all over Florida.
In November 1975, he was going to Fort Lauderdale (about 186 miles away). He noticed a school bus parked on the side of the road, and as he swerved to miss it, he was hit from behind by a semi-trailer truck.
He was 35.
Iowa State Hall of Fame Class of 2001.
Dick Limerick (undrafted)
Dick wore #80 in 1960, and #33 1961-1963. I unfortunately do not know more about him, apart from he is one of the best names in CycloneFB history. He spent some time in Toronto with the Continental Football League.
Ozzie Clay - 1964 NFL Draft - 17th Round, 227th Overall - Washington Redskins
Ozzie (September 10, 1941 - March 8, 2005) was a two way player for the Cyclones from 1961-1963, rushing for 311 yards, Clay was also a good safety.
The Redskins wanted Clay as a kick returner, who had the third longest kick return in 1964 (84 yards).
In April 2004, the then 61 year old found himself in some trouble:
“Clay was indicted on 17 counts of fraud, money laundering and arson for allegedly having a fire set at his failing business in August 2000 to recoup insurance money. The case never went to trial.”
In 2005, he died due to complications from a stroke.
Dave Hoover - 1964 NFL Draft - 18th Round, 248th Overall - St. Louis Cardinals
David went Dallas Center high school, and is in the Iowa Prep Hall of Fame. The following is from a 2011 article on Cyclones.com: “Hoover was selected in the 1964 NFL Draft by St. Louis (Cardinals) after being an Iowa State letterwinner from 1961-63. He was named first-team Academic All-Conference in 1963 and was also awarded the Reuben J. Miller Award in 1963, which is earned by the player whose conduct on and off of the field of play stamps him as having made the greatest contribution to Iowa State football that season. Hoover ran for 813 yards in his career and averaged nearly five yards per carry.”
He also coached at Wayne State in 1972 and 1973. He led the then Tartars to a 2-5-1 and 5-5 record respectively. After spending time in Detroit, he went to Emporia State (KS) where he had a 9-40 record from 1974-1978.
Tom Vaughn - 1965 NFL Draft - 5th Round, 57th Overall - Detroit Lions
Vaughn led the team in rushing in 1963 and 1964, while also leading the team in interceptions as a defensive back his senior year. "I loved Iowa State," Vaughn said. "Coming from Ohio I needed to simmer down. But at Iowa State it was seven guys to every one girl. I told Coach Stapleton to go out and recruit some girls when I arrived."
Vaughn was invited to the 1965 Hula Bowl with fellow Cyclone John Berrington and fellow Big Eight back Gale Sayers.
The Detroit Lions drafted him and changed his number from 10 to 48 in 1965. He was also drafted in the 11th Round, 81st Overall in the AFL Draft by the Broncos.
In 1975, Vaughn returned as a running backs coach with Earle Bruce. He left after the 1977 Peach Bowl and became a high school teacher in Phoenix.
2005 Cyclone Hall of Fame inductee.
Eli Strand (undrafted)
Eli (February 11, 1943 – January 2, 2008) was a two time letterwinner, doing so in 1963 and ‘64. He wore the number 73 in those two seasons, and in 1962, he wore #90.
The 6’2” New York native would spend his first season with the Packers on the practice squad, in his words (from the 1966 Packers Yearbook): “My duties were simple. I went to practice every day. I ran other team’s plays, as well as going through the drills they had. On all games I traveled with the team. I stood (or jumped) on the sidelines during the games.”
Following a taxi season, Eli went out east to the Steelers where he played 8 games as an offensive guard.
After the 1966 season, Strand would become a member on the inaugural Saints squad where he was featured in 12 games.
Per his Wikipedia page:
“In his later years, he was a frequent caller to sports radio station WFAN in New York City. He was known as “Eli from Westchester” and was known for invoking race into virtually every single phone call, often infuriating the hosts, which often resulted in the hosts banning him from calling into the station. By his own admission his penchant for looking for racism contributed to his early exit from the NFL. While with the Saints, he tried to organize several black players to take action against team management for better working conditions. He had limited clout as a marginal player on an expansion football team and found himself out of the league by the end of the year.”
He died after a brief illness in 2008 at 64.
Roosevelt Ellerbe - 1965 NFL Draft - 19th Round, 258th Overall - Washington Redskins “NFL Future”
1965 AFL Draft - Red Shirt Round Eight, “61st” Overall (221st Overall) - Kansas City Chiefs
Ellerbe played at Iowa State from 1962-1964.
He would be drafted by both the Redskins and the Chiefs as a defensive back. Interestingly, the 1965 AFL Draft was the only draft in professional history not to have a central location as the entire draft took place over a conference call.
After ISU, and after an limited pro career, Roosevelt got into coaching. His first stop was Sacramento City College (CA) as a linebackers coach. Quick trivia question: which former Cyclone played at Sacramento City College before coming to play here?
Following at least one season (1969) at SCC, Ellerbe became a defensive ends coach for Washington State for the 1970 season. While at WSU, “Roosevelt Ellerbe, football assistant to Jim Sweeney and coach of the Cougar defensive ends, breeds German Shepherd dogs as a hobby and for profit. The former All-Big Eight Conference(Iowa State University) and Washington Redskin wide receiver, currently has four dogs weighing a total of some 450 pounds in the Ellerbe kennel.” - Hilltopics 1970
Following the 1970 season, Ellerbe moved back home to Ohio to work at General Tire.
Mike Cox - 1965 AFL Draft - 12th Round, 93rd Overall - Kansas City Chiefs
"When Mike Cox (April 27, 1943 — June 16, 2017) leaves Iowa State I'm going to retire his jersey, I guarantee you that," says Coach Clay Stapleton of the Cyclones. "I've coached a few All-Americans but this Cox is the greatest," he added after Mike's 16-tackle performance last week against Oklahoma. (November 14, 1964 - Ames Daily Tribune)
Cox was invited to the 1965 Blue-Gray Game. He was also a All-Big Eight back and linebacker in 1964.
Cox would get cut from the Chiefs on August 24, 1965.
John Berrington - 1965 AFL Draft - 12th Round, 92nd Overall - New York Jets
John was a First team All-Big Eight Center in 1963. He was selected to the 1964 Hula Bowl.
Berrington may have been drafted by the Jets, however, he spent that year with the Pennsylvania Mustangs which were part of the NAFL.
In 1966, Berrington played in all 14 Continental Football League games with the Orlando Panthers. The next season he spent with the Des Moines Warriors.
Dave Clayberg (Undrafted)
Dave played at ISU from 1960-1962. He finished with 202 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.
In 1965, he played with the Des Moines Warriors and accumulated five interceptions.
Gary Ellis (Undrafted)
Gary Ellis also was a Cyclone from 1960 to 1962. In 1961 and 1962 he wore the number 15. Ellis was also a shortstop on the baseball team.
Gary Ellis was also a part of the 1965 Warriors.
Pete Goeser (Undrafted)
Pete played at Iowa State in 1957-1958, and 1960. He was part of the few Cyclone squads that played in the Big Seven Conference.
Pete as well was a part of the 1965 Warriors as he was their long snapper.
Steve Balkovec (Undrafted)
Balkovec was a Cyclone from 1963 to 1965. Against Colorado in 1963, Steve had 9 punts for an average of 36.9 yards. In the 1964 season, Steve tore a stomach muscle that took him out of commission for the season. In addition to defense, Steve was also proficient at punting, extra points, and field goals.
Professionally he played for, you guessed it, the Des Moines Warriors (in 1966).
warriors and 1969 owls
Ron (September 20, 1943 - August 4, 2011) played all sorts of positions for Iowa State from 1964-1965. He was a safety, linebacker, field goal kicker, and even an All-Big Eight back.
Following two seasons at ISU, Halda wouldn’t play professional ball until the Des Moines Warriors picked him up in 1967. Halda played as a linebacker, safety, and kicker, for the Des Moines based squad.
In 1968, Halda would go east to play with the Chicago Owls for two seasons.
(Chicago with the Continental Professional Football League with the rest of Professional Football League of America)
In his first season as an Owl, he had 49 punts for a total of 1,931 yards with a long punt of 67 yards. Former Iowa Stater Bill Brooks was also on the Owls.
Against the Quad City Raiders in 1968, Halda put the first points on the board thanks to an errant snap from his center which lead to a safety. No matter, as the Owls won 21-9 in Davenport.
The following season he had 51 punts for 1,850 yards.
Tim Van Galder - 1966 NFL Draft - 6th Round, 88th Overall - St. Louis Cardinals
1966 AFL Draft - 2nd Round - AFL Redshirt - Houston Oilers
Van Galder, “Spider”, played as quarterback for Iowa State from 1964 to 1966.
TVG was one of the very first dropback style quarterbacks in the Big Eight, completing 259 of his 578 passes for 3,417 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 1965 and 1966, he led the Big Eight in total offense.
#FeatureFriday @CycloneFB and Baseball Hall of Famer Tim Van Galder: Went on to play for NFL's St. Louis Cardinals in 1972. At Iowa State he earned First-Team All-Big Honors as a pitcher with a 1.57 ERA and was All-Conference performer in both football and baseball. pic.twitter.com/muucJZLQsI— ISU Letterwinners (@isuletterwinner) February 2, 2018
Tim is one of four Cyclone quarterbacks to start a game in the NFL.
In his first start, he knocked off Johnny Unitas and the Colts. In five career games, he only threw one touchdown.
May 2015 article by ISU SID Mike Green.
Joe Beauchamp (Undrafted)
Joe won his only Iowa State letter in 1964. According to sports-reference.com/cfb/, Beauchamp played in all 10 games, but only took part in 5 plays garnering 68 total yards.
He was picked up by the Chargers in 1966, and stayed until 1975. In 1972 he led the team in tackles. In the photo above, Beauchamp is chasing down current Hawkeye play-by-play radio host Ed Podolak.
The following is from Bleacher Report on what made Beauchamp the success he was: “His 23 career interceptions were third in team history when he retired. The best nickel cornerbacks are the ones that can tackle. Joe Beauchamp certainly fit that description, as he played every defensive back position throughout his 10 years with the Chargers, including three as a safety. Beauchamp had five interceptions as a safety in 1968, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Three years later, he had four interceptions as the Chargers’ right cornerback. The following season, he made six interceptions as the Chargers’ left cornerback. Few provided as much versatility—along with success—in the secondary as Beauchamp did.”
Dick Kasperek - 1966 NFL Draft - 16th Round, 238th Overall - St. Louis Cardinals
Dick (February 6, 1943 - ?) was the only Cyclone to be First Team All-Big Eight in 1965, he was honored for his play at the Center position. He was invited to the East-West Shrine Game in 1965, as well as the 1965 Hula Bowl.
He would be a Cardinal from 1966-1968.
He would play on the ‘68 Cardinals team with Van Galder.
Tony Baker (Undrafted)
The Burlington native (February 16, 1945 – August 9, 1998) only accumulated 757 total yards and six touchdowns in his two years on the Cyclone roster, but that was enough to lead him to an 8 year career in the NFL. He played with the Des Moines Warriors in 1967. Broadcaster Howard Cosell called him “Touchdown Tony”.
In 1968, Baker started his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints. By 1969, he made it to his first and only Pro Bowl. He would end up scoring four total touchdowns as a member of the Saints. He also led the league in 1969 with 4.8 yards per rush, Gale Sayers, of note, with 4.4 yards per rush tied for 6th in the league.
By Halloween 1971, Touchdown Tony found himself in Philadelphia, where he would spend the next season and a half.
In 1973 and 1974, he was a part of the Los Angeles Rams, having his best offensive output with 12 touchdowns in two seasons.
In 1975, he spent his last year in the professional ranks as a San Diego Charger. He only scored a single touchdown as a Charger, the opening touchdown in a game against Joe Namath’s Jets squad that would end up being a 24-16 win for San Diego. (one of two wins that season) He finished the 1975 season with 158 yards, 131 of which came on the ground. After football, he mentioned that he was working towards a career as a hair stylist.
The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia: “Baker was killed in a car accident on U.S. Route 61, approximately 13 miles north of Burlington, Iowa following a high school class reunion. He was 53 years old. His burial plot was chosen by his family with two trees in the distance appearing as though they were goalpost uprights.”
Larry Carwell - 1967 AFL Draft - 3rd Round, 56th Overall - Houston Oilers
Larry (August 5, 1944 – January 10, 1984) started his Cyclone career as a running back, having 35 total yards in 1964. In 1965 the Campbell, Ohio native made the switch to defensive back where he excelled, having 124 tackles in two years as well as 6 interceptions.
Professionally, the Oilers drafted him, but he soon found a home in New England. He retired from the League in 1974, and soon joined the DEA where he would serve for a decade before dying on a mission.
Cyclone Sidebar article.
Eppie Barney - 1967 NFL Draft - 3rd Round, 72nd Overall - Cleveland Browns
Eppie (March 20, 1944 - January 21, 2004) was clocked in the 100-yard dash at 9.8 seconds and high jumped 6-4 as a freshman on the track & field team.
In 1966, Tim Van Galder and Barney teamed up to form the best pass-catching duo in the Big Eight for the second consecutive year, as Van Galder led the league in passing (1,645 yards) and Barney paced the league in receiving (782 yards).
Barney’s 11 catches at Arizona in 1966 was the first time a Cyclone receiver had double digit receptions in a game. He was selected to play in two post-season games: the Blue-Gray Bowl and the Senior Bowl.
Playing as #82 instead of his usual #11 in the Blue-Gray bowl, he caught a 9 yard pass in what would be the game winning touchdown over Gray, with the game ending 14-9.
In the Senior Bowl, he caught a touchdown pass for 25 yards in that led to the North’s 35-13 win.
He had 11 yard touchdown reception against the Los Angeles Rams on August 9, 1968.
He also had an 8 yard rushing touchdown after Hall of Famer Leroy Kelly lateraled the ball his way to put the Browns on top of the Steelers 31-17.
As far as I can tell, Barney passed in 2004.
He would be posthumously inducted into ISU’s HoF in 2009.
Ted Tuinstra - 1967 NFL Draft - 7th Round, 166th Overall - Detroit Lions
Ted (March 6, 1944 - February 17, 2011) was a standout football player and wrestler and Des Moines - East before coming to Iowa State.
While at ISU, Ted was also a heavyweight wrestler and part of the 1965 NCAA Champion squad. He was also a two-time All American for wrestling. Ted was on the Cyclone squad from 1964-1966.
In the 80s, he was the weed commissioner for Polk County as this DMR article explains.
Dick Schafroth - 1967 NFL Draft - 10th Round, 240th Overall - Atlanta Falcons
Schafroth played at Iowa State in 1965 to 1966. The WDM Valley grad was drafted to play tackle.
Doug Robinson - 1968 NFL Draft - 10th Round, 254th Overall - New Orleans Saints
The defensive back won the Reuben J. Miller Award (Player whose conduct on and off the field of play stamps him as having made the greatest contribution to Iowa State football for the year) in 1967.
Even though Saints drafted him in 1968, I have no knowledge of him playing there.
In 1969 (Continental Football League) and 1970 he played with the Omaha Mustangs. In his first season, he had one interception and three punt returns.
The Mustangs got removed from the CFL as they failed to meet the financial obligations set by the CFL, so they moved to the Texas Football League.
In 2012, he was honored with the Virgil S. Lagomarcino Laureate Award.
Tom Busch - 1968 NFL Draft - 10th Round, 259th Overall - St. Louis Cardinals
Tom (July 8, 1946 - December 5, 2006) was named the most outstanding sophomore on the 1965 squad as a wingback.
Per a Cyclones.com article honoring Busch: “During his 1966 junior season, he hit on 16-of-17 extra-point tries and 6-of-10 field goal attempts. At the time, the six field goals were a school record. By the end of his career, he had scored eight touchdowns in addition to his kicking contributions to tally 82 career points. He averaged 38.1 yards on 16 career punts, and 13.5 yards on a pair of career punt returns.”
He would be selected to play in the 1967 Blue-Gray Game. He would also play in the 1968 Senior Bowl.
He would spend one professional season in St. Louis, and another (1969) with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers where he featured in six games. He had 144 yards on 18 receptions.
Les Webster - 1968 NFL/AFL Draft - 14th Round, 355th Overall - Cincinnati Bengals
Les (November 11, 1945 - 2012?) played at Iowa State from 1964-1966. The Nebraska native had 1,392 total rushing yards to go along with 13 rushing touchdowns. He also had 20 receptions totalling 206 yards.
Webster would be drafted as a halfback for the Bengals.
Frank Goodish (Undrafted)
Yes, “Bruiser Brody” (June 18, 1946 – July 17, 1988) spent a season on the Freshman squad here at ISU in 1965. Coach Stapleton really didn’t tolerate him well, so that’s how he ended up at WTSU. While at ISU, he once got a $10 ticket from the Ames Police for operating a bicycle without a light on it.
Professionally, he was on the practice squad for the Redskins for a year, while also being a part of the Edmonton Eskimos the following season. He also bounced around many semi-pro teams in Texas before becoming a wrestler.
Goodish was stabbed and stabbed and killed in Puerto Rico before a match of his was set to take place.
Related LA Times article.
Sam Campbell - 1969 NFL Draft - 11th Round, 275th Overall - Chicago Bears
In 1966, Sam had 59 tackles, two interceptions, and one fumble recovery. He stayed a Cyclone until 1968, but his productivity hit a sharp decline.
Campbell would be cut by the Bears in September ‘69.
Ben King - Spokane Shockers (1969) - CFL
Ben was Iowa State’s leading rusher in 1967 and 1968 with 388 and 437 rushing yards respectively. In his first two years (and as pictured above) he wore #32, and in his last year he wore #20.
Most notable about King, however, is that he was (per a 2002 Iowa State Daily article) “the first black to be offered membership in a social fraternity at Iowa State.”
In 1969, the Spokane Shockers of the Continental Football League (Pacific) picked King up. I believe he played and started eight games there.