John Panelli
Panelli on a 1950 Bowman football card
Date of birth: (1926-05-07)May 7, 1926
Place of birth: Morristown, New Jersey
Date of death: March 2, 2012(2012-03-02) (aged 85)
Place of death: Royal Oak, Michigan
Career information
Position(s): Fullback, linebacker
NFL Draft: 1949 / Round: 2 / Pick: 12
Playing stats at

John Rocco "Bulldog" Panelli (May 7, 1926 – March 2, 2012)[1] was an American football player. He played college football at the University of Notre Dame. He went on to play two seasons in the National Football League (NFL) for the Detroit Lions, and another three for the Chicago Cardinals.[2]

Born and raised in Morristown, New Jersey, Panelli starred at Morristown High School, earning all-state honors as a student and a nomination by The Star-Ledger decades after his graduation for inclusion on its All-Century team.[3]

Panelli died after a sudden illness on March 2, 2012. He was 85.[4]


  1. [1]
  2. "Former Lions player John Panelli dead at 85". ABC 7. Archived from the original on February 10, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
  3. via Associated Press. "John Panelli, standout at Morristown High, Notre Dame and NFL, dies at 85",, March 4, 2012. Accessed March 15, 2018. "Ex-Notre Dame running back and NFL player John Panelli, a standout fullback at Morristown High School in the 1940s, has died.... Panelli, an All-State selection at Morristown High and a nominee of The Star-Ledger’s New Jersey High School All-Century team, went on to play fullback and linebacker for Notre Dame’s 1946 and 1947 national championship teams, averaging 7.5 yards a carry his senior year."
  4. "Notre Dame backfield wizard John Panelli dies". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved March 5, 2012.

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