Former Lions’ first-round pick Herb Orvis, Flint star, dies at 73

Detroit News

Herb Orvis, a College Football Hall-of-Famer and a first-round pick for the Detroit Lions in 1972, died Friday morning after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 73. 

A Michigan native, Orvis was born in Petoskey in 1946 and played his high-school football for Flint Beecher. After serving in the Army, he accepted a scholarship to the University of Colorado, where he played defensive tackle.

At Colorado, he was twice named first-team All-Big Eight, earning All-America honors in 1971 as a senior. He was selected by the Lions with the No. 16 pick of the draft the following year and played six season with the franchise before finishing his career with the Baltimore Colts. 

Orvis was selected to the Colorado University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014, the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015 and Flint Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.

The Flint Journal named Orvis one of the 25 all-time greatest football players (No. 18) from the area. 

Orvis is survived by fiancee, Marilu Trainor, sons Gabriel and Wilson, seven grandchildren, brother Dave, sister Daeanna and their families. 

He is donating his brain for scientific research to the CTE Center at Boston University. 

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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