Bruce Elia
No. 50, 55     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1953-01-10) January 10, 1953 (age 67)
Place of birth: Hoboken, New Jersey
Career information
College: Ohio State
NFL Draft: 1975 / Round: 4 / Pick: 100
Debuted in 1975 for the [[{{{debutteam}}}]]
Last played in 1978 for the [[{{{finalteam}}}]]
Career history
* Miami Dolphins (1975)
Career highlights and awards
Games played     55
Games started     9
Fumble recoveries     2
Stats at

Bruce Louis Elia (born January 10, 1953 in Hoboken, New Jersey) is a former college and professional American football player. In college, Elia played on both the offensive and defensive teams for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Professionally, he was a linebacker, primarily with the San Francisco 49ers.

Early yearsEdit

Elia is one of the few Ohio State players in the modern era to start on both the offensive and defensive teams. He grew up in Cliffside Park, New Jersey and graduated from Cliffside Park High School in 1971, where he had played as both a running back and linebacker.[1] He was recruited to Ohio State by head coach Woody Hayes as a fullback. Before the third game of the 1972 season, Elia was claimed by the Ohio State defensive coordinator, and made into a linebacker.

Early in the 1973 season starting fullback Champ Henson was injured, and freshman backup Pete Johnson was judged unready to take over. Hayes moved Elia back to the offense as fullback. That season Elia led the Buckeyes in scoring (14 touchdowns for 84 points). In 1974 he returned to linebacker and was the team's leading tackler (144 - 74 solo, 70 assisted).

NFL careerEdit

Elia was selected in the fourth round of the 1975 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins as a linebacker. Prior to the 1976 season he was taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the expansion draft. Tampa then traded Elia, wide receiver Willie McGee and a second-round draft pick to the San Francisco 49ers for quarterback Steve Spurrier. Elia spent the next three years with the 49ers.

After footballEdit

Elia is currently a real estate broker in Fort Lee, New Jersey and resides in Cliffside Park.


  1. via United Press International. "Elia tapped for OSU fullback", The Daily Sentinel, October 2, 1973. Accessed March 22, 2011. "Elia, a junior from Cliffside Park, N.J., was an all-state fullback and linebacker."
Preceded by
Champ Henson
Ohio State Buckeyes
Starting Fullbacks
Succeeded by
Pete Johnson

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