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Ross Browner
Date of birth: March 22, 1954 (1954-03-22) (age 55)
Place of birth: Warren, Ohio
Career information
Position(s): Defensive end
College: Notre Dame
NFL Draft: 1978 / Round: 1/ Pick 8
 As player:
Cincinnati Bengals
Green Bay Packers
Career highlights and awards
Awards: 1976 Outland Trophy
1976 UPI Lineman of the Year
1977 Maxwell Award
1977 Lombardi Award
1977 UPI Lineman of the Year
Honors: 2× All-American (1976, 1977)

All-Rookie (1978)

Playing stats at
College Football Hall of Fame

Ross Browner (born March 22, 1954, Warren, Ohio) is a former American football defensive end who played ten seasons in the NFL, mainly for the Cincinnati Bengals. In 1985 he jumped to the Houston Gamblers of the USFL, but returned the same season to the Bengals. He is the father of current Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Max Starks, and brother of Joey Browner and Keith Browner. Ross Browner was named to the Cincinnati Bengals 40th Anniversary Team in 2007.

College years

Ross Browner was one of the most decorated defensive players in the history of College Football. At the University of Notre Dame he was a four-year starter at defensive end in 1973 and 1975-77. He was a unanimous All-America his junior and senior seasons of 1976 and 1977. In 1976 he won the Outland trophy as the nation's best interior or defensive lineman also in 1976 United Press International named him Lineman of the Year. He won the Lombardi Trophy as the nation's best lineman and the Maxwell Award as the nation's best player and again won the UPI Lineman of the Year Award, the only player ever to win it twice. In the decade of the 1970s, Browner was the only lineman who won the Maxwell. In 1977 he also placed fifth in voting for the Heisman Trophy. During his senior year in college, he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the subheading of "Notre Dame's Peerless Ross Browner."

Notre Dame had a 39-7 record in his time that covered 11-0 in 1973, 8-3 in 1975, 9-3 in 1976, and 11-1 in 1977. Notre Dame won National Championships in 1973 and 1977. His career statistics record 340 tackles, a school record; ten deflected passes, two blocked kicks. He also scored a touchdown and two safeties. Browner was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

Professional years

Soon thereafter, he was the first round draft pick for the Cincinnati Bengals. Voted the team's Most Valuable Player in 1978, he continued to be a valuable asset to the 1981 AFC Championship Team when he made the most tackles by a Defensive Lineman in Superbowl history, a record which he still holds today. Being a versatile athlete, Ross held the Notre Dame Heavyweight Boxing Championship title. In 1979 he also won the NFLPA Boxing Championship Title. His solid power physical characteristics (6'4", 250 pounds) even won him an invitation to compete in the World's Strongest Man Contest. 

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Lee Roy Selmon
Outland Trophy Winners
Succeeded by
Brad Shearer


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