The Life And Career Of Vikings Legend John Randle
John Randle was an NFL player, who was a defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks. He went undrafted in 1990 and played until 2003. He was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
Randle is a rare example of a player who went undrafted and made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Randle ended up being invited to the Pro Bowl 7 times, 6 times consecutively.
He was one of the most important defensive tackles of the 1990s and had a huge impact on how that position is played today.
Randle was not the only NFL player in his family. Randle is the second all-time highest sack scorer in the defensive tackle role.
Today, we are going to look at the career and life so far of John Randle. To check on the latest NFL news and updates check out today’s sports betting odds.
Early Life And College Years
Randle was born in Mumford, Texas. He was incredibly poor growing up and both he and his brother had to work during middle school and high school.
Randle’s older brother Ervin went to Baylor University and was drafted into the NFL by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played in the NFL for 7 years and retired three seasons after John joined.
John Randle went to Trinity Valley Community College, before transferring to Texas A&M University–Kingsville.
When he left college he went undrafted – many teams thought that he was not big enough to be a defensive tackle at a professional level.
The NFL Years
As mentioned, Randle went undrafted in 1990, so he tried out for his brother’s previous team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, however, he was rejected for not being big enough for his position.
At this point, he was 6’1″ and 244 lbs.
Head Scout Don Deisch of the Minnesota Vikings had seen Randle play in college and suggested that the Vikings have him try out.
He was really liked by the coaching staff, but they still thought that he was too small. They told him if he was able to come back weighing 250 lbs he had a spot on the team. When John went to weigh in, he hid a chain under his clothes and was able to make the weight.
Randle played in all 16 games every year that he spent with the Vikings. However, in his first year, he did not start a single game, and he only started 8 of them in his sophomore year. However, by 1993, he was starting every game. For the rest of his time with the team, he started every single game.
These numbers are nearly unheard of for an undrafted player.
1993 was Randle’s break-out year. That was the year that he went to his first Pro Bowl after making 59 combined tackles and 12.5 sacks over the regular season. The next year, he went on to make 13.5 sacks in the regular season.
Randle currently sits at second in career sacks as a defensive tackle and 5th overall in all positions. He made 137.5 sacks throughout his career and 471 tackles.
Randle may be remembered best for his rivalry with Brett Farve.
Farve was the quarterback that Randle got the most sacks in throughout his career. Farve was often quoted as saying that Randle was one of the best and toughest defensive players in the league. He said that his least favorite place to face Randle was on artificial turf.
He will also be remembered for his face painting habits and his ability to trash talk on the pitch. Randle embraced the fact that people mocked him for being undersized for his position and would often have fans chanting “six footers for life!”
In 2001, Randle moved to Seattle and recorded another 11-sack season. He played three seasons with the Seahawks. His game time was significantly reduced in the final two seasons and he retired from football in 2003.
After The NFL
Like his brother, John Randle has lived quite a private life since leaving the NFL. He retired to Minnesota with his wife and children and is not involved in any kind of sports coverage.
Since retiring from the sport, his college shirt has been retired. He has also been inducted into the college football hall of fame, the Minnesota sports hall of fame, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, and the Pro Football hall of fame.
He was inducted into that final hall of fame alongside Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Floyd Little, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, and Dick LeBeau.