Born(1934-01-24)January 24, 1934
Hayti, Missouri, U.S.
DiedJune 30, 2011(2011-06-30) (aged 77)
Position(s)Tight end
Wide receiver
Kick returner
NFL Draft1956 / Round 1 / Pick 13
Jersey #(s)40, 89, 36
Career highlights
NFL Pro Bowl1962
* Pro Football Reference
NFL Cleveland Browns
NFL Pittsburgh Steelers
NFL Washington Redskins
NFL Minnesota Vikings
AFL Miami Dolphins

Verba Preston Carpenter (January 24, 1934 – June 30, 2011)[1] was a professional American football player who played wide receiver, tight end, running back and special teams for eleven seasons for five different teams in the National Football League and the American Football League. He played college football at the University of Arkansas.


Carpenter was born to Verba Glen Carpenter and Edna Earl Pullam in Hayti, Missouri. Graduate from Muskogee Central High School where he was Oklahoma All State. His brother, Lewis Glen "Lew" Carpenter played ten years of "Pro Ball" and thirty years of "Pro Coaching."

He married Jeanne Etychison, and had Scott, Bruce and Lewis Todd Carpenter. He is a descendant of Thomas "Jack" Carpenter (born 1740 Virginia and died 1803 in North Carolina.


At the University of Arkansas, Carpenter was an outstanding single-wing blocking back and linebacker for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks during 1953 and 1954. In 1954 Carpenter caught a 66 yard touchdown pass against Ole Miss in one of the most famous plays in Razorback history. He was an All-Southwest Conference halfback in 1955.[2]

NFL football

Carpenter played 12 seasons in the NFL. He was a Pro Bowl selection as a Pittsburgh Steeler tight end in 1962. Carpenter also played for Miami, Washington and Minnesota.[2] A favorite saying "if you can touch it you can catch it"

Cleveland Browns

A first-round draft choice in 1956, Carpenter was selected by the reigning NFL champion Cleveland Browns, who picked thirteenth. The Browns used him primarily as a halfback in his rookie year, when he gained 756 yards on 188 carries while averaging 25.4 yds/touch on 15 kickoff returns. In 1957-1959, he was used mainly as a receiver, where in four years, he accrued 1,366 yards and five touchdowns. Carpenter led the Cleveland Browns in rushing in 1956 and receiving in 1958.

Pittsburgh Steelers

With the Pittsburgh Steelers, in his first year, he also averaged over 25 yards/touch on kickoff returns, and from 1960 through 1963 with Pittsburgh, he picked up another 1,680 yards and 11 touchdowns on receptions, making the NFL Pro Bowl in 1962.

Final Pro years

From 1964 through 1966 with the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings, Carpenter gained another 1,281 yards and seven touchdowns receiving. He completed his pro football career with the American Football League's Miami Dolphins in 1967. His career record includes a combined 6,253 receiving, rushing, and return yards, with a 25.9 yards/touch career average on kickoff returns, and a total of 24 touchdowns: 23 rushing and one receiving.


Inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.[2]

See also


  1. Neiswanger, R. "Football: Arkansas Great Carpenter Dies at 77", Arkansas News. June 30, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 ASHOF (2010). "Class of 1988 – Lewis Carpenter". Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 14, 2009.

External links

External links

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