Born: Sept. 5, 1946 in Beaumont, Texas
Jerry LeVias attended Hebert High School where he played quarterback. Though he was small (5'9" and 177 pounds) he possessed great speed, as evidenced in three touchdown runs of over 70 yards each in a 21-8 victory over rival Booker T. Washington.
LeVias was the first black athlete to receive an athletic scholarship in the SWC, attending Southern Methodist University. While at SMU, LeVias made athletic and academic All-America teams and contributed to the Mustangs' first SWC title in 18 years.
His records as a receiver still stand: 15 passes caught in one game (1968); 80 passes caught in one season (1968); 155 career catches; 1,131 yards receiving (1968); 2,275 career yards receiving; and a tied record for touchdown receptions in one game (3) and season record of TD receptions (8). He was chosen All-SWC in 1966, 1967, and 1968.
Considered too small for the NFL, LeVias became Rookie of the Year as a wide receiver for the Houston Oilers in 1969. He caught 41 passes for 529 yards and five touchdowns in 1970, returned 25 punts for 213 yards and an 8.5 average, and set the AFL record for punt and kickoff returns with 73. He caught an 86-yard touchdown pass that year for the AFL's longest and had a 63 yarder in 1970.
LeVias was traded to San Diego in 1971 where he had only moderate success, leading the team with 30 catches for 536 yards, a 17.9 average, and three touchdowns in 1973. He played for the Chargers through the 1974 season.
After his career ended, LeVias became a businessman. In 1971, he was one of 16 pro footballers given the keys to the city of Beaumont. He was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2008, HBO produced a documentary, "Breaking the Huddle: The Integration of College Football" which highlighted Coach Hayden Fry and Jerry LeVias' struggles while they integrated the Southwest Conference. He works with the Houston Texans as a Texans Ambassador.
Mel and Miller Farr, also professional football players and Hall of Fame inductees, are his cousins.