Former ACU, NFL lineman Grant Feasel dies at age 52

POSTED: 7:35 PM Jul 15 2012   UPDATED: 3:26 PM Jul 16 2012
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Former ACU football standout Grant Feasel – one of the most dominating offensive lineman in Lone Star Conference history – died Sunday morning. He was 52.

Funeral arrangements are pending and no decisions had been made as of late Sunday afternoon.

Feasel, an all-America lineman for the Wildcats who later played eight seasons in the NFL with the Colts, Vikings and Seahawks, was selected in 1997 to the NCAA Division II Team of the Quarter Century.

Feasel arrived in Abilene in the summer of 1978 as a 6-5, 215-pound offensive tackle from Barstow, Calif. By the time he left ACU as a 1983 graduate he had grown into a 6-7, 295-pound behemoth who earned almost every conceivable award available to an NCAA Division II offensive lineman.

He was also selected by the Baltimore Colts in the sixth round of the 1983 NFL draft, the same draft that saw the Colts select Stanford quarterback John Elway as the No. 1 overall selection.

"When Grant first arrived at ACU he was a tall, skinny kid," ACU director of athletics emeritus and former head football coach Wally Bullington recalled. "But he worked hard in the weight room and became, in my opinion, maybe the best offensive lineman we've ever had here.

"He was an extremely hard worker and dedicated player and was a great team player," Bullington said. "I was always impressed with what a great team player he was, and I know he must have been a pleasure to coach."

While he was at ACU, Feasel was a first team all-America as a senior in 1982 by both the Associated Press and the American Football Coaches' Association. He was drafted by the Colts after earning all-LSC, LSC Offensive Lineman of the Year, academic all-conference and GTE second team academic all-America honors in 1982. He also won the prestigious NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship in 1982.

Feasel was selected to the ACU Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 1994-95 and was also selected to the LSC Team of the Decade for the 1980s.

"I remember watching film of Grant, and he had good size, good quickness and really good feet," said then-ACU head coach Dewitt Jones, who recruited Feasel to ACU. We saw a lot of ability on the film. He could run and he had good feet. He was a good high school quarterback, but he came here because his brother Greg was already at ACU.

"He didn't play much as a freshman, but he developed over the years into a really good player," Jones said. "He came in and worked hard and turned into an outstanding player at ACU, and then went on to have a really good NFL career."

Following his ACU career, Feasel – whose brother, Greg, also played at ACU and in the NFL and is a member of the ACU Sports Hall of Fame – embarked on his NFL career. He played 11 games for the Colts as a rookie in 1983 and then played 15 games – starting three for the Vikings and Colts in 1984.

He went to Seattle as a free agent in 1987 and found a home. He became the Seahawks' starting center in 1989 and from 1989-91 he played in and started 47 games, including playing every offensive snap in the 1989 season.

Upon his retirement, Feasel was feted at a dinner in Fort Worth sponsored by ACU. Former ACU and NFL teammates spoke in tribute to Feasel, including his brother, Greg, who thanked ACU and its influence on both brothers.

"Grant and I are what are today because of what we learned from the people in this room," Greg Feasel said at the Fort Worth Club on Aug. 23, 1994. "We learned to exceed standards, see past problems for solutions and to have respect for God's creation. Grant and I were blessed to have attended and played at ACU."

Grant echoed those sentiments when it was his turn to speak.

"This day is more than a dream come true," Grant Feasel said. "I'm nobody special. I can give you a list of names as long as my arm of people who have been helped by ACU. It's an unbelievable place, and I'm proof of what it can do for people."

Information provided by ACU athletics department.