Howard Melvin Stevens Jr. is a former NFL running back who played for the New Orleans Saints and the Baltimore Colts. He was one of the smallest players to play in the NFL and was the smallest during his 5 years in the league.
Stevens started his college career at Randolph-Macon College, where he was named All-American in 1968 (honorable mention) and 1969 (second team) and then transferred to the University of Louisville where he earned a B.A. in Psychology . Stevens played only two seasons for Louisville but has been inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame. In 1972, Stevens was named to the United Press International, the Walter Camp and the Football News all-American football teams and the Associated Press Second Team. The University of Louisville retired Stevens’ jersey in 1972. He set a school record for rushing yards in a season with 1,429 yards in 1971 while scoring 12 touchdowns. He is currently ranked fourth all-time in school history with 2,723 rushing yards and is sixth with 25 career touchdowns.
Stevens, who was listed at 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m) tall and 165 lb (75 kg)., was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the 16th round (392nd overall) of the 1973 Draft. He played two years for the Saints, lead the NFL in 1974 in kick-off and punt returns. In 1975, Stevens was picked up by the Baltimore Colts where he was used exclusively as a kick-off and punt returner. During his tenure in the NFL, he was the league’s smallest player, rushed for a total of 376 yards on 89 carries and scored 4 touchdowns. As a kick returner, he ran for 2336 yards on 103 returns. He returned 163 punts for 1,559 yards. He never returned a kick-off or punt for a touchdown.
After leaving the Baltimore Colts, Stevens moved to Indiana. He and his wife Joyce have three adult children.