Former OSU, NFL Quarterback Rusty Hilger Dies

Tuesday, December 24th 2019, 11:11 am
By: News On 6

Former Oklahoma State quarterback Rusty Hilger died Tuesday morning, it was announced on his Facebook page, @RustyHilger12.

User: Rusty Hilger To: link

Hilger was 57 and had battled cancer for several years.

The Oklahoma City native played 46 games in four seasons with the Cowboys. He also played eight seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Oakland Raiders. He also played for the Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks.

Oklahoma State University sent an announcement about Hilger's death:

STILLWATER – Record-setting Oklahoma State quarterback Rusty Hilger has passed away.

A three-year letterman for OSU in 1981, 1983 and 1984, Hilger went on to a seven-year career in the National Football League with the Los Angeles Raiders, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks.

He was not heavily recruited out of Southeast HS in Oklahoma City and came to Stillwater with very little fanfare. Coach Pat Jones said the only thing he really knew about Hilger was that he had a strong arm and so Hilger was given the 30th and final scholarship in his signing class.

That decision paid off, as Jones said Hilger was a key component in setting up OSU’s run of success in the 1980s.

In 1983, Hilger earned MVP honors at the Bluebonnet Bowl, which was played in front of a crowd of 50,090 in the Houston Astrodome. He threw two touchdowns in the first half and helped the Cowboys get out to a 24-6 halftime lead over Baylor before being knocked out of the game to injury. OSU went on to secure a 24-14 win.

The following year, Hilger quarterbacked the Cowboys to the first 10-win season in program history. The Pokes lost only twice that season – both to opponents ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll – and picked up one of the most memorable wins in school history when they claimed a 21-14 victory over No. 7 South Carolina in the Gator Bowl.

To this day, Hilger’s name still appears prominently in the Oklahoma State record book. He set single-season school records for pass completions, pass attempts and passing yards in 1984 and remains in the top 10 in school history for career pass attempts, career pass completions, career passing yards and career completion percentage, among other categories.

Hilger further cemented his status as a professional prospect on the post-season all-star circuit and legendary Raiders owner Al Davis selected him in the sixth round of the 1985 NFL Draft.

Services are pending.

This is a developing story.