3 Football Legends Who Trace Their Roots to Tyler, TX

By Cary Estes for Livability

These three football greats all come from the Tyler area.

Their styles differed, but they all ran their way to national attention on the football field. Who are these individuals, you might ask? Earl Campbell, the tailback of the 1970s and ’80s who bulled over many a flailing defender, and Patrick Mahomes and Johnny Manziel, two 21st-century quarterbacks who dazzled fans with their scrambling and passing abilities.

Incredibly, these football greats are all from the Tyler area. Combined, the trio has won the Heisman Trophy (Campbell and Manziel), the Super Bowl (Mahomes) and countless other accolades.

“It’s amazing that three big names like that all came from this area,” says Cindy Smoak, executive director of SPORTyler and the annual Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award. “A lot of visitors come here just because of that.”

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