Colonel Raymond Murphy was a student at Montana State College when he won an appointment to West Point. He missed only one varsity game in his three years at guard. And those were tough years at the academy; 1940 was the worst football year in Army's history: the Cadets beat only Williams. Captain in 1941, the first year of Red Blaik's era as coach, Murphy witnessed Army's revival, when there were five victories, a tie with unbeaten Notre Dame and losses to Harvard, Penn and Navy.
Jack Olson, the son of a pioneer family that developed Wisconsin Dells, Wis. by running excursion boats through the gorges on the river, was fullback in 1941 on a Western Michigan eleven that was undefeated and untied.
Robert Lynn Peters in 1941 wound up his third year as Princeton's outstanding back, a runner, passer, receiver and punter. In 1940 he completed a 75-yard forward pass, a college record that still stands. In the 1941 Navy game Peters hauled down a Navy man who had run 57 yards and got another after a 40-yard run, then twice interrupted Bill Busik, who was on his way to touchdowns after sprints of 34 and 46 yards. "When Peters came off the field for the last time," said the Times, "after personally staving off at least four touchdowns with thrilling tackles, he received a tremendous ovation from both sides of the stadium—a fitting tribute to a man who will go down as one of Princeton's outstanding heroes."
Charles Milton Pearson was winding up a brilliant college career at Dartmouth. From Madison, Minn., he was a high school basketball star, a good shortstop and a football hero who became a 6-foot-4, 220-pound tackle and captain of the Dartmouth eleven. He was class president for three years, even after winning a freshman award for "manliness, uprightness, fairness and respect for duty." Nicknamed "Stubby," he was also called " Abe Lincoln" and "the Senator," because of his lanky farm-boy sincerity and sense of humor—"handsome, in a he-man sort of way," said a colleague. He was also a brilliant student ( Phi Beta Kappa) and an intellectual, who was generally found with a book of poetry in his possession (Keats was a favorite). His girl friend was a cover girl on LIFE shortly before Pearl Harbor. Pearson played in that famous 1940 fifth-down game that Cornell "won" 7-3, then conceded to Dartmouth.
Dr. Robert Lloyd Pinck started every game for three years as quarterback at Washington and Lee. The son of a Paterson, N.J. pharmacist, he went to Washington and Lee because his older brother had been there. Football success was not unfamiliar in the Pinck family. Brother Dick helped to write a book about his disillusionment with success in sport, The Hero, subsequently made into a movie starring John Derek.
Endicott Peabody, Harvard's celebrated All-America guard, sometimes called Harvard's greatest lineman and known as the Baby-faced Assassin in 1941, was a power on the team that beat Dartmouth, Princeton, Army, Brown and Yale and lost to Penn and Cornell.
Malcolm Smith was a center on Pennsylvania's 1941 team that beat Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Maryland, Columbia, Army and Cornell, and lost only to Navy, though injuries kept him out of that series of sensational one-sided victories until midseason.
Arnold Soloway got his football start as a tackle at Boys' High School in Brooklyn. He went on to become a three-year letterman at Brown and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In college on a partial scholarship, he ran a laundry route. Brown won five and lost four in 1941, dropping the last one, shortly before Pearl Harbor, to Rutgers 13-7.
Frank Szalay, who died last year, was a slight, dark, good-natured athlete who played football at Ohio University. His father died when he was in his teens, and Frank worked as a busboy, truck driver and janitor during the three years he was a 150-pound center with the Bobcats.
Judge Dan Edward Walton played tackle on Vanderbilt's great 1941 team, coached by Red Sanders and Sanders' new assistant, Bear Bryant. Born in Tennessee, the son of a railroad conductor, Walton starred in that heady season when Vanderbilt, having lost only to Tulane, was stunned by a last-game defeat by Tennessee 26-7, two weeks before Pearl Harbor.