Before murder charges tarnished his legacy, O.J. Simpson was one of the NFL’s greatest running backs

Buffalo Bulls running back O.J. Simpson (32) has his jersey pulled by Baltimore Colts linebacker Mike Curtis, during the second quarter of a game in Oct. 1975 in Baltimore, Md. Simpson, the decorated football superstar and Hollywood actor who was acquitted of charges he killed his former wife and her friend but later found liable in a separate civil trial, died Wednesday of prostate cancer. He was 76. (AP Photo/File)

Long before the Bronco chase gripped a national television audience and the “Trial of the Century” captivated the country, O.J. Simpson was making his mark on the football field.