Hector, Johnny

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Johnny Hector
Johnny Lyndell Hector was a running back for the New York Jets from 1983 to 1992. Hector was regarded as a versatile runner who also was effective catching passes in nine seasons with the team.

Contents

Background and College

Born November 26, 1960, in Lafayette, Louisiana, Hector attended New Iberia Senior High School and graduated in 1979. Hector then went to Texas A&M, majoring in industrial education. Hector was among Texas A&M's leading career rushers (2,587 yards and 20 touchdowns). He was also a track star who set school record in long jump with 26-4 leap and placed 2nd to Carl Lewis in the 1982 SWC meet.

NFL career

As a Jet

Johnny Hector
Hector was a second round pick (51st overall) for the Jets in the 1983 NFL Draft. In his first season, Hector didn't see much of the ball, being back up to Freeman McNeil, but did catch his first touchdown pass. IN his early days, Hector was regarded as having a little of an attitude problem. When he knew he wasn't starting, he didn't pay attention. But McNeil, and then head coach Joe Walton, spoke to him about his attitude. Hector started paying attention, and running. During the mid to late 80's he served as a member of the 2 Headed Monster backfield along with McNeil, creating a one-two punch at running back among the most potent in the entire league, when they were fit. In 1986, when McNeil missed games with a seperated elbow, Hector replaced him, finishing the season with 605 yards. He had the first "double" in Jets' history with 100 yards rushing and receiving (18-117 rushing, 9-100 receiving) in a game against [Buffalo Bills|Buffalo]]. In a game against New England, Hector set a Jet record of 40 rushing attempts. His best season as a pro came during the 1987 season when he was tied with Charles White for most rushing touchdowns in the league with 11

Despite a nagging knee problem throughout the 1988 season, Hector hit double figures for touchdowns again, and in 1989, he led the team in rushing, and had his career best year in receiving.

In 1990, the Jets drafted Blair Thomas, with McNeil and Roger Vick on the squad, it was a bad time to pick up an injury. But that's what happened to Hector. A twisted knee in practice required surgery. Before the 1991 season, Hector had agreed to terms of a $600,000 contract with incentives. During the season he had his highest average per rush, but it was his first season without a touchdown. The highlight came in the game against Miami, when Hector replaced the injured Thomas and had rushed for 132 yards, including a 47-yarder, the 2nd longest of his career, his 1st 100-yard rushing game since 1989.

Johnny Hector
In 1992, Hector picked up a groin injury in training camp that forced him to miss three of the Jets' five preseason games. Hector said he rushed back from the injury in order to play against the New York Giants because he thought he was losing ground in the running-back competition. He wound up re-injuring himself and missing the final preseason game, with the Eagles. The Jets reached an injury settlement with Hector, agreeing to pay him six weeks of his salary (about $211,000) before waiving him. Head coach Bruce Coslet said the thought of having Hector return about the middle of the season was in the back of the Jets officials' minds when they made the injury settlement. Coslet said the team's situation would dictate whether Hector would be brought back at the end of six weeks. As it turned out it wasn't until mid-November before Hector came back, and he played in five games.

After the season, the Jets decided not to offer Hector a further contract.

“He has the uncanny ability to make people miss and is an excellent receiver out of the backfield,” said former head coach Joe Walton of Hector. "He has good leadership qualities and the team responds to him. Johnny runs with power and has developed into an excellent short yardage and goal line runner.” “When Freeman was injured, Johnny responded with outstanding performances,” Walton said. “Johnny has established himself as one of the outstanding running backs in the NFL.” Not too many Jets fan would disagree.

Hector ranks fifth on the Jets all time rushing list with 4,285 yards, and is third all-time for most rushing touchdowns by a Jet.

After the NFL

Hector is now involved with the Peter Sports Management Mentor program. PSM is a group of former athletes who have come together to mentor, coach, and support individuals in their career in professional sports.


Statistics

    Rushing   Receiving   Kick Returns
Season Att Yds Avg TD Lng Rec Yds Avg TD Lng Ret Yds Avg TD Lng
1983 16 85 5.3 0 42 5 61 12.2 1 22t 14 274 19.6 0 45
1984 124 531 4.3 1 64 20 182 9.1 0 26 0 0 0.0 0 0
1985 145 572 3.9 6 22 17 164 9.6 0 28 11 274 24.9 0 47
1986 164 605 3.7 8 41 33 302 9.2 0 23 0 0 0.0 0 0
1987 111 435 3.9 11 20t 32 249 7.8 0 27 0 0 0.0 0 0
1988 137 561 4.1 10 19 26 237 9.1 0 30 0 0 0.0 0 0
1989 177 702 4.0 3 24 38 330 8.7 2 32 0 0 0.0 0 0
1990 91 377 4.1 2 22 8 72 9.0 0 25 0 0 0.0 0 0
1991 62 345 5.6 0 47 7 51 7.3 0 16 8 172 21.5 0 53
1992 24 67 2.8 0 14 2 13 6.5 0 9 1 15 15 0 15
Total 1051 4280 4.1 41 64 188 1661 8.8 3 32 34 735 21.6 0 53
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