The Legend of the Mad Stork

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It has been more than 50 years since Ted Hendricks suited up for the University of Miami Hurricanes. But he remains the program’s greatest player. Born in Guatemala, Hendricks grew up in Miami Springs and attended nearby Hialeah High School. He was a 2-time All City selection by the Miami Herald in both football and basketball and earned Prep All American honors from Scholastic Coach Magazine. Hendricks was just as brilliant in the classroom. Among his favorite hobbies was solving math problems. He won the prestigious Silver Knight Award as the best scholar athlete in Miami-Dade County for the 1964-65 school year.

Coming out of Hialeah High School, Hendricks received more accolades for his abilities as a pass catching end than his defensive prowess. He began his University of Miami career playing offense on the freshman team. Back in the 1960s, freshmen were ineligible to play varsity college football. But in 1966 as a sophomore, Hendricks was switched to defense and a terror was unleashed. At 6’7 and 220 pounds, Hendricks was an imposing figure who had unusual speed, quickness and agility for a player his size. With freakish size and athletic ability, he could often outrun running backs and receivers at the college level. He became a 3-time All American for the Hurricanes from 1966 to 1968 and led Miami to a #9 national ranking and Liberty Bowl victory over Virginia Tech in 1966. During his UM career he earned his famous nickname “The Mad Stork”. He is still the only 3-time All American in UM football history.

Despite an incredible college career, Hendricks slipped to the second round of the 1969 NFL Draft. Pro scouts felt Hendricks was too light to play defensive line in the NFL. He was selected by the Baltimore Colts who were then coached by Don Shula. After Shula left for Miami in 1970, Hendricks found a home as an outside linebacker and became one of the greatest to ever play the position. He helped the Colts win Super Bowl V in his second season. It was the first of four Super Bowl victories in his hall of fame career. He played one season in Green Bay 1974. But Hendricks is best remembered for his career with the Raiders. His free-spirit personality was perfect for the Raiders outlaw persona. From 1975 to 1983, he helped the Raiders win 3 Super Bowls. His final football game was a dominating victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII.

Altogether, Ted Hendricks was selected to 8 Pro Bowls, played in 215 consecutive regular season games and blocked 25 kicks in an amazing 15 year NFL career. He is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. In 2002 The Ted Hendricks Award was established and is annually presented to the best defensive end in college football.  To read more articles about the Orange Bowl, visit us at

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