Fred Lane (American football)

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Fred Lane
refer to caption
Fred Lane running against the New Orleans Saints
No. 32
Position: Running back
Personal information
Born: (1975-09-06)September 6, 1975
Franklin, Tennessee
Died: July 6, 2000(2000-07-06) (aged 24)
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
Career information
College: Lane College
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards: 2,001
Rushing average: 4.0
Touchdowns: 13
Player stats at

Fred Brown Lane, Jr. (September 6, 1975 – July 6, 2000) was an American football running back in the NFL for the Carolina Panthers.

Early life[edit]

Lane was born and raised in Franklin, Tennessee. His father, Fred Lane, Sr., was a star at the old Natchez High School (which later desegregated with Franklin High). Attending Franklin Junior High School, it was noticed that Lane possessed uncommon speed and agility for such a young player. Lane attended Franklin High School, amassing over 1,000 yards his senior year, while averaging 7.5 yards per carry. His number, 28, is retired by the school. He had 3 daughters, Régine Lane, Pilarr Lane, and Sable Lane.

College career[edit]

Lane attended Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee. He finished his career with 3,612 rushing yards, establishing himself as the school's all-time leading rusher. As of 2012, Lane still held the school records for rushing yards in a career, season (1,853 in 1995) and game (305 versus Miles College), as well as rushing attempts and per carry average. As a junior in 1995, Lane finished the season on the Harlon Hill Trophy watchlist, the NCAA Division II Player of the Year award. In the same year, Lane was named to the Heritage Radio HBCU All American team, as well as several other media services' All American teams. Lane's college number, #6, was retired by Lane College.

Professional career[edit]

Lane was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Panthers before the 1997 NFL season. He had a remarkable rookie season, setting several franchise records, many of which still stand (see below). Though he started only about half his games, he led Carolina in rushing attempts, yards, and touchdowns in 1997 and 1998, before the balance of touches tipped towards Tim Biakabutuka in 1999. During his three years with the Panthers, he accumulated 2,001 rushing yards (the most in franchise history at the time) and 13 touchdowns. After three years, Lane was traded to the Indianapolis Colts shortly before his death on July 6, 2000.

NFL Career Statistics[edit]

Source:[1] Rushing Receiving Kick Returns
Year Tm G GS Rush Yds TD Y/A Y/G Rec Yds TD Fmb Rt Yds TD APYd
1997 CAR 13 7 182 809 7 4.4 62.2 8 27 0 4 0 0 0 0
1998 CAR 14 11 205 717 5 3.5 51.2 12 85 0 4 0 0 0 0
1999 CAR 15 5 115 475 1 4.1 31.7 23 163 0 1 3 58 0 696
Career 42 23 502 2,001 13 4 47.6 43 275 0 9 3 58 0 2,334

Franchise Records[edit]

As of 2017 off-season, Lane still held several Panthers records, including:

  • Rush attempts, rookie game (34, 1997-12-08 @DAL)
  • Rush yards, rookie game (147, 1997-11-02 OAK)
  • Rushing touchdowns, rookie game (3, 1997-11-02 OAK; with Cam Newton)
  • Total touchdowns, rookie game (3, 1997-11-02 OAK; with Cam Newton)
  • Rushing yards per game, rookie season (62.2)
  • 100+ yard rushing games, rookie season (4)
  • Games with 3+ TDs, rookie season (1; with Cam Newton)


On July 6, 2000, Fred's wife, Deidra Lane shot and killed Lane. His keys were still in the lock and he had been shot twice with a 12-gauge shotgun - once in the chest and a second time in the back of the head, apparently at point blank range. Deidra Lane pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in 2003.

Prosecutors at her sentencing described Deidra Lane as an abusive woman who killed her husband for insurance money. Defense attorneys called her a battered wife who killed in self-defense. A judge sentenced her to seven years and 11 months, ruling her actions were premeditated and deliberate, that she acted with malice and shot him a second time after he'd already been rendered helpless. She received credit for jail time served waiting on a federal charge of conspiracy to commit bank larceny. She pleaded guilty and served four months for that charge. She was released on March 3, 2009.


External links[edit]