Irving Fryar, born in Mount Holly, New Jersey, played his college ball for the Cornhuskers of Nebraska. He was selected as a consensus All-American in 1983, and was selected with the first pick of the 1984 draft by the New England Patriots.
As a rookie, Fryar only caught 11 passes, but with his 4.23 40-yard speed, the Patriots found a way to get the ball in his hands. He specialized as a punt return man, taking back 36 punts for 347 yards. His 9.6 yard average return was good for seventh best in the NFL.
1985 would see Fryar blossom into his role, making his first Pro Bowl by returning 37 punts for 520 yards and two touchdowns, leading the NFL with 14.1 yards per return. He also caught 39 passes for 670 yards and six touchdowns.
In total, Fryar played in 129 games over nine seasons with the Patriots, catching 363 passes for 5,726 yards and 38 touchdowns. If the Patriots blog makes a list like this one, Fryar would figure in at number 60. He returned a total of 206 punts for 2,055 yards.
Fryar would join the Dolphins in 1993 for a pair of draft choices. He agreed to a three year, $4.2 million contract. Fryar was worth the money, in 1993 he made his first Pro Bowl in eight seasons, catching 64 passes for a team leading 1,010 yards and five touchdowns.
In 1994, Fryar continued to be Dan Marino's target of choice, catching 73 passes for 1,270 yards and seven touchdowns, to that time all career highs. He was selected to his second consecutive Pro Bowl following the season.
1995 would see Fryar's numbers tail off, with his 62 receptions, his 910 passing yards and his eight touchdowns still leading or tied for the Dolphin's lead. He would fail to make the Pro Bowl that season. For the Dolphins, Fryar caught a total of 199 balls for 3,190 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Fryar joined the Philadelphia Eagles starting in 1996, garnering two more Pro Bowl selections over his three seasons there. He played for the Washington Redskins for two seasons to close out his career, retiring after the 2000 season.
In his 17 NFL seasons, Fryar totalled 851 catches for 12,785 yards and 84 touchdowns. He had caught at least one touchdown pass throw by 19 different quarterbacks, an NFL record.
He is currently a pastor at the New Jerusalem House of God in Mount Holly, New Jersey.