Max Runager, a former USC punter who played 11 years in the NFL, passed away Saturday at the age of 61.
Runager was a graduate of Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School and went on to a stellar career at USC from 1974-78. He was taken in the eighth round of the 1979 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He played on two Super Bowl Teams - the 1980 Eagles and the 1984 49ers who won Super Bowl XIX with a 38-16 victory over the Dolphins. He also punted for the Cleveland Browns.
Runager received several awards long after his playing career ended. He was a 2007 inductee into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, a 2013 inductee into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame and an SEC Football Legends pick also in 2013.
In 2015, Runager and fellow Orangegburg-Wilkinson alumnus Dwayne Harper were at their alma mater to take part in the NFL's celebration of Super Bowl 50. To celebrate the golden anniversary of football's biggest game, the NFL launched the Super Bowl High School Honor Roll campaign where former players and coaches who competed in previous Super Bowls would present commemorative Wilson Golden Footballs to their schools. Runager and Harper were at the school for an October 24th game against Hilton Head. At halftime, the two men headlined the ceremony where they talked about the golden footballs and why they will live forever in the school's trophy case.
On that night, people who weren't aware of Runager's accomplishments learned that not only did he excel in athletics, but that he had tremendous pride in being a native of Orangeburg which is where he had lived for the past couple of years.