Jim Langer, who excelled in baseball and football at South Dakota State University and who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987, passed away Thursday at the age of 71.
A native of Royalton, Minnesota, Langer earned all-North Central Conference honors as a linebacker in football in 1969, also receiving honorable mention All-America recognition. He also played tackle and guard on offense for the Jackrabbits.
In baseball, Langer led the conference in both hits (23) and earned run average (1.57) in 1969, when he earned all-NCC and All-America recognition.
Hall of Famer and @MiamiDolphins Legend Jim Langer has passed away at the age of 71. #RIP pic.twitter.com/ArCrrumOUi
- Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) August 30, 2019
After going undrafted, Langer first signed with the Cleveland Browns before earning a roster spot with the Miami Dolphins. He went on to become the team's starting center and played every offensive down for the Dolphins' undefeated team in 1972. The Dolphins played in three consecutive Super Bowls, winning the last two, and Langer earned selection to the Pro Bowl six times.
An anchor on the offensive line who played every offensive down during the team's perfect 1972 season and a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Jim Langer will be missed: https://t.co/IJTEIxiQEz
- Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) August 30, 2019
Langer, who is the only North Central Conference player enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, finished his professional playing career with the Minnesota Vikings from 1980-81.
Our thoughts are with Jim Langer's friends and family during this difficult time.
Jim was a Hall of Fame player and person. pic.twitter.com/B3upY0sLQ3
- Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) August 30, 2019
In 1988, Langer was inducted into the Jackrabbit Sports Hall of Fame. He was honored as an SDSU Distinguished Alumnus in 2009.
We've lost one of our greatest.
RIP Jim Langer. pic.twitter.com/NpR6X7xv47
- #GoJacks (@GoJacksSDSU) August 30, 2019
Langer also was the patriarch of a Jackrabbit sports family. All three of his sons - Tracy, Craig and Russ - played baseball at South Dakota State and his grandson, Cole, recently completed a football career with the Jackrabbits.