While playing in Bucknell University, Hinkle led the team to an undefeated season in 1931. Hinkle's coach at Bucknell, Carl Snavely, called him: "Without a doubt, the greatest defensive back I have ever seen or coached." Those words were uttered by a man who had seen and coached many of the nation's best.
When Hinkle left Bucknell University, he signed with the Green Bay Packers and played mainly fullback on offense. He played with the Packers throughout his whole ten-year career. When he retired Hinkle was the NFL all time leading rusher with 3,850 career yards. He surpassed the old record of 3,511 yards held by Cliff Battles.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1964, the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971, and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1972. In 1997, the Packers' west practice field across Oneida Street from Lambeau Field was dedicated Clarke Hinkle Field. He is on the NFL 1930s All-Decade Team.
Hinkle died on November 9, 1988 in Steubenville, Ohio, at the age of 79.