President-elect Joe Biden released a statement on the death of Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Floyd Little hours after the legendary player’s death was announced.
Biden, who was a schoolmate of Little’s while the two were at Syracuse University, said he watched him play for the Orange in the 1960s.
“Floyd Little and I were students at Syracuse University together. I was in law school and he was a star halfback on the football team. I watched him play in Archbold Stadium, his number 44 flashing by defenders who had no chance, running as if he was chasing the spirit of his dear friend and fellow 44 legend, Ernie Davis,” Biden said in a press release.
“In the years that followed, I got to know Floyd as the man behind the number. He was full of character, decency, and integrity. He was always gracious with his time with fans — parents and grandparents who wanted to introduce their children and grandchildren to a genuine role model.”
Biden sent his condolences to Little’s family.
“I was one of them. My family got to know Floyd. We’d call each other after Syracuse games and to check in on one another. I remember our call when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the joy in his voice. And I remember the more recent call when he shared his cancer diagnosis, and how fearless he was in his conviction to fight it. As with everything else he did in life, Floyd lived to the very end with grit and heart, and love for his family and faith in God.”
“I will miss my friend. He was a good man. The entire Biden family sends our love to DeBorah and the entire Little family.”
Little, who was battling cancer, was a three-time All-American at Syracuse from 1964-66. The Denver Broncos selected him No. 6 overall in the 1967 NFL-AFL Draft and he spent his entire career with the team.
Little, 78, played for the Broncos from 1967 to 1975. He led the league in rushing in 1971 with 1,133 yards on 284 carries. He led the league in rushing touchdowns with 12 in 1973.
He finished his NFL career with 6,323 rushing yards and 43 rushing touchdowns. He was a five-time Pro Bowler and was named First-Team All-Pro in 1969. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.