Floyd Little, age 78, passed away on January 1, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was born in 1942 in New Haven, Connecticut. He attended the Hillhouse High School in New Haven and the Bordentown Military Institute in Bordentown, New Jersey. He married Syracuse native DeBorah A. Green in 2003 and he has 2 daughters, a son, and 5 grandchildren.
In 1975, Little retired as the NFL’s 7th all-time leading rusher with 6,323 yards rushing and 54 total touchdowns (rushing, receiving and returns). He also threw a touchdown pass to receiver Jerry Simmons in a 1972 upset over the Oakland Raiders. During his rookie year, Little led the NFL in punt returns with a 16.9-yard average. He led the NFL in combined yards in 1967 and 1968. Little was Denver Broncos’ team captain in all of his 9 seasons with the team, including his rookie one.
He was an American Football League All-Star in 1968. In a week 12 win over Buffalo, he caught 4 passes out of the backfield for 165 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown, setting a franchise record of 41.25 yards per reception which still stands. He was named first-team “All-AFL” in 1969, and made the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl in 1970, 1971, and 1973. At 5′10″ and 195 pounds, Little was the smallest back to lead the league in rushing since World War II. He led the league in combined yards in 1967 and 1968 and was the only player to return punts for touchdowns in both seasons. During a 6-year period, 1968 to 1973, Little rushed for more yards and more yards from scrimmage (rushing and receiving) than any running back in the NFL.
Little lived with his wife DeBorah in Las Vegas. Little finished 40th in his class of 140 at the University of Denver law school, from which he received his masters in legal administration degree in 1975. Little owned automobile dealerships in Denver, the Seattle area and Santa Barbara. In May 2020, his former Syracuse teammate Pat Killorin announced that Little had been fighting cancer.