Salt Lake City, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - Former BYU star and NFL tight end
Todd Christensen died Wednesday morning. He was 57 years old.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Christensen died while undergoing surgery
at a Utah hospital. He had battled liver disease and other illnesses in recent
Christensen was a running back at BYU from 1974-77, earning All-WAC honors as
a senior. He scored 15 touchdowns for the Cougars and was inducted into the
school's Hall of Fame in 1992.
As one of the top pass catching tight ends in the NFL, he spent most of his
career with the Raiders. He twice led the league in receptions, first in 1983
with 92 and again three years later with 95.
Christensen was a five-time Pro Bowl pick and won Super Bowl titles with the
Raiders after the 1980 and 1983 seasons. He finished his career with 461
catches for 5,872 yards with 41 touchdowns in 137 games.
"Todd was an excellent football player and was prolific in the passing game,"
said former head coach Tom Flores. "He was a hybrid tight end, an H-back
before it became a football term. He started out as a special teamer and was
named our special teams captain right away while playing behind Raymond
Chester and Dave Casper. He then helped us win Super Bowls.
"I remember Todd as always using big words and quoting famous authors and
poets. He was comical at times because no one knew what he was talking about.
I hadn't seen much of him lately but miss the fun, great times we all shared
as a Raider family."
After his career ended in 1988, Christensen worked as a broadcaster. He was an
NFL analyst for NBC and most recently worked for the Mountain West Sports
Network in the collegiate ranks.
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