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Longhonr Spec Sanders and the Rest of the Story

Spec Sanders was scouted at Cameron by Longhorns assistant Blair Cherry, who heard stories from Texas alumni about a bruising inside runner in Lawton. As a rule, UT did not cross state lines to recruit, but Bible and his staff kept getting letters about Spec. They knew that two of their chief rivals—Southern Methodist and Oklahoma—were trying to sign him. The Longhorns had lost to both of these teams in 1939 and did not want to see Spec beating them in another uniform in 1940.

Texas had a young and hungry team led by talented underclassmen Jack Crain, Mal Kutner and Pete Layden. Crain and Layden were backfield stars of national renown, and Spec would play his junior and senior seasons in their shadows.

The Longhorns went 8–2 in Spec's first campaign. Their season included a shutout of mighty Texas A&M that would kill the Aggies’ chances of playing in the Rose Bowl that January. He was injured much of the year and did not play in several contests.

Texas was so deep in 1941 that Spec ended up as a member of Bible’s second unit once again. Originally, the Longhorns had thought of Spec as a pile-driving fullback. They soon realized he was best in the open field. But as long as Crain was on the squad, Spec would be his backup. They were considered the two best runners in the Southwest Conference. Spec rushed for 365 yards, the sixth best mark in the conference. He averaged almost eight yards per carry and scored 53 points.

Spec stood an even six feet tall and weighed around 190. He always looked like he was running downhill. Even on the most savage tackles, he managed to fall forward for an extra yard or two. Despite being a second stringer behind Crain, Spec actually received some mention on a couple of All-America squads.

In 1941 second string back Sanders is drafted in the first round by the Washington Redskins based on Redskin scout report by Bear Bryant. Sanders was All-Pro in 1946 and 1947 while leading the New York Yankees to two American Conference Championships . In 1950 Sanders led the NFL with 13 receptions and was named to the All-Pro team. Unfortunately, his name is almost forgotten because after the NFL absorbed the AAFC all the former league records were expunged. AAFC records are not part of the NFL record books. Spec's career was shaved down significantly. Unofficially, he played four seasons, rushed for 2,900 yards and 33 touchdowns in 40 games as an offensive back, and threw for 2,771 yards and another 23 touchdowns. Spec was credited with 240 points. On defense, he intercepted 19 passes.

Accomplishments of these athletes  remind all Longhorns that In sports and far beyond, their  contributions  to Longhorn heritage  shape the present and empower  the future.

R.E. Peppy Blount


1975 reunion of the 1945 Cotton Bowl champs

Peppy’s book titled Mamas, don’t let your babies grow to play Football is a fascinating read.

Coach Emory Bellard says about Peppy “ There’s no individual more qualified to discuss football thean Peppy Blount. From the sandlots of West Texas, to the Cotton, Sugar, and Orange Bows, as a player, to the Shea Stadium, Fenway Park, and the coliseum as an official, you can sense the knowledge of football, the humor, the love of life and people - all of which typify this author.”

Don Meredith says about Peppy “ 40 years as a player, coach, and official qualifies Peppy Blount to discuss it with an entertaining and understanding insight like no other. Peppy has played, officiated, and seen ‘em all. Therein lies the unique perception and advantage he has over all others who’ve ever written about the sport.” Peppy also played with Bobby Layne with the Chicago Bears and New York Bulldogs.

Tom Landry says of Peppy as a teammate at Texas “ it is Peppy Blount spirit that I best remember. The guy was a born politician. From that day in 1945, when he returned to Texas directly from the South Pacific, he was endlessly campaigning for something. If Peppy was ever down, I don’t remember it. …… Peppy Blount was as responsible for the healthy frame of mind of our (Texas) football teams as were either Coach Dana Bible or Blair Cherry, two men who were excellent motivators.”

Did I mention that while playing for Texas he was also a member of the Texas House of Representatives, a football official , a lawyer a judge, a rancher and an oilmen?

From my perspective as the webmaster of a Longhorn historical site, Peppy’s book was profoundly insightful and is the defining book that captures the greatness of Longhorn football after WWII from 1945-1950. It was a time of Bobby Layne, Dick Harris, Hub Bechtol, D.X. Bible, Blair Cherry, Dick Harris, Tom Landry, Rooster Andrews, Ed Kelley and many others rebuilt a football program that was submerged in a malaise of poor football in the 30’s.

Jack Freeman

Jack Freeman Senior was a great Longhorn who was overshadowed by the greatness of other Longhorns. History states that in in 1943 behind the defense of Jack Freeman the Longhorn beat O.U. 7-0. Attached are three pictures of Jack Freeman senior. The first is a image of him in his uniform, the second image is Jack with his wife and new baby taken for the November 1941 Life Magazine article on the Longhorns, and the third is an iconic image of referee Jack Freeman being tackled by mistake by a T.C.U. football player Buddy Iles while referee Jack Freeman is pointing to where the runner's knee touched the ground to end the play. As a side note -Jack Freeman seniors ( Jack Freeman Junior) started for the 1965 State Champion Permian Panthers in 1965 and earned a scholarship to Texas.

James Carroll "T" Jones

James Carroll "T" Jones was a player , coach, and the assistant Athletic Director for the Longhorns. 

Against Texas A&M, Jones, Dawson and Quinn all rushed for more than 100 yards, the first time 3 players ever did that in a single game for a Longhorn team, and a feat that has only been repeated once since. The team set the school record for rushing, and the school and conference records for total offense. Jones won the Houston Post's Southwest Conference MVP Trophy. The Longhorns won the Southwest Conference and beat Tennessee in the 1953 Cotton Bowl.

He finished his career with a 14–3 record, the best winning percentage of any quarterback to start for more than one season in school history at the time and third best in the Southwest Conference history at the time. Jones was inducted into the Hall of Honor in 1978. 

From 1985 to 1996  Jones was the athletic director at Texas Tech. He was AD of the program during the Lady Raiders run to the 1993 NCAA women's basketball championship—the school's first and only one in any NCAA sport. In recognition of his contributions, he was inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Honor in 2004.



John Henderson By Billy Dale

Here is one of our Longhorn teammate. The video below  was taken on John's 100th birthday. As of January 15, 2017 he is 104 years old. 

The video above was taken on John's 100th birthday. He is now 103.  

John was born in 1912 when the Texas football program  was only 19 years old. Since Texas did not offer scholarships to players who could not afford to attend school these players worked two hours a day on campus to pay for room and board.   



  • In recent years many people have celebrated John's birthday's including proclamations from Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, President Jimmy Carter, and Governor Perry.

  • John said when he played "colleges didn't recruit football players" helmets were leather and there were no face mask.

  • During the game coaching from the sideline was prohibited so the "quarterbacks called the plays and the defensive players decided which direction they would go on the snap of the ball."

  • Instead of August the football season started in October


Below is a KVUE link to John's 103rd birthday party


Noble Doss


Bud McFadin 1948-1950 College Football Hall of Fame inductee

The 225 pound Bud McFadin was a Longhorn from 1948-1950. He played both offense and defense and was the state of Texas boxing and wrestling champion. In 1949, he won All-America honors from the International News Service for his defensive skills. In 1950, the All-America Board, the Associated Press, United Press, INS and Look magazine named him first-team All-America, with emphasis on his offensive skills and in the Chicago Tribune All-Star game he was voted Most Valuable Player and selected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and Hall of Honor in 1973.

He almost left Texas his freshman year because he missed his horse. Longhorn officials resolved this issue by moving Bud's  horse to a location closer to Austin.

Tillman Holloway who played for Texas from 2001 thru 2003 is Bud's grandson. 

Bud played high school football  for Iraan Texas. A town that recently made National news. The article below was written by the New York times on December 15, 2016.

New York Times Article By JERÉ LONGMAN DEC. 15, 2016

Bereaved Texas Town Finds Comfort in a State High School Title Game






The Iraan High School football team before the state championship game Thursday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex. 


It was yet another example of the immense outpouring of support for tiny Iraan High since the accident, chronicled by The New York Times, and caused, the police said, when an eighteen-wheeler lost control and crossed the median on Interstate 20 on a cold, rainy night.

For the championship game Thursday, a charter company donated buses to carry Iraan’s band and its cheerleading squad. Forty miles outside town, a small group of fans from rival Ozona High School gathered on the side of the road on Wednesday morning, holding up signs and waving as the team rode past at the beginning of its trip.

Hours later, in the suburbs of Fort Worth, Aledo High School lent its indoor practice facility to Iraan for a final workout. Aledo’s trainers set out containers of water and offered to help tape the traveling players’ ankles.

Tammy Kirchhoff, Iraan’s track coach, whose husband, Mark, is the head football coach, said: “I don’t ever want to be in a situation like this again, but it was the greatest outpouring of human kindness I’ve ever seen. Cheerleaders should run the world.”

As Thursday’s championship game approached, the grief in Iraan was still raw.

And yet Iraan, population 1,200, is a resilient place, its durability built on the boom and bust nature of the oil business. In a time of crisis, football provided hope, a refuge from heartache, a welcome distraction.

Before the championship game began, a moment of silence was held for Ms. Pope in the stadium. Iraan’s opponent, Bremond High, also presented the school with a memorial plaque.

Bremond High arrived as a two-time defending state champion. Its quarterback, Roshauud Paul, was named the state’s best player and plans to play next season at Texas A&M. From the beginning on Thursday, he was remarkably elusive. Eventually, Paul ran for five touchdowns and threw for a sixth as Bremond drew away in the second half to win, 49-28.

For Iraan, it was a wrenching defeat. But heartening consolation could be found in its perseverance. And in the reassurance that small towns can be counted on to give comfort to another in pain.

“Football was huge,” said Mr. Baum, Iraan’s principal, “but humanity was bigger.”

The full version of this article appears in print on December 16, 2016, on page B8 of the New York edition with the headline: Title Game Comforts Bereaved Texas Town.


Malcolm Kutner 1939-1941 College Football Hall of Fame inductee in 1974


  • Two time All-American in football

  • Kutner earned seven varsity letters: three in football, three in basketball and one in track — where he was a member of two Southwest Conference Champion relay teams.

  • He was the first UT player chosen to compete in the Chicago Tribune’s collegiate all-star game.

  • He was elected to the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1965.



Harrison Stafford  1930-1932   College Football Hall of fame inductee


  • The assistant Coach Shorty Alderson reported to head coach Clyde Littlefield, “Clyde, I found you the darndest football player you ever saw. He tore up a couple of dummies and hurt a couple of men. He says his name is Harrison Stafford.”

  • A walk-on from Wharton, Texas, Harrison Stafford went on to become perhaps the toughest football player in UT history.

  • He was known for crushing blocks and devastating tackles.

  • All-Southwest Conference honors three times

  • Named to several All-America teams.

  • Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame




Mortimer "Bud" Sprague


Mortimer "Bud" Sprague



  • 16 years of age when he came to The University;

  • played on three UT football teams that had a combined record of 20-5-2;

  • was an All-Southwest Conference tackle;

  • but he also doubled as an outstanding track athlete and won the Southwest Conference shot put title in 1925 and ran on the 440-yard relay team.

  • College Football Hall of Fame

His college career was unusual because he Attended West Point after graduating from Texas.  He was a vital member of Army's great teams of the late 1920s, a two-time All-American and captain of the 1928 Army team. 


Wally Scott 1940

Wally Scott was a co-captain of the 1942 team, and a member of the first Texas team to participate in a postseason bowl game that defeated the #5 Georgia Tech in the Cotton Bowl. In 1998 he was inducted into the High school football Hall of Fame and In 1972 he was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor.. 

Wally served in the Pacific theater of World War II as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1943 until 1946, and then returned to The University of Texas to study law.  Wally Scott helped start the Austin Longhorn Club which morphed into the Longhorn Foundation under Deloss Dodds, and he was a member of the Men's Athletic Council for 13 years. 

Posted: 04.28.2005 By Bill Little - edited version . The full version is at

He was a vital part of the of Longhorn football, serving as co-captain of the 1942 team. That team became the first Texas team to participate in a postseason bowl game, defeating Georgia Tech in the Cotton Bowl.

Pretty much everything Wally did, he did well. He was brilliant, and could somehow be kind and outrageous all at the same time. And you couldn't help but love him, anyway.

In his three years of eligibility at Texas, from 1940 through 1942, he was a part of some of the truly historic moments in Longhorn history. The 1940 team on which he was a sophomore stunned No. 1 ranked Texas A&M, 7-0, knocking the Aggies out of a national championship. In 1941, Wally was one of 14 Longhorn players whose pictures appeared on the cover of Life Magazine. And in 1942, he as part of the Longhorns' first Southwest Conference championship since 1930 and the first ever bowl game.

Wally's passion was always Texas football. And it was never about what it could do for him, it was always about what he could do for The University of Texas.

When Darrell Royal came to Texas in 1957, Wally and his friend, the late Don Weedon, stepped up to help with the formation of the Austin Longhorn Club. Twenty-five years later, DeLoss Dodds would take that as the nucleus of The Longhorn Foundation, which has become one of the most successful donor programs in college athletics.

It never seemed to matter who was coaching at Texas, Wally Scott was a guy who spanned all eras. When his best friend, Mike Campbell, was bypassed for the Texas head coaching job when Royal retired in 1976, Fred Akers became head coach. And when others recoiled at the rebuff of Campbell, Wally stepped up and took Akers and his new staff and their families on a retreat to Bracketville, which had been the site of many a wonderful summer trip for Royal's staff.

For 13 years, from 1962 to January 1, 1985, Wally served on the Men's Athletics Council, and he held the title of Executive Secretary of the Austin Longhorn Club for 30 years.

Wally was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1972, 30 years after he was a significant player on one of the greatest defensive teams in Texas history. From all accounts, he was one of the toughest players of his era. He was a rugged end who excelled on defense.

Chosen as captain of the 1942 team, he was one of the few remaining lettermen from the 1941 squad. An early 3-0 loss to Northwestern had dented the schedule, but Texas had risen all the way to No. 8 in the country when Scott broke two bones in his hand against Baylor, and had to miss the TCU game.

The Frogs, as they had done the year before, shattered Texas' dream with a 13-7 win. But Scott and his teammates were not through. With an incredible defense that pitched three shutouts and allowed no more than seven points to any opponent except the Frogs, they won the Southwest Conference, and accepted the invitation to play Georgia Tech in the Cotton Bowl.

Georgia Tech was ranked No. 5 in the nation, and the national press, which had been so glowing only a year before, was now skeptical stating “Texas doesn't belong in the same league with Georgia Tech”.

But Scott and his teammates had different ideas. With a defense that had allowed only 57.5 yards rushing a game and only a little over 117 passing, they smothered the Engineers.

Scott and his teammates sparkled, and Texas, on January 1 of 1943, played in and won its first bowl game ever, 14-7.

As Wally and the Longhorns walked out of the Cotton Bowl that day, they had reaffirmed their presence on the national stage. And even though graduation and the war draft cleared the roster of all but two lettermen from that team, D. X. Bible's time at Texas had been solidified.

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