1966 NFL Rookie of the Year*
Tommy Nobis was a two-time All American playing both sides of the ball. He was an offensive guard and Linebacker for the Texas Longhorns. In 1963 the Longhorns won their first national championship. In 1965 he was the Outland Trophy Winner for best interior lineman and the Maxwell Award winner for the College Football Player of the Year. In 1981 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
In 1966 he was the 5 player picked in the AFL draft and the number 1 pick in the NFL draft. The expansion Atlanta Falcons made Nobis their first ever draft pick. In his rookie year he had 294 tackles which is an unofficial NFL record. The reason it is unofficial is that tackles were not an official statistic in 1966 and thus open to interpretation. But given that the Falcons' 1966 opponents had a combine 699 rushes and completed passes that means that if you were tackled there was a better than 40% chance Nobis was in on it.
Overall Tommy Nobis played 11 years with the Falcons, appeared in 5 Pro-Bowls, was selected to the NFL's All 1960's team, was enshrined in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and had his number 60 retired by Atlanta. He was named 1966 Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News and by the Newspaper Enterprise Association.