Mike Hawkins starred as a defensive tackle for four years with the Texas A&I Javelinas from 1974-77 as the program went 46-1-1 during that time. He would play linebacker in the pros and was a 7th round draft choice (188th overall) of the New England Patriots in the 1978 NFL Draft. He would play four seasons and 59 regular season games with the club from 1978 to 1981 and record 5 pickoffs and 9 quarterback sacks. His best season statistically was arguably in 1979 when he started 14 of 16 contests and was credited with 48 tackles, 5 sacks and 2 interceptions (one for a touchdown). The Patriots released him in September of 1982 and he was signed late in the season by the Oakland Raiders. He would be active for 3 games for the Raiders before a groin injury ended his season prematurely. The Raiders released Hawkins in training camp in 1983. He signed as a free agent with the USFL's Houston Gamblers in November 1983 and was joined a month later on the club by his brother Andy. Hawkins wore this jersey for home games in either 1984 or 1985. He played in 12 games in 1984 and had an interception but missed 6 games due to injury. His 1985 statistics with the Gamblers are not readily available.
Rodney Brown - Cornerback (Central Arkansas)
Rodney Brown was the Houston Gamblers' second selection in the 15th round (311th overall) of the 1984 USFL Draft. He made the squad but was placed on the team’s developmental roster on February 24, 1984 at the end of training camp. He was among players released by the Gamblers on March 9, 1984 to make room for RB Mark Rush and LB Eric Scoggins on the developmental squad after week two of the 1984 USFL regular season. Brown never played a regular season game with the Gamblers and this jersey was likely only put to use in the 1984 preseason where the Gamblers played against the Jacksonville Bulls and Oklahoma Outlaws.
The Houston Gamblers Highrollers Cheerleaders
Here Come the Gamblers! 1984 USFL Central Division Champions
Tony Fitzpatrick - Defensive Tackle (Miami)
Once called "the rock of Miami's defense" by Hurricanes' head coach Howard Schnellenberger, Tony Fitzpartick was selected by the expansion Houston Gamblers in the 7th round (128th overall) of the 1984 USFL Draft. He would become an instant contributor by starting all 18 games and recording 13.5 sacks in 1984. He added an impressive 55.5 tackles and a fumble recovery while being voted second team All-USFL by the league writers and broadcasters in his rookie season. Fitzpatrick's statistics for the 1985 season are not so easy to come by but he did record 4 sacks on the season. After the USFL folded, Fitzpatrick headed north in 1986 and signed with the Ottawa Rough Riders, where he joined fellow Gamblers defensive lineman Lloyd Lewis. Fitzpatrick would only suit up for the Rough Riders in three games in 1986 and registered two sacks. Fitzpatrick closed out his pro career with the Houston Oilers in 1987 where he suffered a shoulder injury prior to making his regular season debut. Since his career ended, he worked for many years as an assistant coach at the University of Houston and was a regular on sports radio in Houston.