A star linebacker at Oklahoma State, John Corker had been with the Houston Oilers from 1980-82 prior to joining the USFL.  Released by the Oilers on December 3, 1982, he was signed by the Michigan Panthers 17 days later, and helped lead the Panther defense to the USFL Championship in 1983 with an amazing 28 sacks.

After two years in Detroit, Corker was left unprotected by the Oakland Invaders when the team was merged with the Panthers, and he was picked up by the Memphis Showboats.  Making in excess of $ 300,000 a year with the USFL, Corker lived the party lifestyle, which included heavy drug use.  After the USFL folded he moved on to the New Orleans Saints, where his NFL days ended not on the field in victory, but in the locker room following a failed drug test.

Corker would move on to the Arena Football League, where his drug use was overlooked because of his performance.  He played 7 years in the AFL, first with the Detroit Drive and later with the Miami Hooters.  Corker describes how he was treated in Miami, "They told me not to even come to practice - just show up for games.  They didn't want me around the other players."  His playing days ended in 1994, but his drug use didn't:  shelters, jails, living out of dumpsters and on the streets of Baltimore.  For a man who'd seen the high of a USFL championship, it was a new low. 

As of late 2006, Corker continues to battle drug addition, working for a moving company.  He is saving money for a day when he can leave his current home, the Salvation Army homeless shelter in Fort Worth, Texas.

JOHN CORKER

Michigan Panthers,
Memphis Showboats

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