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
"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
Funeral arrangements were pending.