Running back Charles "Cotton" Speyrer was born in Port Arthur, Texas, and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1967. He played for Jefferson in 1965 and 1966 and was chosen All-State in 1966. During his senior season, Speyrer dislocated his shoulder, but recovered to play in the district season. He was a two-time All-American at the University of Texas with 65 career receptions including touchdowns of 78 and 79 yards against Tennessee in the 1969 Cotton Bowl. His diving catch of a fourth-down pass the 2-yard line set up the winning touchdown as the Longhorns defeated Notre Dame, 21-17 in the 1970 Cotton Bowl. Speyrer missed seven games as a senior when his arm was broken during the Oklahoma game. He is the only player ever named to the Cotton Bowl All-Decade in two different decades. Speyrer was originally a second-round draft pick of the Redskins in 1971 but was traded later that year to the Baltimore Colts, along with a first-round draft pick, for wide receiver Roy Jefferson.
A spindly but sure-handed receiver, Speyrer was sidelined by injuries in 1971 (a broken arm) and 1972 (a pulled hamstring) but showed flashes of his old brilliance the following two seasons. He returned a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown in 1973 against Buffalo and ranked third in the NFL in kickoff returns with a 29.2 yard average. He also threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Glen Doughty against the New York Jets that year. In 2 ½ seasons with the Colts, he caught 34 passes for 545 yards and five touchdowns. Speyrer was traded in January of 1975 to the Redskins and was acquired by the Miami Dolphins in August of that year after being cut by Washington. Playing for the Dolphins, he caught three passes for 50 yards in the preseason game at New Orleans. After that, his action was confined to special teams. He retired in 1976. Speyrer is currently active in charity golf tournaments and works as a stockbroker in Austin.
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