Pittsburgh Football Great Bill Fralic Dies At 56

Jennifer Bloodworth
December 14, 2018 - 1:42 pm
Bill Fralic

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — One of the best football players ever to come out of the University of Pittsburgh has died.

Bill Fralic was a two-time consensus all-American at Pitt and had a long career in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons. He was their first round pick, number two overall in 1985.

Ron Cook, host at 93.7 The Fan and columnist at the Post-Gazette, remembers asking former Steelers personnel director Art Rooney Jr. if he ever saw a player able to go from high school directly to the NFL.

“He goes ‘No. to be honest with you, I haven’t. It’s such a physical leap; it’s a mental leap; it’s an emotional leap. But the closest I ever saw to a player being able to do that was Bill Fralic,’” Cook said. “And I’ll never forget that.”

 Jimbo Covert remembers the lineman’s first year as a Panther with Cook.

“He was a special, special athlete; they don’t come around very often. He just came in and fit right in with us and the rest is history.”  

He was also a special person. Just last week, Fralic paid for the hotel rooms for every member of his high school's football team, allowing them to play their championship game.

Fralic had been battling cancer for years. He was 56-years-old.

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