Kenneth Wayne Huff a native Californian spent his last year before college at Deerfield Academy in MA as one of the countries top swimmers and on the side, a fullback and defensive tackle. As he grew to 6’ 4” and 225 lbs, his swimming career sunk.
His original ambition was to follow in his father’s footsteps as a career naval officer. He received an appointment to attend the US Naval Academy then learned his eye sight would keep him from being a fighter pilot. Life was steering him towards football. It took only one visit to beautiful Chapel Hill and he was sold on becoming a Tarheel.
Initially a defensive tackle until UNC Coach Bill Dooley switched him to guard in his second day of practice, he immediately became a starter on the offensive line. As a sophomore, he helped lead the University of North Carolina to an 11-1 Atlantic Coast Conference championship. He played in the 1972 and 1974 Sun Bowls and Hula Bowl and Senior Bowl in 1975. In his senior season, he was the leader of an offensive line that produced two 1,000 yard backs and helped Carolina set a school total offense record. He was chosen 1st Team All-ACC and Consensus All-American in 1974 including Playboy’s Pre-Season All-American pick. Huff came in 2nd to Randy White for the Outland Trophy Award, won the Jacobs Trophy as the leagues best blocker, Jim Tatum Medal and was a two time recipient of the Bill Arnold Award as UNC’s top lineman. He was also named Captain of the College All-Stars in their game against the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. In 1975 he graduated with a B.S in Psychology and entered the NFL draft.
He was the number three pick in the 1st round of the 1975 NFL draft by the Baltimore Colts. The Colts went from being the last placed team in 1974 with a 2-12 record to a contender with a 10-4 record in Huff’s first year. They continued their run and made the play-offs for the next three years. In 1983 he was traded to the Washington Redskins and became a member of the famed “Hogs” offensive line along with Mark May, Russ Grimm, Joe Jacoby, Jeff Bostic and George Stark. He played in Super Bowl XVIII where the Redskins were defeated by the Oakland Raiders. Huff retired in 1986 after 11 years and a career 145 games in the NFL.
His number was retired at Coronado High School outside of San Diego and at UNC where his college jersey is hanging on the University’s Honored Jersey section of Kenan Stadium.
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