Two-time All-American fullback and two-time national champion Steve Worster, who served because the bedrock and inspiration for head coach Darrell Royal’s wishbone offense at the University of Texas, died Saturday at age 73.
Worster’s alma mater announced his passing Sunday.
“Steve was the toughest football player I’ve ever seen,” Longhorn teammate and College Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bob McKay said. “He hit or was hit on every down rather than backed down or slowed up.”
Worster amassed 2,353 yards and 36 touchdowns during his collegiate career. His Texas teams also won three Southwest Conference titles. Worster had 898 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns in 1970, when he finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy race.
The bruising fullback affectionally referred to as “Woo Woo” arguably had his best game at the 1970 Cotton Bowl, when he amassed 155 yards in a 21-17 make an impression on Notre Dame.
The wishbone resulted in tremendous success thanks partly to Worster, who received much praise from Royal in a 1969 Sports Illustrated piece, as relayed by ESPN’s Dave Wilson.
“In the formation, there have been three running backs with Worster, the fullback, prearranged directly behind the quarterback,” Wilson wrote.
“Two running backs were positioned farther back, on either side of the fullback, in a Y, or wishbone shape. Royal acknowledged Worster’s abilities when Duffy Daugherty, the Michigan State coach, called to require pointers on the brand new scheme.”
“You do not want my offense,” Royal said.
“You need my fullback, and he’s got two more years with me… He’s the type of kid who just is out and causes wrecks, straightens his headgear and walks back again to the huddle quietly.”
Texas finished up going 30-2-1 in Worster’s three seasons. The 1969 team notably went 11-0 and took down No. 2 Arkansas 15-14 in the “Game of the Century.”
Ahead of his Longhorn tenure, Worster starred at Bridge City SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL in Texas. He was named a higher school All-American on the way to gaining 2,210 rushing yards for the 1966 Class 3-A state football champions.
“There’s never been a far more celebrated senior high school athlete that produced to the amount of his senior high school hype,” teammate and fellow Texas Athletics Hall of Honor member Bill Zapalac said, per Wilson.
The LA Rams selected Worster in the fourth round of the 1971 NFL draft. He eventually played twelve months as a specialist for the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the reason that same year. Per Wilson, Worster said he previously lost fascination with football and wanted to create a good living and raise a family group.
Following his death, he also received praise for who he was off the field, including this note from sportswriter Ken Rodriguez.
Worster is survived by way of a son and daughter.