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10 things I learned about Walter Payton

From the new biography 'Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton' by Jeff Pearlman, here are 10 memorable stories about the football star.

- Ross Atkin, Monitor staff writer

Wilbert Montgomery, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles


2. A could-have-been dream backfield

Some observers believe that if Jackson State had succeeded in pairing Payton in its backfield with Wilbert Montgomery, from nearby Greenville, Miss., the Tigers might have had one of the greatest backfields in college history.

Jackson State coach Bob Hill dearly wanted Montgomery and assigned an assistant to “babysit” him. The assistant, however, lost track of him briefly and that’s all it took for a rich booster of Abilene Christian University to fly Montgomery in a private jet to the Texas school for a visit. After a stellar career in Abilene, Montgomery starred with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, making the Pro Bowl twice and once leading the league in all-purpose yards. 

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