Napoleon McCallum Is Shipped to San Diego

Special to The Times

Napoleon McCallum, running back and Navy officer, was sent Tuesday by the Raiders to the San Diego Chargers, completing the deal that sent Pro Bowl offensive tackle Jim Lachey to the Raiders this summer.

The Raiders wound up getting a starting quarterback from the deal when they later traded Lachey to the Washington Redskins for Jay Schroeder.

McCallum, who in 1985 while playing with the Naval Academy became the all-time national college leader in all-purpose yards with 7,172, is committed to Navy service through 1990. Steve Ortmayer, Charger director of football operations, said the team will not seek to shorten his enlistment.

Lachey was sent to the Raiders July 30 for tackle John Clay and two undisclosed draft choices. Ortmayer would not say whether the acquisition of McCallum was in lieu of one or both of the draft choices.


“We feel there’s not a better city in the United States for him to be playing in,” Ortmayer said. “I felt that there was an awful lot of Marcus Allen wrapped up in Napoleon McCallum. He is such a physical football player in the latter stages of the game.”

The Chargers, as the Raiders had, will put McCallum on their reserve-military list.

McCallum, a lieutenant, junior grade, is on duty at sea and was unavailable for comment.

The Chargers McCallum will help boost public relations and have a similar impact to that of quarterback Roger Staubach, who served 6 years in the Navy and then helped the Dallas Cowboys win the Super Bowl twice.


“Wouldn’t that be nice?” Ortmayer said. “This kid is that kind of a kid. McCallum is the type of individual who excels both on and off the field, the kind of athlete with which championships are won and championship teams are built.”

Charger Coach Al Saunders said: “McCallum is a player who comes with good credentials. We’re looking forward to his joining us at a future date.”

McCallum has not played since 1986 when, as a rookie, he played in 15 National Football League games, rushing for 536 yards in 142 carries, catching 15 passes and returning 8 kickoffs for a 22.9-yard average. That season, McCallum served at a Navy facility in Long Beach and played for the Raiders on weekends.

One of his biggest games in 1986 was against the Chargers. He rushed for 57 yards in 14 fourth-quarter carries in the Raiders’ first victory that season.

Ortmayer, director of football operations for the Raiders from 1978 to 1986, said he doesn’t think McCallum will have difficulty returning after a long layoff.

“I think I know the kind of guy he is,” Ortmayer said. “He takes care of himself, and I think I know what kind of condition he will report to us in.”

While at the Naval Academy, McCallum set 26 school records, including career and single-season rushing yards--4,179 and 1,587--in 1983. He rushed for 100 yards or more 19 times.

McCallum is not the only Navy athlete pursuing a career in professional sports. David Robinson, who played center on the U.S. Olympic team, was the National Basketball Assn.'s No. 1 draft choice by the San Antonio Spurs in 1987. His lawyer has asked that he be released 8 months early from his active duty obligation so that he can join the Spurs this season.