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Robert Lavette

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Robert Lavette

Running back


86 kg

Georgia Tech

1.8 m

High school:
Cartersville (GA)


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Date of birth:
(1963-09-08) September 8, 1963 (age 52)

NFL draft:
1985 / Round: 4 / Pick: 103

Georgia Institute of Technology

Place of birth:

Robert Lavette, Georgia Tech | ACC Legends

Robert Lee Lavette (born September 8, 1963, Cartersville, Georgia, United States) was an American football running back in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. He played college football at Georgia Tech University.


Early years

Lavette attended Cartersville High School, where he played as a running back, rushing for 2,103 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior, while receiving Georgia Class AA back of the year honors.

He gained 5,870 career rushing yards and 49 touchdowns. He set 9 career records, 7 season marks and three-single-game records. He accepted a football scholarship from Georgia Tech.

College career

As a freshman, he was the ACC third leading rusher (866 yards), third in receiving (45 receptions), first in all purpose yards and first in kickoff returns. His 307 receiving yards led the team. Against the University of Alabama, Lavette's fourth quarter touchdown (his second of the game) capped of an 80-yard touchdown drive. The Yellow Jackets would go on to lose the remainder of their games and finish 1-10 on the year. It was also Georgia Tech's first football win over the Tide since 1962.

As a sophomore, he led the ACC in rushing (1,208 yards), touchdowns (19), all-purpose yards (1,570 yards) and scoring average (10.4) points. His touchdown total was a school record and he was second in the nation in scoring. Against the number one ranked University of Georgia, he rushed for a career-high 203 yards on 38 carries, outgaining Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker by 40 yards.

As a junior, he missed all or parts of four games because of injuries, finishing with 803 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. As a senior, he finished ninth nationally in rushing with 1,189 yards and a 108.1 yards-per-game average.

  • 1981: 188 carries for 866 yards and 7 TD. 45 catches for 307 yards.
  • 1982: 280 carries for 1208 yards and 19 TD. 25 catches for 286 yards.
  • 1983: 186 carries for 803 yards and 5 TD. 21 catches for 123 yards and 1 TD.
  • 1984: 260 carries for 1189 yards and 14 TD. 23 catches for 146 yards.
  • Records/ Accomplishments

    Lavette finished his career as the school's all-time leading rusher, receiver and scorer. He finished with 4,066 rushing yards, 114 receptions for 862 yards and scored 46 touchdowns for 276 points. He had 18 100-yard games and accounted for 5,393 total yards, with an average of 125.5 total yards per game. At the time he ranked number 17th on the NCAA's all-time rushing list and set 19 school records.

    To this day is considered by many to be one of the top running backs in Georgia Tech's history. He still maintains many career yardage records and is a member of the Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame and was named an ACC Legend.

  • Georgia Tech career rushing yards- 4,066 (1981–1984).
  • Georgia Tech career all-purpose- 5,393
  • Georgia Tech (non-kicker) scoring leader- 46 TD's, 276 total points
  • Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame (1990)
  • Dallas Cowboys

    Lavette was selected in the fourth round (103rd overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he backed up Tony Dorsett and was the team's top kickoff return player, making 34 returns for 682 yards. On December 4, he was placed on the injured reserve list after spraining his knee while covering a Kickoff against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 24.

    In 1986, with the addition of Herschel Walker to the Cowboys team, it was difficult for him find playing time at running back. He began to return punts as well as kickoffs during the regular season.

    Lavette had some great training camp performances, but he never developed as a consistent running back, playing just 4 games in 1987, before being waived on November 3.

    Philadelphia Eagles

    On November 5, 1987, he was claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Eagles. After being declared inactive in two games, he played just one game against the St. Louis Cardinals, returning 2 kickoffs for 37 yards. He was released on December 11.

    Atlanta Falcons

    On March 22, 1988, he signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Falcons. He was cut on August 29.

    Personal life

    His cousin Ray Donaldson was an All-Pro NFL player.


    Robert Lavette Wikipedia

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