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Willard Reaves - Running Back - 1983-87 - Northern Arizona University
Incredibly popular because of his looks and his standout talent as a running back, Willard Reaves has taken his rightful place in the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
Born in Flagstaff, Ariz., Reaves became a multi-sport star in high school and at Northern Arizona University, where he became the first non-senior to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a single season.
In 1979 and 1980, he was named a first team All American (second team in 1981).
Two years later, he took the Canadian Football League by storm.
In 1983, he won the Jackie Parker Trophy as the CFL's Western Rookie of the Year and was the leading rusher in the West Division.
The next season, his league-wide dominance was rewarded with the Schenley Award as most outstanding player in the CFL.
He was named offensive star of the year, named to the league's first all-star team and he helped lead the Bombers to their first Grey Cup title since 1962.
The all-star selections would continue into the late 1980's.
He set records for most games with 100 yards rushing in one season (10) and most consecutive games hitting the century mark in a game (8).
In 1984, he ran for 1,733 yards in the 16-game season on 304 carries, a club record.
He tied a CFL record with four touchdowns in one game and tied another club mark with 18 TDs in a campaign.
His 221 yards rushed in one game, 44 TDs in his career and club record 1,158 carries in his tenure in a Blue Bomber uniform are still on the team's record books.
To date, Reaves still leads the Bombers in most 200-yard rushing games (2), most seasons leading the league in rushing yards (3) and most 100-yard rushing games in a career (26).
Willard left the Bombers in 1988 to pursue his NFL dream.He played sparingly with the Washington Redskins and then Miami Dolphins, he saw limited action as a kick returner.
In 1990, two years after leaving the Bombers with 5,923 rushing yards in five seasons for a shot in the NFL, Reaves became a Canadian citizen and retired from pro ball.
He was inducted into the Blue Bomber Hall of Fame and Northern Arizona's Hall of Fame in 1992.
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Willard Reaves was a star running back with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from 1983 to 1988.He was the CFL Player of the Year in 1984 and was also a 4 time CFL Allstar.
At 6' , 230lbs he also played in the NFL for at total of 5 years; 2 years with the Green Bay Packers, 2 years with the Washingston Redskins and 1 year with the Miami Dolphins.
Reaves retired from the NFL in 1990 and moved back to Winnipeg where he is a Sergeant with the Manitoba Sheriff Service.
Reaves held the record for many years when he scored 3 touchdowns in one game in the NFL Hall of Fame Game in Dayton Ohio in 1988.
Schenley Award voters recognized Crawford's excellence and made him a finalist for the most outstanding player award before giving the nod to Winnipeg running back Willard Reaves who led the CFL in rushing with 1,733 yards.
Montreal Concordes' Dwaine Wilson and Toronto Argonauts' Lester Brown were all-Eastern running backs and Wilson and Reaves earned All-Canadian honours.
Willard Reaves - Northern Arizona - 1983-87 - Running Back
Willard Reaves starred for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for 5 seasons.
The running back joined Winnipeg in 1983.
In 1984 he was named the leagues Most Outstanding Player with 1,733 yards rushing and 14 rushing touchdowns.
The Blue Bombers won the Grey Cup in 1984 in part thanks to Reaves.
The Flagstaff, Arizona native continued to lead the Bombers offence compiling 5,923 yards in only 62 career games.
A true force, Reaves carried himself with class off of the field, Reaves moved on to the NFL in 1988 for two seasons.
He returned to his adopted home after retiring and continues to live in Manitoba with his family to this day as a Canadian citizen
GM Kyle Walters re-signed quarterback Drew Willy before dipping into free agency for receivers Darvin Adams and Jordan Reaves - the son of former Bombers' running back Willard Reaves - offensive linemen Bryant and Marc Dile and Canadian linebacker Sam Hurl.
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