Tommy Nobis, College Football and NFL Great, Dies at 74

Nobis, who played in high school at San Antonio Jefferson, averaged nearly 20 tackles a game in his college career at Texas (1963-65).

At Texas, he played center and middle linebacker as part of Darrell Royal’s defense that harassed Navy’s Roger Staubach in the 1964 Cotton Bowl and stopped Alabama’s Joe Namath inches short of pay dirt in the 1965 Orange Bowl.

“I’d like to have seven Nobises,” Royal once said. “But that wouldn’t be fair.”

As a senior despite being slowed by a knee injury, he won the Outland Trophy for the best lineman in the country and the Maxwell Award for college’s best player.

After UT, Nobis was a prime target in the AFL-NFL signing skirmishes. He was drafted by both the Atlanta Falcons (NFL) and Houston Oilers (AFL).

Astronaut Frank Borman radioed in from Gemini 7: “Tell Nobis to sign with Houston.”

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SOURCE: Houston Chronicle, Reid Laymance