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John Skorupan

Football ∙ Beaver

 

 

 

 

Six foot two inch 220 pound John Skorupan was small for a tight end by current college and professional football standards but he still had successful gridiron careers at Beaver High School, Penn State, and with the Buffalo Bills. At Beaver, John lettered in basketball and baseball, but it was as a football tight end and defensive end that he was a three year starter and captain as a senior. He was named first team high school All American by Parade Magazine, second team All American by Scholastic Magazine, and All WPIAL and All State, and he capped his scholastic career playing in the Big 33 game in 1969. At Penn State, John played in three bowl games under Coach Joe Paterno, and the highlight of John's college career came in 1970 when he intercepted a pass in a televised game against Army and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown. That year he tied Jack Ham for the team lead with 91 tackles and in 1972 was named first team All American by the Football Writers Association of America. John was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1973 and played in the College All Star Game against the Miami Dolphins, where he intercepted a Bob Griese pass. In 1973 John became a fixture at linebacker for the Bills and was named to the NFL All Rookie team. Led by OJ Simpson, the Bills made the playoffs in 1974 but were whipped by the champion Pittsburgh Steelers, 32-14. John got revenge the following year by helping the Bills upset the Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium, 30-21, before the Steelers repeated as Super Bowl champions. Injuries began to hamper John, and he was traded to the New York Giants in 1978, finally retiring in 1980 to work as a salesman for Westinghouse Electric Supply.