NY Jets Flashback: Johnny Hector


In this NY Jets flashback, running back Johnny Hector will always be remembered for being a touchdown machine.

The year was 1983 and the Jets were attempting to build another contender. Freeman McNeil was the leader of the Jets’ backfield, when the Jets drafted his complimentary back in the form of Hector. Hector was chosen in the second round back in 1983 to beef up the Jets’ running game. 

More from Jets News

Hector played his college football at Texas A&M University. A native of Louisiana, Hector was a dual threat back in his college days, putting up good stats in both the rushing game and the receiving games.

Hector was an electrifying weapon for the Aggies and pro scouts including from the Jets, took notice immediately.

Hector stood 5’11” and weighed in at 200 pounds on draft day. He joined the Jets’ backfield in his rookie season, playing in ten games and starting in one. He quickly established his worth alongside McNeil and the two combined to form what Jet fans at the time referred to as “The Two Headed Monster.”

In his inaugural campaign, Hector posted 85 yards on 16 carries in the rushing game and went on to add five receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown. It wasn’t a spectacular rookie season, but fans quickly saw the potential of their new running back.

Hector’s best years as a Jet came in 1986 and 1987, when he posted 21 rushing touchdowns between the two seasons. Hector led all NFL running backs in 1987 with 11 touchdowns at season’s end.  The two headed monster was in full swing with McNeil pulverizing would be tacklers and punishing defensive lineman as Hector slashed them with his speed and pass catching abilities.

Hector was a fan favorite among Jet fans. He displayed a solid work ethic and brought 100% on game day as fans absolutely loved him for it. Hector played his entire 10 year career with the Jets, proving his loyalty with every passing season. He ended his career with 1,051 attempts in the rushing game for 4,280 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Nov 9, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; A NFL football with the Armed Services logo during the NFL game between the New York Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Steelers 20-13. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Bolstering his overall value, he posted 188 receptions for 1,661 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air. Hector also saw limited time as a kick returner for the Jets, returning 34 kickoffs in his career. He also added 735 yards to his stat sheet for a career average of 21.6 yards per return. Some fans may even remember his exciting 53-yard return in 1991 against the Miami Dolphins, one in which he nearly broke it for the touchdown.

While Hector never broke the 1,00 yard mark in his career, he played an unselfish role behind McNeil. His value was not only in his own performances, but in the rest he provided McNeil. The two headed monster, rolled through opposing defenses of the 1980’s and Hector’s part was invaluable to their success.

A lifetime Jet, Hector retired from the NFL after the 1992 season. Today, Hector is still involved in the sports industry, working as a mentor and coach to individuals attempting to become professional athletes. Hector will turn 56 on November 26th of this year and is still remembered fondly from his playing days.

Many of my readers will remember Hector well. We here at The Jet Press invite you to share your memories of him below. Please leave us a comment and as always, Let’s Talk Jet Football!!

Next: NY Jets: Confidence breeds success

More from The Jet Press