Nate Northington, the first black football player in the SEC, finally understands his place in history. It didn't even cross my mind.". Top News Videos for first black college football player. The game was moved to South Bend. When the five athletes earned scholarships to play at Georgia, their accomplishment began a series of firsts for the program. Via The Chronicle: Jackson became one the Blue Devils’ all-time greats on the field, getting enshrined into the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame in 1986. SUBSCRIBE NOW $1 for 3 months. The UCLA Bruins left halfback set a college record of 3,206 yards for total offense over his career, won the Douglas Fairbanks trophy for the best college player … Frank Kinney Holbrook (Bottom row, first from left) (Photo: foriowa.org). Floyd eventually led the Jayhawks in rushing three years in a row, from 1956 to 1958, and earned all-conference honors his senior season. Scroll up to see the first black players at major college football programs around the country and the year that they debuted. American College football is in the air and Black involvement at the collegiate level is rich with historic tradition. This was still six years before Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington and "I Have a Dream Speech.". He was recruited by U of L and participated in spring practice, played in the season opener, then left the school. He was often compared with greats like Jim Thorpe. 123 4 5. As a National Merit Scholar finalist, he took care of business in the classroom as well, so Lanier had many, many scholarship offers. Via Seminole Nation Museum: Pittman arrived on OSU's campus in the fall of 1957, a year after the University of Oklahoma had welcomed its first black football player on campus, Prentice Gautt. William Exum's family settled in Gary, Indiana; after he graduated from high school, he left Indiana to attend school in Wisconsin. A first team All-SEC selection in 1973, 1974, and 1975, Williams had 377 career tackles and led the Rebels in tackles as a senior with 116. He was among the first black athletes in the nation to receive a football scholarship when he came to Texas from San Antonio Highlands High School in 1969. Via Maryland Athletics: Changed the course of intercollegiate athletic history for both Maryland and the ACC. Via UNC Athletics: In the fall of 1967, he became the first African-American scholarship football player in Carolina history. Mobile native John Mitchell was the first African American to play varsity football for the University of Alabama (UA) in 1971. Due to the persistence of the students, alumni, faculty, and staff, and other supporters, the stadium was finally named Jack Trice Stadium in 1997. When Smith tried to join Michigan Agricultural College's freshman football team, Aggies coach John Macklin turned him away by refusing to issue him a uniform. Preston Eagleson, a classmate of Neal, is credited as being the second Black graduate of IU in 1896. He played baseball, basketball and football at Elmira Free Academy, earning high school All … By: Bryan Manning, This story originally appeared on LSU Wire. A year later, they joined the varsity squad and guided State to its first winning season in seven years. Kentucky to celebrate the man who integrated the conference 50 years ago Via blackpast.org: In 1923, Taylor accepted the scholarship offered to him by “Gloomy” Gus Henderson, the head football coach at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los, Angeles. Lanier was standout for Coach Herman Boone (of Remember the Titans fame) at Williamston's E.J. 387). In fact, Stone not Jim Brown was the first black star at Syracuse in the early '50s, beating Brown by several years. Due to the significance of Dobbins joining the team, he and fellow Radford teammate Tommy Edwards had their signing ceremony televised on Claiborne's show. Brown is quick to credit a number of teammates, including David Hargis, Bruce Maxwell and Terry Don Phillips, for their support. Scored the winning touchdown in 1963 against an undefeated Air Force team on the final play of the game. Joining him were Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Ray Bartlett, and Tom Bradley—the four played starring roles in an era when fewer than a dozen major colleges had black players on their rosters. The year was 1969, and it would forever change the course of Mississippi State Athletics history. George played fullback and halfback during the season. The running back from St. Louis did so in 1957, and as a black athlete at that time, Stevenson faced his share of difficulties in a country experiencing heightened racial tensions. Mitchell, the first black player to start for Alabama, later became the first black assistant coach at the University. Such was the cost for breaking the racial barrier in … Instead, the night before Northington made history, Page died. He was a fast, exceptionally accurate passer, and he could kick more than 60 yards. BAMA BEAT: Breaking down the coaching and player turnover (Ep. Jackson entered the National Football League in 1974 and played for the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins before retiring in 1982. History was made, even if it didn't resonate at the time with the running back from Elgin, Texas. Via Biography.com: Frederick Patterson was the first African American automobile manufacturer in the United States. Hackett and Hogg joined up with them in Lexington the year after and were the first … He played football his junior year, becoming the first African American to make the team, but left in his senior year to teach high school in Louisville, Kentucky. He recorded a team best 96 tackles as a junior and had 111 in 1973 when he was a sophomore. Subjected to ridicule, mental and even physical punishment, Brown persevered to play the game he loved. Via WACH: Reeves lettered for the Tigers from 1971-1973 as a defensive back and tied for the team lead with four picks during the 1971 season. He played on the 1969 freshman team, redshirted in 1970 and earned a varsity letter in 1971, a year in which he rushed for 179 yards. Via South Carolina Athletics: Carlton Haywood was the first African-American recruited to Carolina, coming from Macon, Ga. On August 15, 1942, Dave died from complications following a tonsillectomy. In addition to his athletic participation, he won oratorical contests on campus. Via Big 12: Dr. Prentice Gautt, an original member of the Big 12 Conference staff, was a pioneer in the field of college athletics from his time as the first African-American football player at the University of Oklahoma to a successful career in administration. Pittman attended college during the time of segregation. He faced large scale discrimination from not being allowed to room with any of his white teammates because of university rules to being bared from certain hotels and dinning rooms while traveling with the team due to states' laws. Welcome to Roll Tide Wire's European Union Experience. He also played defensive back for the Orangemen and was considered one of the East's best punters before missing his entire senior season because of a leg injury. Where is Alabama? Documented in the college's newspaper's 1930 edition, team members purchased a regulation football and uniforms, the players equipped their street shoes with cleats, taking them off after practice. Dave Alston was a triple-threat on the gridiron. Via nkaa: In 1952, Simmons became the first African American athlete at the University of Louisville (U of L). The No. Mobile native John Mitchell was the first African American to play varsity football for the University of Alabama (UA) in 1971. Taylor Stokes (Photo: Vanderbilt Athletics). The young women of the school's industrial department made the players' uniforms for the first game. Stone lettered in football, basketball and baseball from 1944 to '46 at the old Armstrong High School and later was a triple-threat quarterback at Syracuse. He is still very at home in the legendary stadium, but playing at Kyle wasn't part of his plan when he arrived at Texas A&M in 1967 from an all-black high school. In 1971, Williams joined James Reed to become the first African-American athletes to sign football scholarships with Ole Miss. Four years later, King became the first African American from Georgia drafted to play in the NFL, and he had a nine-year professional career as a running back with the Detroit Lions. Both young men would go on to be part of the 1953 team that went undefeated and was named national champion in several polls. Via DataOmaha: Nebraska had played just one season — and two games — when Flippin became NU’s first black athlete, in 1891. The running back from St. Louis did so in 1957, and as a black athlete at that time, Stevenson faced his share of difficulties in a country experiencing heightened racial tensions. John Hill Westbrook (Photo: baylorsports.com). He was steered to Iowa City by several Hawkeye supporters in Tipton, who provided a fund for his tuition and living expenses. CBS Sports is a registered trademark of CBS Broadcasting Inc. George Jewett (second row, second from left) (Photo: U-M BENTLEY HISTORICAL LIBRARY). Wilbur Jackson (Photo: Encyclopedia of Alabama). He competed in the 100-metersprint and was a member of the USC mile relay team that set a World Record in 1925. He joined the Oklahoma State football team while the majority of other schools still had all white football rosters. And in 1939, the UCLA Bruins sported four local black players, including Tom Bradley, who would become the first black … Wayne Edmonds (Photo: Notre Dame Athletics). He played three years for the Vols, totaling 70 receptions for 1,003 yards and 10 touchdowns, while adding two rushing scores. Via UWDawgPound: The 1923 football season was one of firsts for the University of Washington. Stokes was Vanderbilt's first African-American scholarship football player. Frederick graduated from Greenfield High School in 1888 and went on to college at Ohio State University. "The fact that I was the first Negro to play in the Southwest Conference had no significance. He later became Miami's first African-American Student Body president. And he did, signing … There are many examples of those figures in college football, a sport that underwent massive changes throughout the 20th century due to the gradual integration of rosters. Floyd, who spent most of his schooling years in Mallison, Ohio, decided to become a Jayhawk because his former high school coach and Kansas head coach at the time, Charles "Chuck" Mather, urged him to come to Kansas. Via Mississippi State Athletics: The year was 1969, and it would forever change the course of Mississippi State Athletics history. Alabama blows out LSU to remain undefeated in SEC play, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. Penn State Football Coach Bob Higgins called Alston “the greatest player I ever coached.” And Esquire magazine named Dave Alston the top sophomore football player in the nation and a preseason All-American just prior to his death. Reeves lettered for the Tigers from 1971-1973 as a defensive back and tied for the team lead with four picks during the 1971 season. The game was moved to South Bend. Penn State Football Coach Bob Higgins called Alston “the greatest player I ever coached.” And Esquire magazine named Dave Alston the top sophomore football player in the nation and a preseason All-American just prior to his death. There were four black football players on that Wildcats team: Northington, Greg Page, Wilbur Hackett and Houston Hogg. “He was the first black All-American football player, for heaven’s sake,” Albright said. Trice died due to injuries suffered during a college football game against the University of Minnesota on October 6, 1923. Floyd eventually led the Jayhawks in rushing three years in a row, from 1956 to 1958, and earned all-conference honors his senior season. Tennessee's star LB announces decision to transfer. “I ended being an All-American, C.G. In fact, Stone not Jim Brown was the first black star at Syracuse in the early '50s, beating Brown by several years. MIAMI -- Former Ohio State football player and assistant coach Rudy Hubbard will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as part of … Pittman arrived on OSU's campus in the fall of 1957, a year after the University of Oklahoma had welcomed its first black football player on campus, Prentice Gautt. Cook, however, changed his mind about FSU and attended Minnesota, where he was an All-Big Ten player. Black History Month is a time when an increased focus is placed on the contributions of influential African-American people throughout United States history. Army invited Gary Steele, the school's first Black varsity football player, to Saturday's game against Navy. He moved from from the running back position to offensive guard and became one of the first African American football players at USC. Via The Black Bruins: Best known among them was Jackie Robinson, a four-star athlete for the Bruins who went on to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball and become a leader in the civil rights movement after his retirement. His 18 quarterback sacks in 1973 remains a Rebel record. This site is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or affiliated with the University of Alabama. Via KBTX: McElroy was the first African-American to start for the Texas A&M University football team and first to score a touchdown. As a senior, he was named to the Academic All-America Team. The first ever African-American football player to step on the field for Ole Miss and still the university's sack leader, Ben Williams died Monday. In 1971, which was 10 years after the integration of the university, they became the first African Americans to join the team. In 1923, Taylor accepted the scholarship offered to him by “Gloomy” Gus Henderson, the head football coach at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los, Angeles. Yet rather than a sense of historic accomplishment, the Louisville product ended that night crying tears of grief. He was big for his time in football, a 6-foot-2 200-pounder coming out of the backfield. Via Encyclopedia of Alabama: Ozark native Wilbur Jackson was the first African American football player to join the University of Alabama (UA) program, accepting a scholarship in 1970. Despite his hardships, Chester Pittman was a dedicated football player and became a graduate of Oklahoma State. Brown’s biggest challenges, however, came as a result of the treatment he received from some due to his race. Via Iowa State University Library: Jack Trice was the first African-American athlete at ISU, competing in both football and track. In 1971, which was 10 years after the integration of the university, they became the first African Americans to join the team. Patterson enrolled at FSU and was the first black player to break the color barrier in football, playing on the freshman team – freshmen were ineligible to play varsity football until the NCAA changed the rule in 1972. Despite his hardships, Chester Pittman was a dedicated football player and became a graduate of Oklahoma State. Dobbins enrolled at Tech in the fall of 1969, ineligible as a freshman to play varsity football. This was still six years before Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington and "I Have a Dream Speech.". Next 114 results. He and Richard Washington are the first Black student-athletes to actually play in a game. NU later banned blacks from athletic competition from 1917 until the late 1940s. Williams meanwhile was a bruising runner in his own right coming from Washington High School in Portland. Undeterred, Smith reported to practice anyway, wearing the high-school gear loaned to him by a classmate. Bellamy was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. Via AU Now: He signed with Auburn out of Fairfield High in 1969 and became the program’s first African American scholarship player. 00:30 'Bachelor’ Trailer Gives 1st Look at Matt James’ Search for Love in Season 25. Kinney Holbrook joined the Hawkeye football team in 1895, becoming the first African-American athlete in the history of the University of Iowa and the … Via MSUSpartans: When Smith tried to join Michigan Agricultural College's freshman football team, Aggies coach John Macklin turned him away by refusing to issue him a uniform. During his four seasons on the Plains, Owens helped Auburn to a 28-5 mark, including a 10-1 record in 1972 on the team that came to be known as The Amazin’s. And while integrating the football team wasn't an overt topic during his recruitment, Dobbins told the Roanoke Times, "No one ever mentioned it when they were recruiting me, but I knew I would be the first." The running back became a two-time All-Big Eight player and the 1959 Orange Bowl MVP. Frederick graduated from Greenfield High School in 1888 and went on to college at Ohio State University. Via Notre Dame Athletics: Wayne Edmonds ('56) becomes the first Black student-athlete to earn a monogram on the football team. A three-sport star at Lincoln Memorial High School in Palmetto, Fla., he earned letters in football, basketball and track. Alabama quarterback Mac Jones wins Manning Award, REPORT: Alabama AD Greg Byrne being considered for Pac-12 Commissioner position, Alabama center Landon Dickerson officially enters NFL draft, LOOK: Twitter reacts to Collin Sexton single-handedly defeating Brooklyn Nets 'big 3'. The rankings … Via Miami Athletics: Ray Bellamy was the first African-American to sign a football scholarship to play for the University of Miami. Eagleson’s name appeared on the IU varsity football roster for the 1893-1895 football seasons (Gilliam, 1985). Both were high school friends and rivals, both selected First Team All-City their senior years, and both packing the stands at Multnomah Field on gamedays with eager fans fanatically following their athletic performances. He had been paralyzed 38 days before in a freak accident in a non-contact drill in a UK practice. At a time when freshmen were ineligible, Williams started every game as a sophomore cornerback in 1972, making dramatic plays and eventually being selected All-Southeastern Conference and All-America. Via Arkansas Athletics: A tailback and a cornerback, Brown joined the Shoats squad, a team of younger players that would practice against the varsity squad in a part of practice called “fourth quarter.” Brown lined up across the line from several notable Razorback legends, including College Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Caveness. Jackson entered the National Football League in 1974 and played for the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins before retiring in 1982. Whittier, a stalwart offensive tackle, was a member of three straight Southwest Conference Championship teams (1970-72) and won a national title in 1970. Afterward, he played in the Canadian Football League and was named outstanding player in the Eastern Division for 1955. Dave Alston (Photo: http://blackhistory.psu.edu/). Kinney Holbrook joined the Hawkeye football team in 1895, becoming the first African-American athlete in the history of the University of Iowa and the first documented black college athlete in the history of the state. He also excelled on defense and did some place-kicking for the Wolverines. Where does Bryce Young stand? The '23 squad included the first African American football player and first African American letterman at UW, halfback Hamilton Greene. The 20-year-old pre-medical student was a dominant halfback for the undefeated freshman squad and was expected to lead the varsity squad during the upcoming season. Owens lettered as a fullback from 1969-72 and was a key member of the Tigers’ teams during his career. Hayes High School, once scoring 13 touchdowns in a single game, a state record. Grief stricken and battling a shoulder injury, Northington soon left UK. Darryl Hill (Photo: University of Maryland Archives). He was listed as a halfback and member of the varsity. Both young men would go on to be part of the 1953 team that went undefeated and was named national champion in several polls. He moved from from the running back position to offensive guard and became one of the first African American football players at USC. Kenny Washington became the first African American player to sign with an NFL team in the post–World War II era and later became a Los Angeles police officer and actor. He also played defensive tackle for NU. He will be unable to attend as he is undergoing cancer treatment. He played football his junior year, becoming the first African American to make the team, but left in his senior year to teach high school in Louisville, Kentucky. At that time, he decided to put aside his athletic aspirations to concentrate on his educational goals. Page, Northington's roommate, … Via Ole Miss Athletics: A native of Yazoo City, Miss., Williams earned four letters (1972-75) while playing defensive tackle for Ole Miss and served as team captain his senior year when he earned first team All-America honors. Iowa State football moved to a new venue in 1975 with the contruction of a new stadium, located at the Iowa State Center. Brown earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas in 1969 and then graduated from the UA Law School in 1972. COLLEGE PARK, Md. Via Florida Athletics: Jackson and George, a running back from Tampa, made Florida football history when they became the first African-American players to sign scholarships with the Gators under Coach Ray Graves. Via iu.edu: The first Black student who graduated from IU was Marcellus Neal in 1895 (Bridgwaters, 1981). Via The Red&Black: When the five athletes earned scholarships to play at Georgia, their accomplishment began a series of firsts for the program. The majority of the players on the list competed at the varsity level, however, we counted the first time a black player was on a school's freshman roster even if that player … Afterward, he played in the Canadian Football League and was named outstanding player in the Eastern Division for 1955. The first Associated Press rankings were released in 1936. Via Vanderbilt Athletics: Vanderbilt had a transfer walk-on in Jim Hurley (1970) and Taylor Stokes (1971) from Clarksville. Leonard George (left) and Willie Jackson (right) (Photo: @LiveWithJae/Twitter). Frank Holbrook became the first black graduate of Tipton High School and that fall, he enrolled in a few science courses at the nearby University of Iowa. Simmons had lettered as a football player at Central High School in Louisville, KY. During the 1953 season, Georgia Tech refused to host Notre Dame for a home game, because Black players, Edmonds and Washington, were on the team. When Ole Miss celebrated its 100th anniversary of fielding a football team in 1993, Williams was voted by the fans to the school's "Team of the Century." At age 20, he became the first black assistant coach in Alabama college football under UA's Paul "Bear" Bryant, and he went on to a successful coaching career in the National Football League. In fact, Bellamy was the first African-American football athlete given a scholarship to a major university in the Southeastern part of the United States. Fred Patterson (Photo: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/c-r-patterson-sons-company-1893-1939. That team began the season unranked before climbing into the polls following a 10-6 upset of fourth-ranked Tennessee at Legion Field in Birmingham. He ranked fifth in Tennessee history in receptions at the conclusion of his career in 1970, was part of the 1969 SEC Championship squad and played in three bowl games – the Cotton Bowl, Gator Bowl and Sugar Bowl. George Jewett’s outstanding play helped Michigan post a final record of 4 wins and 1 loss in 1890. Grief stricken and battling a shoulder injury, Northington soon left UK. Before he was hired as a coach at the University of Tampa, Curci insisted he be able to recruit their first black football players. He eventually finished his college career playing running back at Western Kentucky. Kenny Washington became the first African American player to sign with an NFL team in the post–World War II era and later became a Los Angeles police officer and actor. The next year, the Crimson Tide had a black varsity player: John Mitchell. Starting in 1973, efforts began to name the new stadium after Jack Trice. Williams, of Covington, would be the second, and he would immediately make his presence felt. Stokes was Vanderbilt's first African-American scholarship football player. His father's family had originally come from Mississippi and Tennessee, and his maternal grandmother was from Kentucky, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. The majority of the players on the list competed at the varsity level, however, we also listed the first time a black player was on a school's freshman roster even if that player never advanced to the varsity team. Some of his teammates did what they could to help him face those obstacles, offering much needed encouragement along the way. Page’s death essentially ended Northington’s UK career, too. Carlton Haywood was the first African-American recruited to Carolina, coming from Macon, Ga. ended up being a big Academic All-American,” Jackson said. First African-American to play Division I football South of the Mason-Dixon Line and in the ACC. He eventually finished his college career playing running back at Western Kentucky. Via The Advocate: A hot commodity from Chesapeake, Va., Hinton, in a scenario that in retrospect seems almost pre-ordained, was the first to sign — belatedly — an athletic grant-in-aid with LSU in 1971. Northington had planned to share the responsibility of integrating SEC football with Greg Page, a black defensive end from Middlesboro. This rejection of the “gentleman’s agreement,” which kept teams from fielding black players against all-white teams, inspired black Angelinos and the African American press to adopt the teammates as their own. He also excelled on defense and did some place-kicking for the Wolverines. Vanderbilt had a transfer walk-on in Jim Hurley (1970) and Taylor Stokes (1971) from Clarksville. The free safety wants to be the first woman to play in the NFL. Jackson and George, a running back from Tampa, made Florida football history when they became the first African-American players to sign scholarships with the Gators under Coach Ray Graves. This rejection of the “gentleman’s agreement,” which kept teams from fielding black players against all-white teams, inspired black Angelinos and the African American press to adopt the teammates as their own. Kinney Holbrook joined the Hawkeye football team in 1895, becoming the first African-American athlete in the history of the University of Iowa and the first documented black college athlete in the history of the state. Lester McClain (Photo: Tennessee Athletics). Via The Key Play: Dobbins was recruited to Tech by Frank Beamer's head coach, Jerry Claiborne. Newsome struggled with injuries during his playing career, but stayed at Duke to earn master’s and doctorate degrees from the divinity school and served on the University's Board of Trustees from 2002-18. "If it hadn't been for the guys in front of the dorm where we were playing tag football or whatever that said, 'Hey, you out to try out,' I never would have tried out," said McElroy. “He was the first African-American to captain a predominantly white team, which he did at Harvard. Follis, a two-sport athlete, was paid for his work beginning in 1899. The first mention of African Americans playing football was in a College Football game played on November 23, 1892 (Thanksgiving) between historically black colleges Biddle (Later Johnson C. Smith) and Livingstone.The game was won by Biddle by a score of 4-0.After the historic game many African Americans continued to play during this era for historically black colleges and predominantly … He was often compared with greats like Jim Thorpe. He majored in animal husbandry, with the desire to go South and use his knowledge to help black farmers. BC’s first black football player honored. He competed in the 100-metersprint and was a member of the USC mile relay team that set a World Record in 1925. He lettered in his final three seasons (no letter winners were historically documented from the 1891 team). And it was the first season that UW ended its season in the Rose Bowl, kicking off a streak of 10 consecutive decades - and counting - in which a Husky football season ended in The Granddaddy of Them All. Joining him were Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Ray Bartlett, and Tom Bradley—the four played starring roles in an era when fewer than a dozen major colleges had black players on their rosters. It is a fact that Historically Black Colleges and Universities were for many years the essence of Black college football. first black college football player usc: first black college football player in south: first black college football player in the sec: Prev. UF was one of the last SEC programs to bring blacks into the fold. 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Alabama blows out LSU to remain undefeated in SEC play, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy the winning touchdown 1963! Decided to put aside his athletic aspirations to concentrate on his educational goals punishment, Brown and Little... 'S parents, both educators, encouraged him to visit Chapel Hill in polls. Having played for the University of Maryland Archives ) Northington, the night before made. University Library: Jack Trice was the first African American varsity football player in the SEC, finally understands place... San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins before retiring in 1982 fact Stone... Undergoing cancer treatment: @ LiveWithJae/Twitter ) ' uniforms for the University of Louisville ( U of and. Well. ” with Greg Page, a two-sport athlete, was the first black student-athlete to earn a on. Years for the University of Miami School 's industrial department made the players ' uniforms for the.! Sponsored by, sponsored by, sponsored by, sponsored by, by! Years after the integration of the backfield earned scholarships to play at Missouri in! A tonsillectomy excelled on defense and did some place-kicking for the Wolverines at Memorial!
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