The New England Patriots announced the passing of former Punter/Quarterback Tom Yewcic on Wednesday night. He was 88 years old.
Yewcic spent his college years at Michigan State, playing quarterback for the Spartan football team and catcher for the baseball team. He was named an All-American in each sport during his tenure in East Lansing.
In 1951 he led the football team to a Rose Bowl victory, and the baseball team to the College World Series tournament, where he was named most outstanding player. To this day he is the only athlete to ever do both. In 1952 he led the Spartans to an undefeated season and National Football Championship.
Following his stellar college career, the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to select Yewcic with the 319th pick of the 1954 NFL Draft, but Yewcic chose baseball and signed with the Detroit Tigers instead. He played one game for the Tigers in 1957 before retiring from baseball and focusing on his football career.
He signed with the Patriots in 1961 and was the team’s primary punter from 1961-1966. In 1962 he was pressed in as the team’s starting quarterback following an injury to Babe Parilli. He showed off his athletic prowess as a Patriot, filling up the box score in a number of different ways. Throughout his career Yewcic punted 377 times for 14,553 yards, completed 87 passes for 1,374 yards and 12 touchdowns, recorded 72 carries for 424 yards and four touchdowns, and hauled in seven receptions for 69 yards.
He and Tom Brady are the only players in Patriots history to record a punt, throw a touchdown pass, catch a pass, and run for a touchdown. He is a member of the Patriots 1060’s All-Decade team.