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Minnesota Vikings By The Numbers: #72

Not the greatest of numbers in purple history

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins
Jake Long played four whole games for the Vikings, and isn’t THAT far down the list of 72s in team history.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

When you have 99 different numbers to go through, there are inevitably going to be some that really don’t have a whole lot of prestige. For the Minnesota Vikings, the number 72 is one such number. There really hasn’t been a truly great player to ever don the #72 in purple and gold. Let’s take a look at the few notables.

The first #72 in team history was Frank Youso, who started 26 of the first 28 games in Vikings history at right tackle. He came to the team from the New York Giants, and does have the distinction of being the first player to sign with the Vikings in team history after the Giants released him, allowing him to sign with his hometown team. (He grew up in International Falls and attended the University of Minnesota.) He left the Vikings after the 1962 season, and went on to play with the Raiders.

As far as Pro Football Reference’s Absolute Value statistic is concerned, the most productive #72 in history was defensive tackle James White. White was the Vikings’ first round pick in the 1976 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma State, and played his entire eight year career for Minnesota. He became a starter in 1978, and remained in the starting lineup until 1982.

Gotta be honest. . .that’s really about it for the notables. For honorable mentions, there was John Ward, an offensive lineman who was the Vikings’ first round pick in 1970. Dave Huffman played for the Vikings long enough to appear in 128 games, but only started 22 on the offensive line. (He also started out wearing the number 56, which is why the years he wore 72 don’t quite line up with the number of games played.) Marcus Johnson was a second-round pick of the Vikings in 2005, and really didn’t do a whole heck of a lot. Jake Long signed with the Vikings in 2016, and played just enough to get comfortable and look like the rust was starting to come off before suffering a season-ending (and, ultimately, career-ending) Achilles injury.

So yeah. . .not the most prominent number in the history of the Minnesota Vikings.

Vikings that have worn the number 72:

  • Frank Youso (1961 - 1962)
  • Archie Sutton (1965 - 1967)
  • John Ward (1970 - 1975)
  • James White (1976 - 1983)
  • Dave Huffman (1985 - 1990)
  • Scott “Not the Dilbert Guy” Adams (1992 - 1993)
  • Jason Fisk (1995 - 1998)
  • Adam Haayer (2002 - 2004)
  • Marcus Johnson (2005 - 2008)
  • Chris DeGeare (2010)
  • Austin Wentworth (2014)
  • Kenrick Ellis (2015)
  • Jake Long (2016)


Who is the greatest Viking to wear the number 72?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    James White (1976 - 1985)
    (594 votes)
  • 10%
    Frank Youso (1961 - 1962)
    (70 votes)
664 votes total Vote Now

On to the #71 on Wednesday, folks!