Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Larry "Zonk" Csonka

Larry "Zonk" Csonka


  • Position: Fullback
  • School: Syracuse
  • High School: Stow, OH (Stow HS)
  • Years: 1965-1967
  • Inducted: 1989
  • Place of Birth: Stow, OH
  • Date of Birth: Dec 25, 1946
  • Jersey Number: 39
  • Height: 6-3
  • Weight: 230

Member Biography

This is a time when big, strong athletes get bigger and stronger by lifting weights in the gym. Larry Csonka is one of the strongest men ever to play football, but he didn't try the weight lifting routine in the gym. "I had my own body-building program. I grew up on a farm," he has said. "I picked corn, shoveled dirt, baled hay, milked cows, and every day I ran two miles home for supper." The farm was at Stow, Ohio. By the time Larry reached college, he was ready to put those muscles to work on a football field. He was Syracuse University's 230 pound, all-powerful, battering-ram fullback. In three years, 1965-1967, he ranked 19th, 9th and 5th in the nation in yards gained by rushing. Before Csonka, Syracuse had a history of champion runners - Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance, Floyd Little. Csonka broke their records. He ran for 2,934 yards, a school record that lasted 14 years. He reeled off a 56-yarder against West Virginia in 1965, but most of the time he was a pulverizing ramrod - as shown by these figures; an average of 4.9 yards every time he carried the ball; 14 100-yard games; 43 times carrying the ball in one game against Maryland in 1967. He was named All-America in 1967 - unanimously! After Syracuse, he had a 12-year pro career topped by championship years with Miami in 1972 and 1973.