For the British recipient of the Victoria Cross, see John Neil Randle.
John Randle
No. 93     
Defensive Tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1967-12-12) December 12, 1967 (age 52)
Place of birth: Mumford, Texas
Career information
College: Texas A&M - Kingsville
Undrafted in 1990
Debuted in 1990 for the Minnesota Vikings
Last played in 2003 for the Seattle Seahawks
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2003
Tackles     556
Sacks     137.5
Interceptions     1
Stats at
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame

John Anthony Randle (born December 12, 1967) played defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL.[1] On February 6, 2010 he was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Born in Mumford, Texas, Randle was raised poor, and worked odd jobs when he was young.[2] His brother Ervin Randle played as a linebacker for eight years.[3] Randle played high school football in Hearne, Texas. He started his college playing career at Trinity Valley Community College, before transferring to Texas A&M University–Kingsville.

Early NFL careerEdit

Randle went undrafted; he tried out for his brother's team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but was thought to be too small, and was not signed to a contract. The 6'1" 287-lbs. defensive linemen was picked up by the Vikings during training camp, playing his first season in 1990. He went to his first Pro Bowl in 1993 after recording 11.5 sacks, and was quickly becoming one of the dominant defensive tackles of his era. Once Henry Thomas left the Vikings, Randle increased his training regimen, and became well known for his disarming on-field heckling of opposing players. Randle would record double digit sacks during nine different seasons, including a career-high and league-leading 15.5 sacks in 1997.[4]

Randle had an ongoing rivalry with Packers quarterback Brett Favre, whom he sacked more than any other quarterback; Favre said that Randle was the toughest defensive player he faced and "on artificial turf he's unblockable".[5] To play off the rivalry with Brett Favre, Randle starred in a commercial which featured himself sewing a miniature version of Favre's #4 jersey which he put on a live chicken. The commercial then showed Randle chasing the chicken around what was supposed to be Randle's backyard and ended with Randle cooking chicken on his BBQ, leading to fierce protests from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.[6] Like fellow Minnesota Viking Chris Hovan, Randle was known for eccentric face painting as well as trash talking on the field.[7]

Later years in SeattleEdit

At the end of the 2000 season,[8] Randle signed with the Seattle Seahawks, and retired in March 2004.[9] He had planned to retire a year earlier, but Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren convinced him to stay one more year. The Seahawks made the playoffs two times while he was on the roster, but did not reach the Super Bowl. While with the Seahawks, Randle acquired his final sack. Randle left the NFL tied with Richard Dent for 5th in number of career sacks, and his 137.5 career sacks is the most by a defensive tackle in NFL history, aside from Vikings legend Alan Page who had a total of 148.5 sacks.[10] Over his career he was named to seven Pro Bowl squads. He was named All Tackle Machine of 1999 by Tackle: The Magazine.[11]

After football and LegacyEdit

Randle was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame and inducted into the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor in 2008.[12] He was eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame starting in 2009, and was elected in his second year of eligibility in 2010.[13] Randle was inducted in Canton, OH on August 7, 2010 alongside Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Floyd Little, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson and Dick LeBeau.[14] He was also inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame during the same year[15] and had his number retired by his former high school team. He currently lives in Medina, Minnesota with his wife and children.[16]


  2. "John Randle". CNN. 28 November 1994.
  7. "NFL Draft - Vikings first pick draws comparisons to Randle". - 2000. 16 April 2000. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
  8. "John Randle". CNN.
  9. "After 14 seasons, John Randle retires". The Seattle Times. 2 March 2004.
  10. Farnsworth, Clare (1 March 2004). "Randle retires from Seahawks". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
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