Craig “Ironhead” Heyward played in the NFL for 11 years from 1988 to 1998 after playing at Pittsburgh. Heyward was not a small running back by any means. Weighing between 250 and 280 and at times over 300 pounds he was a battering ram type of running back that actually had the skills to shake a linebacker and out run him if need be. He could also be used as a fullback and was very effective in clearing a hole for someone running behind him. With or without the ball, defensive players did not want to see Heyward with a full head of steam running in their direction. He was a 1st round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints in 1998 and went to the Pro-Bowl as an Atlanta Falcon in 1995.
He left the NFL while playing for the Indianapolis Colts while complaining of blurred vision. A further diagnosis found a malignant brain tumor. A surgery removed the tumor but it came back and could not be removed a second time. This is the battle Heyward lost passing away at the young age of 39.
Off the football field Craig was also famous for doing Zest Body Wash commercials which was totally against his NFL tough guy persona. As well he was known for working with kids. He visited children stricken with Cancer while he was battling Cancer himself. He was also know to be a loving father to his own children.
How did he get his Colorful name?
Simple…Craig had a big head and he used it to ram defensive players when he was younger.
Note: Craig’s son Cameron was a defensive lineman for Ohio State University and was drafted by The Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round (31st overall) in the 2011 NFL draft.