Todd Christensen Athlete Profile

#33 Todd Christensen

Position: Fullback Height: 6-3 Weight: 225 Roster Years: 1974-1977 Hometown: Eugene, OR Hall of Fame: 1992 Last School: Sheldon High School

  • 1992 Football




All-America

  • 1977 AP Honorable Mention

1992 Hall of Fame Inductee

Coach LaVell Edwards said of Todd Christensen, "Todd is first and foremost a great player. He is intelligent, loyal, a tough competitor - and he has a great mental attitude toward the game. He knew all the offensive positions very well and could have played any one of them." Versatility has, in fact, been a Christensen trademark.

Before entering the college ranks, Todd received several offers from universities to play tight end or linebacker. When BYU offered him the chance to play running back, he immediately donned blue and white.

The 6-2, 215-pound fullback from Eugene, Oregon, did more than run, leading the Cougars for three straight years in pass receiving. He played on four Western Athletic Conference Championship teams and was named first-team All-WAC in 1977. He closed his college career earning Most Valuable Player honors at the Blue-Gray All-Star Classic.

In 1978 Todd was a second-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys. But after suffering a broken foot in the final exhibition game that season, he was released.

Todd found a home with the L.A. Raiders, but he didn't emerge as a household name until 1982. Following those years of anonymity, one sportswriter quipped, "Christensen was best known for being the answer to a trivia question: Which pro player has scored a safety, caught a touchdown pass, recovered a fumble, returned a kickoff and punt, and run from scrimmage? Now, he's simply known as one of the best tight ends in football."

Todd led the NFL in receptions in 1983 with 92 catches, more than any other tight end in a single season. Leading the Raiders in receptions from 1982 to 1986, he was a secondary's worst nightmare and a consensus All-Pro pick for four years.

Todd was a special teams captain on the 1981 team that defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10 in Super Bowl XV. The one-two punch of Christensen and Marcus Allen led the Raiders to another Super Bowl victory in 1983.

In 1987 Todd played in his fifth and last Pro Bowl game. He retired as number three on the Raiders' all-time pass-receiving and yardage-gained list.

As well known for his wit and intelligence as for his football prowess, Todd once quoted the late Walt Kelly: "Too soon we breast the tape, and too late we find the fun was in the running."

He may have retired #46, but Todd remains close to the game he loves as a regular color announcer for NBC Sports.

Personal

  • Parents are Ned and June
  • Both parents attended BYU
  • Studied secondary education at BYU 

Career Highlights

  • Played on four Western Athletic Conference Championship teams in his career
  • Was named first-team All-WAC his senior year
  • Closed his college career earning Most Valuable Player honors at the Blue-Gray All-Star Classic
  • Ranked 14th nationally in pass receptions at the end of season play 1976
  • Had 51 receptions for 510 yards leading returning rusher with 353 yards in 91 1976
  • Became number three rusher (59 carries, 273 yards) for 4.63 average 1975
  • Led the team in pass recieveing (30 cates, 319 yards) and three TDs 1975
  • One of the few BYU football players to start the first game of his freshman year

Before BYU

  • A three-year starter at Sheldon High in Eugene
  • Won a total of nine letters in four sports plus three as halfback in football
  • Was all-league, honorable mention all-state and played in the shrine All-Star game
  • Played some nose guard in high school 

After BYU

  • Was a second-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys but after suffering a broken foot in the final exhibition game that season, he was released
  • Was picked up by the L.A. Raiders
  • Played in five Pro Bowl games
  • Retired from football after the 1987 season
  • Worked as a color commentator for NFL on NBC from 1990-94
  • He has also done color commentary fro ESPN's college football coverage 
  • Moved to Mountain West Sports Network

Post BYU Honors and Societies

  • Was a special teams captain on the 1981 team that defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10 in Super Bowl XV
  • Won another Super Bowl in 1983
  • Led the NFL in receptions in 1983 with 92 catches, more than any other tight end in a single season
  • Led the Raiders in receptions from 1982-86
  • Was a consensus All-Pro pick for four years
  • Retired as number three on the Raiders' all-time pass-receving and yardage-gained list
  • Inducted into the BYU hall of fame in 1992
  • Inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame

 

  Rushing   Receiving  
Year No Gain Loss New Avg Long TD No Yds Avg TD
1974 41 156 6 150 3.7 33 1 21 134 6.4 2
1975 59 278 5 273 4.6 54 1 30 319 10.6 3
1976 91 357 4 353 3.9 15 2 51 510 10.0 3
1977 79 298 8 290 3.7 15 3 50 603 12.1 5
TOTALS 270 1089 23 1066 3.9 54 7 152 1566 10.3 13


1974 | Freshman Year

  • One of the few BYU football players to start the first game of his freshman year
  • Was in the lineup for the opener in hawaii
  • Was with the Cougars when they reached the Fiesta Bowl in December
  • Finished the regular season as number four rusher (41 carries for 150 yards)
  • 3.7 average and one TD
  • Also punted twice (32.0 average)
  • Also caught 21 passes for 134 yards and two TDs

1975 | Sophomore Year

  • Became number three rusher (59 carries, 273 yards) for 4.63 average
  • Led the team in pass recieveing (30 cates, 319 yards) and three TDs
  • Also had three kcikoff returns (71 yards, 23.7 average)
  • Tallied 26 points
  • Hurt his ankle in CSU game
  • Against Arizona, he caught 12 passes for 146 yards
  • Also score twice against Utah State with five catches for 34 yards
  • In the final game of the season, So. Miss, he scored a TD with a 55-yard run, and overall was 91 yards on 10 carries

1976 | Junior Year

  • Played several different positions
  • Reliable preformer
  • Often made several carries or receptions in a row on a series of downs
  • 23-yard TD against Utah State and another 6-pointer against Texas El Paso where he was 3 for 73 in the first quarter were among his five regular season TDs
  • At one point during the season he was ranked 11th in the nation's pass recieveing
  • Scored a TD plunge during Tangerine Bowl
  • Ranked 14th nationally in pass receptions at the end of season play
  • Had 51 receptions for 510 yards leading returning rusher with 353 yards in 91
  • In three seasons he has rushed for 776 yards (4.1) per carry
  • Caught 102 passes for 963 yards
  • Averaged 21.3 on kick returns
  • Scored 68 points

1977 | Senior Year

  • Played on four Western Athletic Conference Championship teams in his career
  • Was named first-team All-WAC
  • Closed his college career earning Most Valuable Player honors at the Blue-Gray All-Star Classic