Johnny Sample (pictured) was named CIAA MVP in 1955

Nov. 4, 2013

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore athletics program is pleased to announce that its second featured Hall of Fame member to be spotlighted in 50 Shades of Maroon and Gray is Johnny "Redball" Sample. The spotlight on Sample continues UMES' countdown to the 2014 Hall of Fame induction on Feb. 14. He is the second of 50 Hall of Fame members to be highlighted over the next three months.

Sample stands as one of the most decorated student-athletes to ever wear the maroon and gray. Sample was a phenomenal football player for Maryland State College (MSC) as he led Hawk teams to a combined 28-1-1 record in his three years. He was a dual threat for the Hawks on both offense and defense. Sample was named to the Little All-American Team by the Pittsburgh Courier, as well as to the All-Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Team (CIAA) three times.

The Hawks won two CIAA championships (1955, '57) during Sample's tenure in Princess Anne. He guided the Hawks to an average of 21.6 points-per-game and was the first player from an HBCU to be selected to play in the College All-Star Game. The Northampton, Va., native was a five-sport athlete in college as he also starred in track & field, baseball, gymnastics and basketball.

Sample played three seasons with Maryland State and was unanimously selected by the Pigskin Club of Washington as the MVP of the CIAA in 1955. In his three seasons, he totaled 2,381 yards, 37 touchdowns, 42 conversions and four field goals. His superb career not only punched his ticket into the 1977 class of the UMES Athletic Hall of Fame, but also to become a draftee of the Baltimore Colts in the seventh round of the 1958 draft.

As a professional, Sample played with four teams over an 11-year span. He was predominantly a defensive back, where he had 41 interceptions for 460 yards and four touchdowns. He also recovered 13 fumbles and returned 68 punts for 559 yards and one touchdown. He led the NFL in punt return yards in 1961. Sample began his career with an NFL Championship in 1958 with the Colts and ended it with a victory with the Jets in Super Bowl III (1968).  He is the only person to win a championship in the NFL, AFL and Super Bowl in the history of professional football.

Sample also wrote a book Confessions of a Dirty Ballplayer in 1970, before he passed away on April 26, 2005.

Prior releases of "Fifty Shades of Maroon and Gray"

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