This is a state-supported college, and Verducci only wishes the legislature would supply some backs. He is in need of help at quarterback, where he will use Sophomore Dennis O'Keefe, and fullback, where he will have Willie Simpson.
Halfbacks Edgar Rollins and Charlie Fuller will do most of the ball carrying. Both can break a game open at any time and often do. Rollins caught just eight passes in 1959, but he gained a phenomenal 245 yards on them. He added 518 yards rushing (at a 6.9 rate). Fuller, a Little All-America, gained 463 yards rushing (7.8 yards a try) and 225 yards on 12 passes. Seven times last year the only thing that stopped him from gaining more yardage was the fact that he already was in the end zone. He excels on kickoff and punt returns (41.4-and 22.2-yard averages) and three times cracked open crucial games with amazing runbacks.
Tackle Jim Palmer, too, was a Little All-America. He and Tackle Neil Laughlin will hold the line intact.
St. Benedict's (Atchison, Kans.): Coach Ivan Schottel played briefly with the Detroit Lions and still looks rugged enough to turn in a good performance. He won't have to, however, for he has oodles of talented players, in spite of the fact that this 102-year-old Benedictine school has an all-male student body of only 675. Scholarships are few and are sometimes split between several players.
In order to make certain he does get good players, Schottel screens more than 800 high school students annually. His 1959 squad has lost just two Central Intercollegiate Conference games in four years, and he will be hard to beat again.
One reason is Larry Muff, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound end. Muff has already been drafted by Minneapolis, which will enter the NFL next season.
Key men in the slot T attack will be Quarterbacks Bernie Feigel and Corky Jacobs, Halfbacks Allen Lewis and Henry Tenorio and 210-pound Fullback John McGlinn.
Tennessee Tech (Cookeville, Tenn.): Tackles Ray Thomas (220 pounds) and Dave Baxter (210) belong to the stop-'em-and-stomp-'em school of defense, and they are the main pillars in one of Tech's best lines ever.
Behind the line Coach Wilburn Tucker has Quarterback Gordon Mason, who hit on 53 of 117 passes for 903 yards last year, rushed for 195 yards and was the No. 1 defensive back. He will throw long and often to Little All-America End Tommy Hackler, who gained 522 yards on 30 catches in 1959. Ralph Broyles (280 yards rushing and a 4.1 average) is the best halfback, and Ken Fults will be at fullback.
Texas A&I ( Kingsville, Texas): Texas may be the Lone Star State, but this is no lone-star team. Big Jarrell Hayes, the most redoubtable of all the Javelinas, will have to share the credit and what headlines small colleges get with Butch Pressley, Charles Massey, Barry Copenhaver and Harold Hees, all highly efficient runners.