Former Navy Heisman victor Bellino dies

Heisman Trophy

Heisman Trophy

"(W) ith a football in his hands and the bulging, muscular posts that serve him as legs drumming down a football field, Joe Bellino becomes something special. Bellino won the 1960 Heisman Trophy at Navy before serving his four years of active service.

After finishing up his career in the Navy, in 1965 Bellino joined the Boston Patriots of the AFL (he was also drafted by the Washington Redskins of the National Football League in the 17th round).

Bellino was born March 13, 1938, in Winchester, Mass.

Before he was star halfback for the Midshipmen, Bellino had the option of playing pro-baseball right out of high school.

The football star wasn't just a football star.

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Of course, Bellino excelled in college. He averaged 21.0 yards on 43 kickoff returns and 7.8 yards on 19 punts in his career. He had another 17 receptions for 280 yards and three touchdowns, as well as two passing touchdowns. In total, he compiled 17 touchdowns and 104 points that season. He rushed for 834 yards and 15 touchdowns and also had three receiving scores during his Heisman-winning campaign.

Bellino graduated in 1961 and received his commission as an ensign in the U.S. Navy.

The Heisman is awarded each year to an outstanding American NCAA college football player "whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity".

After his career at Navy, Bellino was required to serve a mandatory four-year military commitment, so he went low in the respective drafts - 17th round to the Washington Redskins in the National Football League draft and 19th round to the Boston Patriots in the AFL draft.

Bellino, who played for three seasons in the National Football League with the then-Boston Patriots from 1965-67, won the Heisman in a landslide over Minnesota offensive lineman Tom Brown.

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