Mel Gray (return specialist)

Mel Gray (return specialist)
This page refers to the Detroit Lions kick returner. For the St. Louis Cardinals wide receiver, see Mel Gray.
Mel Gray
Wide Receiver
Running back
Return specialist
Jersey #(s)
23, 21
Born March 16, 1961 (1961-03-16) (age 50)
Williamsburg, Virginia
Career information
Year(s) 19861997
NFL Draft 1984 / Round: 2 / Pick: 42
College Purdue
Professional teams
Career stats
Return touchdowns 9
Punt return yards 2753
Kick return yards 10,250
Stats at
Career highlights and awards
  • Pro Bowl selection (1990, 1991, 1992, 1994)
  • All-Pro selection (1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994)
  • Ranked 5th on NFL's Network's Top 10 Return Aces
  • NFL 1990s All-Decade Team
  • USFL All-Time Team First Team

Melvin Junius Gray (born March 16, 1961 in Williamsburg, Virginia) is a former American football kickoff returner in the National Football League. He played with the New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, Houston Oilers and the Philadelphia Eagles. In 1984, he played for the Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League. He played college football at Purdue where he played running back. Gray also attended Lafayette High School in Williamsburg, Virginia where he played with future NFL players Lawrence Taylor and Ron Springs

Gray is widely considered to be one of greatest return specialists of all-time in the NFL. He holds the record for being the oldest player to return a kickoff for a touchdown (33 years, 276 days). He is also the second oldest and third oldest to do so as well. 2.(33 years, 235 days) 3.(33 years, 221 days).

After the USFL folded in August 1986, Gray joined the New Orleans Saints who drafted him in the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL Players [1].

He is probably most recognized professionally for his time with the Detroit Lions. The Lions were in contention for the NFC Central title each season during the early 1990s - teams that featured the game-breaking abilities of RB Barry Sanders. However, Gray was an integral part of a dominant Lions' special teams group that proved to be instrumental to the team's success during that era. In six seasons with the Lions (1989–94), Gray played in 84 games and returned 216 kickoffs for 5,478 yards (25.4 avg) and registered five touchdowns, and he returned 132 punts for 1,427 yards (10.8 avg) and had two touchdowns.

He is the franchise’s all-time leader in career kickoff returns (216), career kickoff return yards (5,478), career kickoff returns for touchdowns (5), most kickoff returns for touchdowns in a season (3, 1994), highest kickoff return average in a season (28.36, 1994) and career punt return yards (1,427). His seven total returns for touchdowns (5 kickoff return and 2 punt returns) ranks third all-time in team history. Gray was a four-time Pro Bowl selection in Detroit (1991–93, 1995), and he was named All-Pro by numerous publications in each season from 1990-94. In 1994, he returned his longest kickoff for a touchdown as a Lion with a 102-yard return for a score against Chicago on October 24. That season, he also returned 98-yard and 91-yard kickoffs for touchdowns. When he left the game in 1997, after 12 seasons in pro football, Gray was atop several all-time NFL kick return lists. Gray was ranked 5th as one of greatest return specialists on NFL Network's NFL Top 10 Return Aces.


  1. ^

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mel Gray — may refer to: Mel Gray (wide receiver) (born 1948), former American football wide receiver Mel Gray (return specialist) (born 1961), former American football return specialist Mel Gray (journalist) Managing Editor, Air Force Times This… …   Wikipedia

  • Dante Hall — No. 82      Wide receiver / Return specialist Personal information Date of birth: September 20, 1978 (1978 09 20) (age 33) …   Wikipedia

  • List of National Football League records (individual) — This is a list of records set by individual players in various categories in the National Football League. Contents 1 Service 2 Scoring 2.1 Touchdowns 2.2 Points after touchdown …   Wikipedia

  • Mike Haynes (cornerback) — Mike Haynes No. 22, 40      Cornerback Personal information Date of birth: July 1, 1953 (1953 07 01) (age 58) Denison, Texas …   Wikipedia

  • football — /foot bawl /, n. 1. a game in which two opposing teams of 11 players each defend goals at opposite ends of a field having goal posts at each end, with points being scored chiefly by carrying the ball across the opponent s goal line and by place… …   Universalium

  • Deion Sanders — Sanders in 2011. No. 21, 37      Cornerback/ Return specialist Personal information …   Wikipedia

  • Glyn Milburn — articleissues unreferenced=May 2008 wikify=May 2008 expand=May 2008Infobox NFLretired position=RB / Return specialist number=22, 33, 24 birthdate=birth date and age|1971|2|19 Los Angeles, California debutyear=1993 finalyear=2005 draftyear=1993… …   Wikipedia

  • Michael Bates (American football) — Michael Bates Position(s) Return specialist Wide receiver Special teamer Jersey #(s) 81, 83, 82, 24, 20, 29 Born December 19, 1969 (1969 12 19) (age 41) Victoria, Texas …   Wikipedia

  • Missouri Tigers football — Current season …   Wikipedia

  • Coffeyville Community College — Established 1923 Type Community President Linda Moley (interim) Academic staff 80 Undergraduates 1,772 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”