Born in a small town of Sealy, Texas, in 1960, Eric Dickerson was raised by his uncle and aunt after his mother decided not to marry his father at the young age of 17. Even though he did not grow up with his father, Dickerson inherited athletic abilities from the former running back of Prairie View College.
Being a skinny kid who wore gasses, Dickerson spent the earlier years of his life being teased and taunted by the other kids in his neighborhood. However, once he started playing football, the world saw an entirely new side of Dickerson. From the time he first set foot on the field, to the time he reached 7th grade, Dickerson was making himself recognized as a running back.
Entering Sealy High School, Dickerson became a part of the track team and won the state 100-yard dash championship with an unbeatable time of 9.4 seconds. Even then, Dickerson showed more inclination towards football and continued to impress his coaches as a running back. Progressing into his senior year, Dickerson led Sealy to the state high school Class AA championship by rushing for 2,642 yards and 37 touchdowns. This earned him the title of a 1978 Parade magazine All-American.
Even though playing for the Oklahoma Sooners was Dickerson’s first preference, he joined the Southern Methodist University upon his mother’s insistence. The football player faced hindrances in his game in his freshman year due to injuries and spent a considerable amount of time off-field.
In his sophomore year, however, he made a comeback by rushing for more than a 100 yards in five different games followed by 19 touchdowns and the title of Southwest Conference Player of the Year in his junior year. Together with Craig James, Dickerson was given the name of ‘The Pony Express’ during his time at SMU.
His senior year proved to be the most successful of the four with a total of 1,617 yards, 17 touchdowns and a Cotton Bowl victory. The same year, Dickerson was chosen as an All-American, voted Southwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year and earned third