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Profiling Pat Studstill

Lions wide receiver present.

On Sunday, Calvin Johnson became just the second player in NFL history to gain at least 125 receiving yards in five consecutive games. He’s also the second Lion to hit those marks.

As you’ve probably figured it out by the title, the only player with 125+ receiving yards in five straight games prior to Johnson was Patrick Lewis Studstill Jr., who had an 11-year career with the Lions, Rams, and Patriots. Studstill was a first-team All-Pro wide receiver in 1966, when he led the NFL in receiving yards. Beginning in week 5 of that season, Studstill topped 115 receiving yards in six straight weeks. Those were six highest single-game yardage totals of his career.

Studstill was a receiver and punter at the University of Houston in the late ’50s, but his senior season was a disaster. Head coach Hal Lahar was your typical coach of the era when it came to rules, and Studstill violated a major one — by getting married. Lahar benched Studstill for his entire senior year, and as a result, Studstill went undrafted. One of the Cougars assistant coaches, Red Conkright, was a former NFL player who would later become the last head coach of the Oakland Raiders before Al Davis. Conkright vouched for Studstill, who received a tryout in Detroit. Because of his versatility and speed, he was able to make the Lions roster in 1961.

Studstill didn’t see the field much during his rookie season, but did manage a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown against the Bears. An injury to Terry Barr in 1962 opened the door for Studstill to begin making a contribution on offense. In the last 9 games of the season, Sutdstill caught 31 passes for 446 yards, second on the team in both categories to Pro Bowler Gail Cogdill.
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