Leon Clarke, 76, a Pro Bowl offensive end and flanker for the Los Angeles Rams who was a three-year letterman at USC, died of pancreatitis Monday in Los Alamitos, USC announced.
After the Rams picked him in the second round of the 1956 NFL draft, Clarke played for the team for four seasons. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound football player was selected to the Pro Bowl in his rookie season. He also played for the Cleveland Browns from 1960-62 and the Minnesota Vikings in 1963. He caught 141 passes for 2,215 yards with 18 touchdowns in his eight-year NFL career.
A Los Angeles native born Jan. 10, 1933, Clarke was a star in track and football at Venice High School. He played both sports at USC and led the Trojans in receiving in 1954 and 1955. He earned All-Pacific Coast Conference honors in 1955, when USC lost to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.