Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Jim "Grabo" Grabowski

Jim "Grabo" Grabowski


  • Position: Fullback
  • School: Illinois
  • High School: Chicago, IL (Taft HS)
  • Years: 1963-1965
  • Inducted: 1995
  • Place of Birth: Chicago, IL
  • Date of Birth: Sep 09, 1944
  • Jersey Number: 31
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 211

Member Biography

Jim Grabowski came out of Taft High School, Chicago, and set records playing fullback for Illinois. In his sophomore year his peak performance was in the Rose Bowl. He rushed for 125 yards and was named the game's Most Valuable Player as Illinois defeated Washington 17-7. As a junior in 1964 his best game was 239 yards rushing against Wisconsin. He had a 58-yard run against Michigan State. For the season he had 1004 yards rushing, ranking second in the nation behind Brian Piccolo of Wake Forest. He was named All-America by United Press International. In 1965 he had a 196-yard game against Wisconsin and a 57-yard run against Southern Methodist. His rushing yardage for the season was 1258, second in the nation after Mike Garrett of Southern California. He was Illinois co-captain. These were his honors in 1965: unanimous All-America, Big 10 MVP, Player of the year by the Washington Touchdown Club, Co-Player of the Year (with Donny Anderson of Texas Tech) by the Sporting News. Grabowski stood 6-2 in height, weighed 211, and was known as a powerful runner and excellent blocker. He played with the Packers and Bears in the National Football League 1966- 71. Grabowski was Academic All-America 1964-65 and in 1993 was named to the GTE Academic All-America Hall of Fame. Illinois named him a member of its All-Century Team.