February 4: Celebrating college football’s history

Georgia TechFormer Georgia Tech standout Everett Strupper passed away on this date in 1950 at the age of 53.

Strupper was a star for the Yellow Jackets from 1915-1917 when he and teammate Walker Carpenter became the first two players from a Southern team to be named to a major All-American team. Strupper was on the 1916 Tech squad that set the all-time scoring record for a single game when the Yellow Jackets beat Cumberland (TN) 222-0. Strupper scored eight touchdowns in the game for Tech which was coached by John Heisman at the time and commonly known as the Engineers.

Strupper was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame posthumously in 1972.

Current New Mexico State head coach Doug Martin was born on this date in 1963. Martin took over the moribund Aggies program in 2013, and led them to a 3-9 record last year in which they showed signs of life finishing 3-5 in Sun Belt Conference play.

Former Texas Longhorn end Malcolm Kutner passed away on this date in 2005 at the age of 84.

Kutner was a star for the Longhorns from 1939-1941 earning All-America honors in his senior year. He concluded his final year in Austin leading the Longhorns to a 71-7 rout of the Oregon Ducks on December 6, 1941, just one day before the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Kutner was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round of the 1942 NFL Draft with the 26th overall pick. Instead of playing for the Steelers, however, Kutner entered the service where he played for the Navy Pre-Flight teams before serving in World War II. At the conclusion of the war, he returned home and finally entered the NFL in 1946 playing for the Chicago Cardinals where he earned NFL Rookie of the Year honors. He eventually was named to All-Pro teams in 1947 and 1948, but his brief professional career lasted just five seasons ending after the 1950 campaign.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1974.

College Football Hall of Famer “Bullet Bill” Dudley also passed away on this date in 2010 at the age of 88.

Dudley’s career at Virginia coincided with Kutner’s career at Texas from 1939-1941 although the two never played against each other. After his senior season with the Cavaliers, Dudley finished fifth in the Heisman voting ultimately won by Minnesota’s Bruce Smith. Dudley, however, landed a nice consolation prize winning the Maxwell Award, college football’s other major trophy for player of the year.

Like Kutner, he was drafted by the Steelers in the 1942 NFL Draft, but Dudley was the overall No. 1 pick. He managed to get his rookie season in that fall while waiting for his military service to begin, and again like Kutner, he played for military football squads during his service.

Dudley was able to rejoin the Steelers for the final four games of the 1945 season, and in 1946, he led the league in rushing yards, punt return yards and interceptions while playing on offense, defense and special teams. For his efforts, he won the NFL’s Joe F. Carr Trophy as the league’s MVP.

It was also in the season-opener in 1946 after overlapping in college and following a similar path of military service in World War II that Dudley and Kutner finally met on the football field. Dudley threw a touchdown pass and converted two PAT’s to lead his Pittsburgh Steelers to a 14-7 over Kutner’s Chicago Cardinals. Dudley would then move to the Detroit Lions for three seasons (1947-1949) and then the Washington Redskins (1950-1951, 1953) for three more, and Kutner’s Cardinal teams would get the best of Dudley in six of their final seven meetings.

Dudley, however, would have the better overall professional career earning induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966. That was in addition to his selection to the College Football Hall of Fame 10 years prior to that in 1956.






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