Bob Ferguson, 64, an All-American fullback at Ohio State and the runner-up to Ernie Davis of Syracuse for the 1961 Heisman Trophy, died of complications from diabetes and strokes Thursday at his home in Columbus, Ohio.
A native of Troy, Ohio, Ferguson played for Coach Woody Hayes at Ohio State University from 1959 to 1961, scored 26 touchdowns and was an All-American his last two seasons.
In the 1961 season, he racked up 938 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per carry, and scored four touchdowns against traditional rival Michigan. The Buckeyes defeated the Wolverines, 50-20, to cap an 8-0-1 season. The National Football Writers Assn. named them the national champions.
"He wasn't a finesse runner," his son, Robert Ferguson Jr., told the Columbus Dispatch newspaper. "He was a power runner. Those were the days of three yards and a cloud of dust."
Ferguson had a disappointing NFL career. He was a reserve with the Pittsburgh Steelers for two years and played another season with the Minnesota Vikings.
After leaving football, Ferguson worked as a youth counselor in Columbus. He retired in 1990 because of health problems.