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Oklahoma’s Greatest Football All-American (1927-1939)

The votes are in and Claude Reeds has moved on as Oklahoma’s greatest football All-American from 1913-1920. Reeds was OU’s first All-American and will return later on to take on the 1927-1939 winner. The Sooners had seven All-Americans during that time period including two in 1939 which would mark the first time two players from OU would receive that honor.

Reeds_medium 
Claude Reeds 1913

Here is the list of All-Americans from 1927-1939 with a short bio. Please keep in mind that we are asking you to vote on which one you believe had the greatest season of that period understanding that firsthand accounts are scarce.

Granville Norris, T - 1927
Granville Norris earned All-America honors during the 1927 season. With incredible strength and speed, Norris was a terror for opposing offenses.

Overlooked for conference honors during the 1926 season, Norris was considered by many to be the best tackle in the league as he had the most blocked punts in the Missouri Valley. During that season, he scored against Drake after recovering a blocked kick. His block against Missouri that year sealed the win for the Sooners.

Captain of the 1927 squad, Norris had an outstanding game against Kansas as he dominated the Jayhawks' offense, helping the Sooners to a 26-7 win.

Cassius Gentry, T - 1934
Cassius Gentry earned All-America honors during the 1934 season. Considered the fastest player at OU during his career, Gentry was one of the top defensive players in the country.

The two-time all-conference selection may have had his greatest game during the 1933 season against Iowa State, when he blocked three punts. His final block came late in the fourth quarter with the Sooners trailing. It set up OU for the winning touchdown. At 185 pounds, Gentry was a fearsome tackler. Doubling as the punter for the Sooners, after one kick he made the tackle on the play.

He signed with the Providence Steamrollers in 1935.

J.W. "Dub" Wheeler, T - 1935
J.W. "Dub" Wheeler was named an All-American during the 1935 season. The 227-pound tackle was a powerful member of the OU line which helped the Sooners lead the conference in rushing in 1935 and dominated opponents rushing attacks.

The two-time all-conference selection was instrumental in holding Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State all under 70 yards rushing during the 1935 season.

He was the first player from Oklahoma to be drafted in the NFL. He went to the Green Bay Packers during the second round.

Pete Smith, T - 1937
Pete Smith earned All-America honors during the 1937 season. He used his speed and strength to become one of the top pass rushers at OU.

He and Waddy Young were credited with setting the school team record of lowest forward passing average per game, holding opponents to 38.7 yards per game during the 1937 season. Not one of the top receivers in an offense that passed more to the backs, Smith was an outstanding blocker and one of the reasons the Sooners finished third nationally in scoring.

He was drafted by the Detroit Lions during the second round in 1938.

Roland "Waddy" Young, E - 1938
Roland Walter Young became Oklahoma's first consensus All-American in 1938. Considered a good receiver, Young was remembered more for his exploits on defense. He was one of the top coverage men in the country.

During his final year with the Sooners, his athletic ability and leadership were keys to the defense giving up only 12 points the entire year. The all-conference selection was also a top wrestler for the Sooners and Young held the heavyweight boxing championship of the university.

He was drafted by Brooklyn during the third round in 1939. In 1986, he was inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.

Frank "Pop" Ivy, E - 1939
Frank "Pop" Ivy earned All-America honors in 1939. Grantland Rice, the famous sports writer, called Ivy one of the greatest defensive ends he had ever seen.

With great athletic ability, Ivy was one of the top cover men in the conference, named to the All-Big Six team in 1939. During 1938, the defense allowed only two touchdowns the entire year, while opposing offenses averaged only 43.3 yards per game.

After going undefeated during the regular season, the Sooners made their first bowl appearance in school history, facing Tennessee in the Orange Bowl. The game had fights and penalties throughout, and the Sooners lost, 17-0.

Gilford "Cactus Face" Duggan, T - 1939
Gilford Duggan earned All-America honors during the 1939 season.

The two-time all-conference selection was a member of the 1938 defense which allowed only 43.3 yards per game. Also during that season, the Sooners went undefeated and broke into the top 10 of the Associated Press poll for the first time in school history as they finished fourth. During the 1937 season, Duggan and teammates dominated opposing offenses, allowing only 88.5 total yards per game.

He was drafted in the 13th round by the New York Giants in 1940.

Poll

Who was Oklahoma's greatest football All-American from 1927-1939?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Granville Norris, T - 1927
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Cassius Gentry, T - 1934
    (0 votes)
  • 13%
    J.W. "Dub" Wheeler, T - 1935
    (3 votes)
  • 8%
    Pete Smith, T - 1937
    (2 votes)
  • 26%
    Roland "Waddy" Young, E - 1938
    (6 votes)
  • 43%
    Frank "Pop" Ivy, E - 1939
    (10 votes)
  • 8%
    Gilford "Cactus Face" Duggan, T - 1939
    (2 votes)
23 votes total Vote Now