Happy 21st, Meyers Leonard!

Happy 21st, Meyers Leonard!

Illini Legends, Lists & Lore: Darryl Usher

Sunday marks the 23rd anniversary of the death of former Illini receiver Darryl Usher. Usher resided in Phoenix, where he played for the Arizona Cardinals. In a tragic love-triangle dispute, Usher and his friend, Chiquita Burt, were fatally wounded at Usher’s apartment by Chris Gardner, who then killed himself. The mothers of Usher and Burt ultimately filed wrongful-death charges against the City of Phoenix for its mishandling of their children’s 911 call. A jury found the city negligent and awarded the Usher and Burt families nearly $2 million. Darryl Usher’s career, by the numbers:
2: Ranking in 1987 national statistics as a kickoff returner
4: Varsity letters won by Usher as a collegian (1983, ’84, ’85 and ’87)
7: Round in which he was drafted by the New England Patriots in 1988
8: Jersey number worn by Usher at Illinois
8.4: Career punt-return yardage average for the Illini (90 returns)
13: Total number of NFL games he played, splitting the 1989 season between San Diego and Arizona
25: Usher’s age at the time of his death
29.7: Usher’s UI career-record kickoff-return yardage average
82: Jersey number he wore for the NFL’s Cardinals
756: Record number of punt return yards he accumulated for the Illini
1987: The year Usher was UI’s Most Valuable Player

Illini Birthdays
Sunday: Randy Taylor, football (57)
Monday: Greg Colby, football (61)
Tuesday: Jennifer Beltran, volleyball (21)
Wednesday: Meyers Leonard, basketball (21)
Thursday: Lisa Argabright, volleyball (32)
Friday: Govoner Vaughn, basketball (76)
Saturday: J.R. Kyes, baseball (30)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore and assistant athletic director at Miami (Ohio)

Get Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter @IlliniLegends

Sections (3):Illini Sports, Sports, Other