Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis was selected in the first round, 10th player overall, out of Notre Dame by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1993 NFL Draft. He finished second in the NFL in rushing during his rookie season after gaining 1,429 yards. Included in that total were his first career 100-yard and 200-yard rushing games, both of which came against the New Orleans Saints. His 212-yard day that season was a career-high. At the time he was only the eighth rookie in NFL history to rush for 200 yards in a game. His output that year marked the first of eight 1,000-yard seasons in his first nine years. He was named Rookie of the Year by numerable media outlets and was chosen as a first-team All-Pro and All-NFC.
Bettis led the Rams in rushing each of his three seasons with the club before he was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a second- and fourth-round draft pick. He rebounded from a subpar year in 1995 with the Rams to earn Comeback Player of the Year and was again named first-team All-Pro in 1996, his first in the Steel City. Bettis gained 1,431 yards on 320 carries and scored 11 TDs for the division-winning Steelers.
The 5’11”, 243-pound runner continued to carry the load for Pittsburgh. He was the Steelers’ leading ground gainer eight times in 10 seasons. Bettis, a six-time Pro Bowler, retired following his lone Super Bowl appearance in the 2005 season (Super Bowl XL). The Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10, in the game played in Bettis’s hometown of Detroit.
At the time of his retirement, Bettis ranked fifth all-time in rushing with 13,662 yards on 3,479 career carries. Nicknamed “The Bus” for his bruising running style, he also scored 91 rushing touchdowns. He eclipsed the 100-yard mark in a game 61 times during the regular season and three more times in playoff games.
In addition to his rushing totals, Bettis amassed 1,449 yards on 200 receptions and 3 TDs. His combined net yardage (15,113) was 19th best all-time at the time of his retirement. Bettis also completed three passes, all for touchdowns in his 13-season, 192-game career.