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Former Denver Broncos Running Back Otis Armstrong Dead at 70

·2 min read
Otis Armstrong
Otis Armstrong

Richard Stagg/Getty

Former Denver Broncos running back Otis Armstrong died on Wednesday. He was 70.

The Broncos confirmed Armstrong's death in a statement on Friday, writing that the team's 1973 first-round pick was surrounded by family and loved ones when he died.

Armstrong was selected as the ninth overall pick in the 1973 NFL Draft. He played eight seasons for the Broncos from 1973-1980.

He ranks fourth in franchise history for rushing attempts and rushing yards. His 1974 season represents the seventh-highest rushing total ever for a Bronco.

"It's a very sad day,'' Haven Moses, the Broncos' top receiver in the 1970s and Armstrong's teammate, told Denver's 9 News. "Otis was a very special person. We had a very close team. Otis was a wonderful teammate, a wonderful running back. He'll definitely be missed. He was part of a Bronco era that laid the foundation for the team's success today."

Marv Montgomery, another former teammate, also remembered the running back on Friday.

"I always remember how he ran," Montgomery told the news station. "He was always on his toes. It was like a butterfly moving through the line. He had a very interesting way of running."

Otis Armstrong
Otis Armstrong

Denver Post via Getty

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During his eight seasons, Armstrong established himself as one of the fastest players on the team, according to the Broncos.

"He's on the 'blur' side of the 4.4 (seconds) in the 40-yard dash," former head coach John Ralston once told The Denver Post.

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Prior to his successful NFL career, Armstrong played for Purdue University, where he remains the all-time leader in rushing attempts.

In 2012, Armstrong was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame, and the Purdue Athletics Hall of Fame.

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