Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

HOF Game Countdown: O.J. Anderson #24


The Hall of Fame Game is in 24 days… it’s time for a refreshing glass of O.J.

After winning the Comeback Player of the Year award in 1989 — 1,023 yards and 14 TD’s — Ottis Anderson rested up his legs and saved his best running for last in 1990. He churned out 249 yards in the Giants three postseason victories, including his memorable 102-yard effort in Super Bowl XXV against Buffalo. 11 years into his professional career as a bruising back, O.J. Anderson won the Super Bowl MVP. He went on to play two more seasons before retiring at the conclusion of 1992. Angry runs like this, also known as the “uppercut” run, epitomize Anderson‘s style:

Ottis Anderson

Credit: Giants.com

The Giants once used the #1 overall draft pick on a number 24 back in 1965. Tucker Frederickson‘s NFL tenure was a slight contrast to the success of Ottis Anderson, as the Auburn All-American iron man never achieved the ultimate success with the Jints, nor did he live up to the production potential of a number one pick. Frederickson was drafted the first season the Giants were without aging superstars Y.A. Tittle and Frank Gifford. The team had one winning season during Frederickson’s career before he closed the door after the 1971 season, finishing with 3,220 Yscrm and 17 TD’s

An old Auburn media guide put out a great “Where are they now?” segment on Tucker:

Just a day before the 1965 NFL Draft, he
received the call from the New York Giants.
“That Friday afternoon, they called me and
said, ‘We want to pick you No. 1,’ and I said,
‘You are kidding?’ and they said, ‘No.,’” said
Frederickson.

The process was short and quick for
Frederickson.

“There were no negotiations,” he said. “They
offered me $130,000 and I said, ‘Sounds good
to me because I have to go a wedding tomorrow.

I want to go to New York no matter what.”

That wedding was Sidle’s, his former quarterback and good friend.

Once in New York, Frederickson enjoyed the
big city life, both on and off the field.

“The experience, the people I met, the business
contacts…the whole scenario couldn’t be better.” said Frederickson.
“Being a player in a big city was a plus from a business standpoint.”

Frederickson had a successful six-year career
with the Giants. He was selected for the Pro
Bowl as a rookie after rushing for 659 yards
and nine touchdowns.

Imagine a first round pick only making $130,000… how NFL times have changed. A great historical read.

Seven seasons later in 1978, Terry Jackson put on #24 for the New York Football Giants and played six seasons, starting 73 games and piling up 28 INT’s, 360 yards and 7 defensive TD’s. He finished up his career with the Seattle Seahawks for two seasons before finally hanging up his football cleats after the 1985 season.

Giants cornerback Will Peterson donned #24 from 2001-2005. We profiled him as one of the five most underrated Giants from the 2000′s:

A lower back stress fracture derailed the highly promising career of Peterson. He played an aggressive, physical brand of corner at 6’0 200 lbs, and flashed shut down potential when healthy and engaged. Peterson was not hesitant to battle with the giraffe wide receivers on jump balls and his tackles were vicious. He assembled his best campaign in 2004, notching 61 solo tackles and 14 passes defensed. Did Peterson fulfill his potential? Probably not, but he was a supremely talented Giant.

Terrell Thomas wore #24 during his injury-riddled six seasons in New York from 2008-2013. He suffered ACL injuries in both 2011 and 2012 which cost him a shot at first-hand Super Bowl glory. Thomas can claim ownership to a Super Bowl ring, but I’m sure he’s left wanting. With training camp right around the corner, a deteriorated Thomas remains unsigned.

The lineup on cornerbacks continues, as free agent acquisition Walter Thurmond will inherit #24 in 2014.  The Giants got a bargain price on Thurmond (one-year $3 mill) who will turn 27 in August. A slot specialist, Thurmond’s presence will allow Antrel Rolle to return to his traditional safety position, rather than being forced to chase Cole Beasley around the field in the fourth quarter. Welcome to Giants Nation, Walter.

Is it football season yet? 

 

Tags: New York Giants Ottis Anderson