East Texas Has Produced A Long List Of Great Football Talent, But There's One Player Who's Tragic Death Rocked The NFL And The Community That Raised Him.

Big Sandy is a small East Texas town that also has rich and long legacy of growing football talent. One Wildcat great was David Overstreet who according to Dave Campbell's Texas Football, is considered to be one of the state’s all-time small-school legends.

Overstreet set a Texas schoolboy record for Class B (now 1A) with 7,652 yards and 620 points.

As a junior in 1975, Overstreet rushed for 3,032 yards and scored a whopping 56 touchdowns in sparking the Wildcats to the state championship. In the process, he was named the Texas High School Football Player of the Year.

In all, Big Sandy won two state titles and shared another during Overstreet’s four seasons. One of Overstreet’s high school teammates was quarterback Lovie Smith, who went on to become a head coach at NFL and college levels.


Overstreet Moved On To Play College Football At Oklahoma.

Despite playing in the shadow of Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims, he rushed for 1,702 yards, averaging 5.8 yards per carry and scored 16 touchdowns in his college career. In one game he gained 258 yards on 18 carries against Colorado.

The Miami Dolphins chose Overstreet in the first first round of the 1981 NFL Draft with the 13th overall pick.

Unfortunately, negotiations stalled and the Dolphins were not able to come to a contract agreement with Overstreet. He decided to sign with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

He led the CFL with 962 yards as a rookie, and injuries limited him in his second year in Canada when he finally signed with the Dolphins in 1983. On December 31, 1983, David Overstreet played his final football game.

Overstreet Died In A Car Accident On June 24, 1984.


According to reports, on June 25, 1984, Overstreet was making the long journey from South Florida back to his hometown of Big Sandy driving his Mercedes when he fell asleep at the wheel. The car spun out of control and crashed into a row of gas pumps at a service station near his hometown. The impact created a huge explosion and Overstreet was killed instantly.

He left behind a wife and son, David Jr. who would continue his father's legacy going to play pro football as well and he's entering his sixth season of coaching in the NFL in 2023 and his second year as assistant defensive backs coach for the Chicago Bears.

The Big Sandy Community Plans To Honor Overstreet With His A Day In His Honor And Honorary Street Dedication.


Overstreet was inducted into the Texas High School Hall of Fame in 1994 and nearly 30 years since his posthomous induction and almost 50 years since his tragic death the community plans to honor him through a series of events on Saturday June 17th:

  • 11:30 AM - Tour Big Sandy High at 401 N. Wildcat Drive. View Tributes to David, team jerseys and trophies.
  • 1:00 PM - Honoray Street Dedication - Corner of W. Broadway (Hwy. 80) and Wildcat Drive.
  • 2:30 PM Reception Hosted By The Overstreet Family at Big Sandy Community Center 207 E. Gilmer Street. The Big Sandy Museum will also open at that time where you can see exhibits dedicated to Overstreet and Lovie Smith. at 115 E. Gilmer St.

For more information, contact Linda Baggett at 903-720-4021

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