Frank Gore Definitely Belongs in the Hall of Fame


Frank Gore was drafted in 2005 from the University of Miami in the 3rd round. Teams were skeptical of Gore’s longevity in the NFL, given a torn ACL in his left knee, which he suffered in 2002.  The San Francisco 49ers would not regret the decision of drafting Frank Gore, and neither would the game of football.  I believe Frank Gore unquestionably deserves to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame based on the following.

Unique Rushing Style

Gore’s diminutive stature of 5’9” belies the ferocity and toughness he exhibits in the game of football.  Gore is a decisive, patient runner with great vision.  He waits for the hole to develop, makes a cut and then puts it into gear.  Frank runs very low to the ground, making it difficult for defenders to tackle him.  He also keeps his legs moving, so even as he is being hit by defenders, he picks up extra yards in the process.

Unparalled Durability

In nine full seasons Gore has only once not played in at least 14 games (in 2010 he fractured his right hip and played in 10 games).  This is a remarkable feat, considering the pounding running backs encounter in the NFL in the current era.

Great Productivity Throughout Career

Gore is currently 27th in the all-time NFL rushing list with 10, 225 yards. If not for the aforementioned hip injury in 2010, Gore would have had eight consecutive 1000 yard rushing seasons.

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Frank Gore’s list of accolades is impressive. In 2006 he led the NFC in rushing with 1695 rushing yards.  Gore has been selected to the Pro Bowl five times in his career.  He is the 49er’s franchise leader in yards rushing and rushing touchdowns scored.

Running backs tend to decline in their late twenties and arguably are productive for half a dozen seasons or so.  Instead, from ages 28-30, Gore had three consecutive seasons of at least 1100 yards and did not miss a single contest in this span.

Immense Flexibility

From 2005-2010 Frank was not a single team with a winning record. Thus, Gore had a different offensive coordinator each season, each with his own running scheme Gore had to adopt.  He also had a carousel of quarterbacks in this time frame that were not particularly effective.  This lead to defenses stacking the box with eight defenders to play the run, and Gore was still very successful.

Gore unquestionably prefers to carry the ball from formations in which the quarterback is under center.  However, after Colin Kaepernick took over midway in the 2012 season, there was a shift to greater shotgun formations.  In addition, the pistol formation, in which the read-option was employed, was quite different for Gore.  Gore was readily able to adapt his rushing style and enjoyed his 2nd best rushing season from a yards standpoint in 2012.

Gore is one of the most adept running backs in pass protection.  His ability to pick up blitzes is what separates him from other elite rushers in the NFL.  Gore is fully capable of catching the ball out of the backfield as well.  The Harbaugh-Roman regime generally shies away from throwing to backs, but when called upon, Gore can be a great receiving weapon out of the backfield (the Eagles saw this firsthand on Gore’s 55 yard TD reception last week).


Frank Gore is a man of few words off the field and may not be the most eloquent football player with the media.  However, on the football field he is a natural leader with a very high football IQ.  Frank Gore has the ear of teammates and coaches due to his clairvoyance and profound understanding of the game.

Whether it is fair or not, entry into the Hall of Fame is often predicated on team success.  Gore finally punched into the postseason in 2011, and has been in the playoffs for three consecutive seasons.  However, he is still missing the ultimate prize.  He came within a mere five yards of a Super Bowl ring in 2012.  Here’s hoping the 49ers finish the 2014 season with a win in February, such that their leader can complete his illustrious career with a trip to Canton.