No. 6 Bill Brown
We are now getting into the portion of this list that has the most accolades. The first player who checks in at No. 6 is Bill Brown.
Brown was another in-state recruit Illinois was able to land. He came out of Mendota Township High School in Illinois. He was a great running back for the Illini in the late 1950s. After his time was done in Champaign, Brown would enter the professional ranks.
The Chicago Bears selected Brown in the 1961 NFL Draft in the second round, and the New York Titans selected Brown in the sixth round of the 1961 AFL Draft.
Brown would choose the Bears. After one season with Chicago, the Bears would trade Brown to the Minnesota Vikings. This is when Brown’s career would start to take off. He would play an additional 13 seasons with the Vikings before calling it quits in 1974.
Throughout his career, Brown would rush for 5838 yards and 52 touchdowns, which are both the most out of any Illinois running back in NFL history. These great numbers would earn Brown a trip to the Pro Bowl in 1964, 1965, 1967, and 1968. He also won the 1969 NFL Championship with the Vikings.
Brown has the accolades to be high on this list. He has the most rushing yards by an Illinois running back in NFL history. He was a winner and goes down as the No. 6 NFL career by an Illinois football player.