Atkinson, George - Football, 1993

Atkinson got his start in football at Johnson High School under the coaching direction of John Myles. Playing the positions of halfback and defensive back, he earned All-City honors during his prep career. After graduation, Atkinson went to play professional ball with the then Oakland Raiders. He made his first start in the famed “Heidi” game, in which NBC switched away from the Raider-New York Jets game before it came to an end, prompting a flood of calls to the network. Atkinson teamed with Jack Tatum to form what may have been one of the most intimidating secondaries in the American Football Conference. During his career, Atkinson was All-Pro as a defensive back for three straight years and ranked second on the Raiders’ all-time list for interceptions (30) and punt return yards (1,247).

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