NFL Hall of Famer linebacker Dick Butkus visits Oregon State

NFL Hall of Famer linebacker Dick Butkus visits Oregon State »Play Video
Dick Butkus at Oregon State on Friday, November 1

CORVALLIS, Ore. – As a linebacker for the Chicago Bears, Dick Butkus developed a reputation as one of the toughest, most intense players the National Football League had ever seen.

In a story written by Larry Schwartz for ESPN.com, former Green Bay running back MacArthur Lane spoke of the Butkus intimidation factor: “If I had a choice,” he said, “I’d sooner go one-on-one with a grizzly bear. I prayed that I could get up every time Butkus hit me.”

Butkus appeared Friday at the LaSells Stewart Center at an event called “Ask Me Anything.”

While intimidating on the gridiron, Butkus is known as an engaging speaker who has channeled his tenacity into a new cause – fighting against steroid abuse in high school sports.

Butkus is the founder of the “I Play Clean” campaign.

Butkus was a two-time All-American at the University of Illinois, where he played center on offense and linebacker on defense. As a Chicago Bear, he was named to the All-NFL team seven times and played in the Pro Bowl eight times before his career was cut short by knee injuries.

For the past 29 years, top linebackers around the country have been honored with the Butkus Award, second only to the Heisman Trophy in name recognition, which is given at the high school, college and professional levels.

Butkus planned to attend the OSU football game against the USC Trojans, which begins at 6 p.m. in Reser Stadium.