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Steve Emtman
Defensive lineman
Jersey #(s)
79, 90, 94
Born April 16, 1970 (1970-04-16) (age 39)
Spokane, Washington
Career information
Year(s) 19921997
NFL Draft 1992 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Professional teams
Career stats
Sacks 8
Interceptions 1
Touchdowns 1
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Steven Charles Emtman (born April 16, 1970) is a former professional football player. He played six seasons as a defensive lineman in the NFL. He was the first overall selection in the 1992 NFL Draft.

Emtman was born in Spokane, Washington, grew up in nearby Cheney, and graduated from Cheney High School in 1988. Lightly recruited, he accepted a football scholarship to the University of Washington in Seattle to play for head coach Don James.


College career

He redshirted in 1988, but soon became a star as a sophomore on a resurgent defense in 1990. Washington went 10-2 and won the Rose Bowl for the first time in 9 seasons. He was considered the best overall player on the 1991 Husky undefeated national championship team. A consensus All-American, Emtman won the Outland Trophy, Lombardi Award, was the Bill Willis Award winner and the UPI Lineman of the Year. He also was being named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year during his impressive junior year of 1991. He finished fourth in the balloting for the Heisman Trophy.

He was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Professional career

He decided to forgo his senior year and declared himself eligible for the 1992 NFL Draft. At 6'4" and 290 lb (130 kg)., he was the first overall pick, selected by the Indianapolis Colts. One of his most memorable plays was the game-sealing 90-yard interception return for a touchdown in the final minute of an upset win at the Miami Dolphins in his rookie year.

Emtman's NFL career was marred by injuries. Playing a majority of his games on Astroturf, he finished each of his three seasons with the Colts on the injured reserve list. Nine games into his rookie year, he blew out his left knee. The following season, he tore the patellar tendon in his right knee, an injury that no previous NFL player had ever returned from. In October 1994, he beat the odds and made his comeback at home against the team he had grown up following, the Seattle Seahawks. On his first play, he tackled Chris Warren for a 5-yard loss. However, in the second quarter, he ruptured a disc in his neck in a collision with a teammate. Emtman continued to play, even though after the game, he could not close his fists due to nerve damage from the injury. He managed to play three more weeks until continuing pain forced him to undergo season-ending surgery.[2] He later played for the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins. His playing career ended following the 1997 season at the age of 27.

Off the playing field

Steve Emtman had a cameo appearance as himself in the 1994 feature film Little Giants, along with Bruce Smith, Tim Brown, Emmitt Smith, and John Madden.

Emtman now volunteers as the defensive line coach for the af2's Spokane Shock.[3]

Emtman now lives in Spokane Valley, Washington,[2] where he is a successful real estate developer.[2][4]


  1. ^ 2009 Kickoff Luncheon and Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction program
  2. ^ a b c Thiel, Art (2006-12-05). "Ex-UW star Emtman balances personal glory with concerns about Huskies' future". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.  
  3. ^ "Coaches: Steve Emtman". Spokane Shock. Retrieved 2007-11-28.  
  4. ^ Forde, Pat (2007-11-27). "Forde-Yard Dash: New reality changes the landscape for coaches". Retrieved 2007-11-28.  

External links

Preceded by
Russell Maryland
1st Overall Pick in NFL Draft
Succeeded by
Drew Bledsoe
Preceded by
Russell Maryland
Outland Trophy Winners
Succeeded by
Will Shields
Preceded by
Esera Tuaolo
Morris Trophy Winners
1990, 1991
Succeeded by
Rob Waldrop
Preceded by
Charles Mincy
Rose Bowl MVP
co-MVP with Billy Joe Hobert
Succeeded by
Tyrone Wheatley


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