Last Thursday the Avalanche-Journal in Lubbock, Texas, home of the Texas Tech Red Raiders, ran a cartoon of an obese giant that was labeled "Gross George," who had "arrived on a freight train this morning." The cargo was Texas A&M Fullback George Woodard, who would be facing the Raiders on Saturday night. Woodard, who is 6 feet tall, weighs either 270 or 280 pounds, depending on whether he steps on the scales after practice or after dessert, and in the Southwest stories about him, apocryphal and otherwise, are replacing Aggie jokes. Not only stories but wisecracks, insults and tributes. To wit:
In the season opener against Kansas, Woodard broke a couple of tackles at the line of scrimmage and raced toward the goal line 51 yards away. At about the five, a defender leaped on his back. Without breaking stride, Woodard continued into the end zone, spiked the would-be tackler and calmly handed the ball to an official.
"He's not a fullback, he's a Winnebago," said Texas Tech Coach Steve Sloan.
"Our PE department conducted a test and submerged George in a tank of water," said A&M trainer Billy Pickard. "They found he had only 3% more body fat than a normal person of his build. They told us they didn't think George would ever get much below 260."
As a petite 238-pound high school senior in Van Vleck, Texas, Woodard won the district 100-yard dash in 9.9 and the state shotput title with a heave of 63'2".
"I don't know what George weighs," said A&M Coach Emory Bellard. "I just know he weighs more than he did at birth but less than King Kong."
Woodard's thighs measure 30 inches around, his neck 18� inches.
To photograph him without a wide-angle lens, one must move back 20 yards.
Humor aside, the Aggies have more than an immense fullback. They have a potent wishbone attack designed by Bellard, who helped pioneer that formation when he was an assistant to Darrell Royal at Texas. In charge is senior Quarterback David Walker, a good lefty passer and an outstanding reader of defenses. After Walker became the starting quarterback last year, A&M won its final seven games, including a 37-14 victory over Florida in the Sun Bowl.
A&M also has in its backfield sophomore Curtis Dickey, a 9.4 sprinter in high school, who grew up just a mile or two from the A&M campus. He never even visited another college—in part because he was sure he wanted to stay and play close to his mother. Bellard and his staff have taught him how to block, which he didn't have to do at Bryan High but which is required of every back in the wishbone. Nobody had to teach Dickey how to run.