David Palmer (American football)

David Palmer
No. 22
Position: Running back, kick returner
Personal information
Born: (1972-11-19) November 19, 1972
Birmingham, Alabama
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight: 180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High school: Birmingham (AL) P.D. Jackson-Olin
College: Alabama
NFL Draft: 1994 / Round: 2 / Pick: 40
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions: 73
Receiving yards: 631
Return yards: 4,884
Total TDs: 5
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

David Lee Palmer (born November 19, 1972) is a former American college and professional football player who was a running back and kick return specialist in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons. He played college football for the University of Alabama, where he was an All-American and a member of Alabama's 1992 national championship team. A second-round pick in the 1994 NFL Draft, he played professionally for the NFL's Minnesota Vikings.

Early years

Palmer was born in Birmingham, Alabama.[1] He attended P.D. Jackson-Olin High School in Birmingham,[2] where he was the star quarterback and played a variety of other positions for the Mustang high school football team.

College career

While attending the University of Alabama, Palmer played for the Alabama Crimson Tide football from 1991 to 1993, where he wore jersey No. 2 and earned the nickname "The Deuce." He was recruited to play wide receiver, but his athletic abilities permitted him to fill a variety of roles. He often took snaps directly under center and ran to the right side of the line, making him one of the first "wildcat" quarterbacks. Palmer became the team's first 1,000-yard receiver in a single season. Following his junior season, Palmer was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, for which he finished third in the voting.

He caught 102 passes in three seasons for 1,611 yards, a 15.8-yard average per attempt, with 11 touchdowns. He rushed 86 times for 598 yards and a touchdown, averaging 7 yards per carry. He completed 15 of 20 passes for 260 yards, an average of 13 yards per catch, with two touchdowns and three interceptions. He returned 83 punts for 865 yards and four touchdowns and ran back 36 kickoffs for 841 yards.[3]

Due to an injury during the Iron Bowl, Palmer chose not to return to Tuscaloosa for his final season of college eligibility, and turned pro after the 1993 season.

Professional career

Palmer was a second-round pick (40th overall) for the Minnesota Vikings in the 1994 NFL Draft.[4] Palmer spent seven seasons (1994-2001) in the NFL, all with the Vikings.[5] His career highlights include leading the league in punt returns during the 1995 season. For his career he returned two punts and one kickoff for touchdowns, as well as one rushing and one receiving.[5]


  1. National Football League, Historical Players, David Palmer. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  2. databaseFootball.com, Players, David Palmer Archived 2012-01-28 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  3. alabama.rivals.com
  4. Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1994 National Football League Draft. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  5. 1 2 Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, David Palmer. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
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