What black players became icons in college football?

As early as 1890, William Henry Lewis (1868–1949) and teammate William Tecumseh Sherman Jackson (1820–1891) became the first recorded black players on a white college football team. Lewis was captain of the Amherst team in 1891–1892 and the first black to win this distinction at an Ivy League school. Jackson also became the first black track star as a runner for Amherst. Blacks achieved at Brown University as well, when Frederick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard Sr. (1890–1986), a diminutive black, became the first black to play in the Rose Bowl, in 1916. He became the first black quarterback and head coach in professional football in 1919 when he served with the Akron Indians, a team in the American Professional Football Association (which later became the National Football League). In 1923 Pollard became the first black quarterback and head coach in the National Football League. Legendary Buddy (Claude Henry Keystone) Young (1926–1983) was the first black to score a Rose Bowl touchdown in the University of Illinois vs. UCLA New Year’s Day game. Young also moved up into management, becoming the NFL’s first director of player relations and the first black to hold an executive position with the league.


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