Former Colorado wide receiver and track star Cliff Branch dies at 71

Oakland Raiders issue a statement on former NFL star’s passing

Former Colorado wide receiver Cliff Branch, who went on to a brilliant career in the National Football League with the Oakland Raiders, has died at the age of 71 according to multiple reports.

ESPN on Saturday night reported that the Oakland Raiders issued a statement on their former star’s passing, having said, “Cliff Branch touched the lives of generations of Raiders fans. His loss leaves an eternal void for the Raiders Family, but his kindness and loving nature will be fondly remembered forever. Cliff’s on-field accomplishments are well documented and undeniably Hall of Fame worthy, but his friendship and smile are what the Raider Nation will always cherish.”

Branch was a fourth-round pick out of Colorado, where he also ran track for the Buffaloes, in 1972. He went on to play through the 1985 season and his career included 501 receptions for 8,685 yards and 67 touchdowns. As a career Raider, he is just one of six players to have played on all three Super Bowl-winning teams for the organization.

For the Buffs, Branch played two seasons of football and totaled eight touchdowns (five rushing, three receiving) to go along with 1,019 scrimmage yards.