'Fearsome Foursome' member Lundy dies at 71

Updated: February 24, 2007, 7:05 PM ET
Associated Press

RICHMOND, Ind. -- Lamar Lundy, a member of the Fearsome Foursome defensive line for the Los Angeles Rams in the 1960s, died Saturday. He was 71.

He died after a long illness in his hometown, the Community Family Funeral Home said.

Lundy spent his entire 13-year career with the Rams (1957-69). He teamed with Merlin Olsen and Deacon Jones -- both Pro Football Hall of Famers -- and Roosevelt Grier to form a mighty defensive line. In 1968, the defense featuring the four set an NFL record for the fewest yards allowed during a 14-game season.

"He was a tremendous performer and a better person," Olsen told the Palladium-Item newspaper.

Olsen called Lundy, 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds, the anchor of the line.

"He really was the stabilizing force, Mr. Consistency," Olsen said. "He was an incredibly important part of that equation."

Unlike his other three linemates, though, Lundy started out on the other side of the ball.

He spent his first three NFL seasons playing primarily as a tight end and caught 35 passes for 584 yards and six touchdowns -- three in each of his first two seasons -- before moving to defense.

Lundy was the first black football player to receive a scholarship at Purdue, the school said. He led Richmond High School to unbeaten football seasons in 1952 and 1953 and to the state's Final Four in basketball in 1953.

He was such a good athlete that he also started on the Purdue basketball team and was selected the Boilermakers team MVP in both football and basketball as a senior.

Lundy earned all-state honors in both football and basketball during his high-school career and was a member of Indiana's prestigious basketball All-Star team.

He was selected to the 1959 Pro Bowl team and led the Rams in sacks, an unofficial statistic in those days, in 1961.

A knee injury he sustained in 1967 led to his retirement from football.

Funeral arrangements were pending.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press