Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Ed K Saga - GOAT - Part VII - Offensive Guards


Maybe not as deep historically as center or tackle, and certainly not as glamorously, TCU’s guards – from the “Purple Wall” to the record-setting lines of the new century – have pulled and pushed for some great backfields.

1 -- Johnny Vaught (‘33): Captain of the undefeated 1932 Southwest Conference championship team – the first to beat all six SWC rivals -- Vaught led TCU to an incredible 28-4-2 record during his three years as a starter for Hall-of-Fame Coach Francis Schmidt on the “Purple Wall,” as TCU’s offensive front was called. The Fort Worth native was an All-American selection in 1932 and All-SWC in ’31 and ’32. Winner of the 1932 Rogers Trophy, he went on to become a legendary head football coach at the University of Mississippi. He was also a starting guard for two years … on the basketball team.

2 -- Mike Sullivan (’91): One of TCU’s few blue-chip recruits following NCAA sanctions in 1986, he didn’t disappoint. He was a four-year starter, twice an All-Southwest Conference selection (1989 and 1990). A Freshman All-American in ’87, he was a two-year team captain and Rogers Trophy winner in ’90, opening holes for backs like Tony Jeffrey, Tony Darthard, Tommy Palmer and Curtis Modkins.

3 -- Mike Brumbelow (’30): An outstanding blocker, paving the way for legendary halfback Cy Leland, he was an All-American on the undefeated 1929 team, which captured the school’s first Southwest Conference title. The Jacksboro native was captain and team MVP that season, as well. He was All-SWC in both ’28 and ’29.

4 -- Herb Zimmerman (’52): All-SWC on Dutch Meyer’s last conference champion in 1951, he paired with Alton “Curly” Taylor (also All-SWC) to form one of TCU’s best guard combos. The Mount Vernon product was an honorable-mention All-American in ’51, also.

5 -- Forrest Kline (’39): One of the guys who kept 5-7 quarterback Davey O’Brien in one piece -- along with All-SWC tackles Allie White and I.B. Hale and center Ki Aldrich -- he was also an All-SWC selection on TCU’s richly talented 1938 national champions. He was a member of the ’37 Cotton Bowl and ’39 Sugar Bowl champions.

6 -- Guy Morriss (’73): Paving the way for RB Mike Luttrell in the ‘70s, the Arlington native was All-SWC in 1972 and team captain. He was selected to a school-record four all-star games. In the NFL, he switched to center and was in two Super Bowls with the Eagles and Patriots He also was the head coach at Baylor from ’03-’07.

7 -- Morgan Williams (’54): Fort Worth’s Williams was a two-time, All-Southwest Conference selection (1952, 1953) at guard and team MVP in 1953. He also played on TCU’s 1951 SWC champions.

8 – Josh Vernon (’11): One of those players who gave everything he had, every down, every game, Vernon (surprisingly) was never chosen All-MWC, yet will always be remembered as one of TCU’s best linemen. Just ask the players who carried the football behind him.

9 – Kyle Dooley (’12): The K and D tattooed on his arms could just as easily have stood for Kills Defenders. A two-year starter, the 6-3, 315-pound Nebraskan was a MWC first-team choice as a senior in 2011.

10 -- John Marsh (’92): More than a few times, it was Marsh who pulled around and leveled some poor linebacker, setting Curtis Modkins free down the sidelines. No. 62 was All-SWC in 1991 for Head Coach Jim Wacker.

Honorable Mention –Steve Garmon (’65), Wilbert “Cotton” Harrison (’37), Lon Evans (’33), Giles Montgomery (’09), Alton Taylor (’52), Mason Mayne (’38)

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