Friday, March 16, 2012
TCU has produced so many good offensive tackles, it could very easily have been a top 20. Every era is represented, but the players groomed by O-Line Coach Eddie Williamson have been impressive.
1 -- I.B. Hale (’39): Legendary sportswriter Francis Wallace called Hale “the greatest lineman in America” in 1938. Team captain on the 1938 national champs, he was a high school teammate of Davey O’Brien at Dallas’ Woodrow Wilson (like Greg McCoy) and went on to protect O’Brien’s back at TCU too. Physically imposing, he was a two-time All-American and, um, could play a little D too. He wound up working for the FBI … just like O’Brien.
2 -- Derrell Palmer (’43): Known as “Big D,” he was one of the greatest offensive (and defensive) tackles in Southwest Conference history. You ever hear the expression “strappingly handsome”? That’s Palmer. He was a 1942 All-American and twice All-Southwest Conference. In 1941, the Albany native paired with all-conference guard Bill Crawford and end Bruce Alford to lead TCU to a 7-3-1 record and an Orange Bowl date. However, that team is best known for its dramatic 14-7 upset of No. 1 Texas. Head Coach Dutch Meyer considered it the greatest upset win of his coaching career.
3 – Marcus Cannon (‘11): Protecting Andy Dalton’s blind side (and some guy named Brady in New England), he was a 2010 All-American and an immovable force on TCU’s record-setting offense. Was anyone really surprised that he shut down J.J. Watt in the Rose Bowl? After all, he didn’t allow a sack all season. He was a three-time, All-MWC selection.
4 -- Herb Taylor (’07): Twice a first-team, All-Mountain West pick, the bespectacled Taylor looked gentle off the field, but on it he was one of the toughest (and smartest) blockers TCU has ever had. He was a Freshman All-American honorable mention in 2003 and started ALL 49 games in his career.
5 -- Marshall Newhouse (’10): Three times All-MWC and a third-team All-American in 2009, he was just plain HUGE, but deceptively quick for his size. Not only did he help Andy Dalton to a record-setting career, but he’s doing the same for Aaron Rodgers of the Packers in the NFL.
6 -- David Bobo (’01): Named second-team All-American by The Sporting News in 2000, he was twice All-WAC on two conference co-champs. He plowed defenders out of the way for LT.
7 -- Anthony Alabi (’05): A walk-on after playing for Navy as freshman, he wound up starting 35 games for the Frogs. He was named All-Conference USA in both ’03 and ’04 – part of a string of nine years that TCU had an all-conference tackle (2002-2010).
8 -- Michael Toudouze (’06): After backing up Alabi for two seasons, he was All-MWC himself in 2005, teaming with Herbert Taylor to form one of TCU’s best offensive tackle duos in history – just behind Cannon and Newhouse in 2009.
9 -- Norm Evans (’65): Joining center Ken Henson and guard Steve Garmon on one of TCU’s best front lines (all three were All-SWC in 1964), he was also team captain that season. Big No. 73 was best known for a standout NFL career. A two-time Pro Bowler, he started on the only undefeated team in NFL history – the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
10 (tie) -- Doug Conaway (’52): An All-American on Dutch Meyer’s surprising 1951 Southwest Conference champions – opening holes for fullback Bobby Jack Floyd and QB Ray McKown -- he was also a star on the defensive side of the ball.
10(tie) -- Ben Boswell (’33): A member of the famed “Purple Wall” for Coach Francis A. Schmidt’s 10-0-1 1932 SWC champions, he was all-conference in 1930 and 1932. He paved the way for TCU’s sterling backfield of halfbacks Red Oliver and Blanard Spearman and QB Hubert Dennis.
Honorable Mention -- Don Floyd (’60), Clyde Flowers (’45), Jamal Powell (’03), Brian Brazil (’88), Mike Keathley (’01), Allie White (’39)