Former NFL star Jack Tatum dies at 61

July 28th, 2010 - 4:59 am ICT by BNO News  

COLUMBUS, OHIO (BNO NEWS) — Former NFL All-Pro safety for the Oakland Raiders Jack Tatum, remembered for his hard-hitting playing style, died Tuesday, local media reported.

Tatum, 61, nicknamed the “Assassin,” passed away in a hospital in Oakland, California from a heart attack. One of his numerous hard-hitting plays paralyzed New England Patriot wide receiver Darryl Stingey during an NFL preseason game in 1978, after a head-on collision injured Sringey’s fourth and fifth vertebrae.

After that day, the two men never met, and it is argued whether Tatum ever felt remorse, but friend and teammate at Ohio State, John Hicks said, “It was tough on him too. He wasn’t the same person after that. For year, he was almost a recluse.”

Tatum played safety and linebacker at Ohio State from 1968 to 1970, receiving all-American honors twice, and winning a national championship.

“We have lost one of our greatest Buckeyes,” Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel said. “When you think of Ohio State defense, the first name that comes to mind is Jack Tatum. His loss touches every era of Ohio State players and fans.” The hard-hitting safety was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 1971 as the 19th overall pick, and played nine seasons for Raiders until 1979, winning Super Bowl XI in 1977.

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