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Oronde Benjamin Gadsden (pronounced o-RON-day) (born August 20, 1971) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins. He also was a member of the Frankfurt Galaxy of the WLAF and the Portland Forest Dragons of the Arena Football League. He played college football at Winston-Salem State University.

Oronde Gadsden
No. 86, 88
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1971-08-20) August 20, 1971 (age 47)
Charleston, South Carolina
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Burke (SC)
College:Winston-Salem State
Undrafted:1995
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:74
Receptions:227
Receiving Yards:3,252
Touchdowns:22
Player stats at NFL.com
Career Arena statistics
Games played:14
Receptions:93
Receiving Yards:1,335
Touchdowns:37
Interceptions:3
Player stats at PFR
Player stats at ArenaFan.com

Contents

Early yearsEdit

Gadsden attended Burke High School, where he practiced basketball and football. He accepted a basketball scholarship from Winston-Salem State University. Although he spent his first year as a basketball player, he decided to concentrate on football as a sophomore, posting 31 receptions for 810 yards (26.1-yard average) and 13 touchdowns.

As a junior, he had 31 receptions for 836 yards (27-yard average) and 14 touchdowns. In his last year of eligibility, he had 56 receptions, led the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association with a 19.8-yard average per reception and ranked second in yards per game (101), total receiving yards (1,111 yards) and touchdowns (16).

After playing three seasons of football, he finished his college career with 118 receptions for 2,757 yards (23.4 yards per catch) and 42 touchdowns (second in school history).[1]

In 2006, he was inducted into the Winston-Salem State University Athletic Hall of Fame.[2]

Professional careerEdit

Dallas CowboysEdit

After not being selected in the 1995 NFL Draft because of his small school background and his lack of speed, he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys. On August 22, he was waived and signed to the team's practice squad on August 30.[3] Gadsden credits hall of famer Michael Irvin for teaching him how to play the wide receiver position.[4]

On January 8, 1996, he was promoted to the active roster to participate in the NFC Championship game, but he suffered a severely sprained left ankle and was placed on the injured reserve list three days later, with the Cowboys ultimately winning Super Bowl XXX. He fractured an orbital bone below his right eye and was waived injured before the start of the 1996 regular season.[5]

Pittsburgh SteelersEdit

On February 4, 1997, he was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers as a free agent, joining fellow Winston-Salem alumn Yancey Thigpen.[6] He was cut on August 19.

Frankfurt Galaxy (WLAF)Edit

The Frankfurt Galaxy of the World League of American Football signed him for their 1997 roster, but he separated his shoulder during the tryout camp in Atlanta and did not play during the season.[7]

Portland Forest Dragons (AFL)Edit

Gadsden signed with the Portland Forest Dragons in 1998, where he played as a wide receiver and linebacker. He earned AFL Rookie of the Year honors after registering 93 receptions for 1,335 yards and 37 touchdowns in 14 games.[8]

Miami DolphinsEdit

In 1998, the Miami Dolphins were having problems finding a capable complement to O. J. McDuffie and signed Gadsden to compete for the position. He entered the season as a 27-year-old rookie and his first NFL reception was a 44-yard touchdown on opening day against the Indianapolis Colts.[9] He ended up starting 12 games, finishing with 48 receptions, 713 yards (second on the team) and 7 receiving touchdowns (tied for first on the team).

The next year, he registered 48 receptions (second on the team), a career-high 803 yards and 6 receiving touchdowns (led the team). In 2000 after Dan Marino retired, he had a career-high 56 receptions for 786 yards and 6 receiving touchdowns (led the team). After the 2001 season, health problems limited his production to a combined 20 receptions with no touchdowns. He was waived injured on September 5, 2003,[10] leaving the Dolphins after starting all but 6 games of the games he played and ranking in the top 10 of the franchise's all-time receiver list.

Gadsen's two most famous catches came against the New York Jets on an across-the-middle one-handed catch from Jay Fiedler, and in the 2001 playoffs against the Oakland Raiders, in which Gadsden reached up and caught the pass one-handed in full stride while falling backwards. Photographs of both catches are displayed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and were nominated for ESPY'S.

Gadsen has the distinction of catching Dan Marino's last touchdown pass.

NFL statisticsEdit

Year Team Games Receptions Yards Yards per Reception Longest Reception touchdowns First Downs Fumbles Fumbles Lost
1998 MIA 16 48 713 14.9 50 7 34 2 2
1999 MIA 16 48 803 16.7 62 6 37 0 0
2000 MIA 16 56 786 14.0 61 6 36 0 0
2001 MIA 14 55 674 12.3 61 3 34 1 1
2002 MIA 6 16 228 14.3 29 0 14 0 0
2003 MIA 6 4 48 12.0 23 0 4 0 0
Career 74 227 3,252 14.3 62 22 159 3 3

[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Gadsden runs the clothing company Original Gear, which he started in 2000 while he still was an NFL player. The company went public in 2006 under the name TotalLuxuryGroup. He is also involved with his charity, NextLevel Charities, which enables underprivileged and disadvantaged youths to achieve success in athletics and academics. He was a minority owner of the Miami Morays of the National Indoor Football League.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Dolphins To Start Gadsen At Wr". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  2. ^ "WSSU Inducts 15 Into Athletic Hall Of Fame". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  3. ^ "13 rookies survive Dallas' final cuts 8/25/97". Amarillo Globe-News. August 25, 1997.
  4. ^ "Thrill Seekers". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  5. ^ "Tuinei Will Sit Out Two to Four Weeks". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  6. ^ "Steelers sign three players". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  7. ^ "Gadsen Lends J.j. A Hand: A Huge One". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "Arena League star impressing Dolphins". Boca Raton News. August 18, 1998. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  9. ^ Jason Cole (September 8, 1998). "Dolphins To Start Gadsden At WR". www.sun-sentinel.com. SunSentinel. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  10. ^ "Transactions". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  11. ^ "Oronde Gadsden Stats". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 2 July 2018.

External linksEdit