Where Are They Now? Part 6 (1973 through 1978)

This will be the last of the Where Are They Now? posts (Don't worry, we've got something else in store). Information is just getting harder and harder to come by on these guys. This batch includes a couple of college hall of famers, a record setter (though not in a good way), and one Canadian Football League Hall of Famer. 

1978--Ken MacAfee TE, Notre Dame (7th overall)

1977--no first round pick

1976--no first round pick (traded this and the 1977 pick for QB Jim Plunkett)

1975--Jimmy Webb DT, Mississippi State (10th overall)

1974--Wilbur Jackson RB, Alabama (9th overall)

1974--Bill Sandifer DT, UCLA (10th overall)

1973--Mike Holmes DB, Texas Southern (18th overall)_

Ken MacAfee, TE

Ken-macafee_medium

 

MacAfee was one of the best tight ends in college football. His senior year was good enough that he was a serious contender for the Heisman trophy. He was drafted by the 49ers and started his rookie year, catching 22 balls, one for a touchdown. He also started his second year (catching 24 passes, 4 of them for TDs), but then the 49ers asked him to move to guard. Feeling like he wasn't suited to being a guard in the NFL he declined and left football, missing the 49ers SuperBowl run by one year.

"There is more than money involved,'' he said about his decision to leave football. "How many people hate their jobs but go do it just to make some money? It's the same thing with professional football. You have to be happy to go to your job everyday and it's not just about the money, regardless of what other people think, and that is the way I felt. I had another career waiting for me, so I went to dental school.''

His rights were then traded to the Vikings but he would never play another down of professional football again. Instead he would go to dental school and open up a sucessful practice in Waltham, Massachusetts. 

In 1997 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame

Here's a great article about MacAffee's high school playing days. 

 

Jimmy Webb, DT

Webb would make waves before ever playing a snap of football. He held out for 43 days before signing his rookie contract (which is the second longest in team history) but once he signed he was force to be reckoned with. He played for 7 seasons in an era when the NFL didn't keep stats but he spent enough time in opponents backfields that, as one sportswriter put it, he should be arrested for trespassing. 

From the SI Vault--They Know the Way to San Jose

Webb is a veternarian now at his alma mater

Last year he undertook a coast-to-coast bicycle trip to raise money for the Joaquin Valley Teen Challenge. He wrote a blog about it that's an interesting read. Coast-to-Coast

Modesto Bee article covering more details

 

Wilbur Jackson, RB

Sam-cunningham1_medium

 

Jackson made history in college by being the first African-American to be recruited by Bear Bryant. He only played two years for Bryant but gained over 1500 yards, averaging 7.2 yards a carry. 

"I just wanted to go to college, get an education, and play football. I didn't want to be Jackie Robinson."

He would play for 8 years in the pros (5 with the Niners and 3 with the Redskins) but was never more than an average back, never gaining more than 4 yards a carry. His biggest season he rushed for 792 yards. He has a Super Bowl ring from his time with the Redskins. 

In 2007 he was elected to Alabama's Sports Hall of Fame

 

Bill Sandifer, DT
Sandifer was the second selection of the 1974 draft. He would play three seasons with the 49ers and then two more with the Seahawks (traded there for linebacker Ed Bradley) for a total of 49 games. After pro football he seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. Complicating matters is the fact that there's a politician by the same name as well as a reverend, neither one of whom ever played in the NFL.

 

Mike Holmes, DB

Any way you cut it Holmes was a bust. He was a combination DB/WR and played for 14 games for the Niners in 1975, catching 16 passes for 220 yards. He was then released and picked up by the Dolphins where he made an appearance in one game before fading away to obscurity. After his NFL days he went on to have some good success in the CFL, playing 6 seasons for the Winnepeg Blue Bombers. He finished his playing days with the Washington Federals of the USFL. 

Holmes is a member of the 2002 Winnipeg Blue Bombers Hall of Fame. 

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