Like his father, George III used football as a means to an education and a better life. George suffered from dyslexia to such an extent that his high school counselor advised him not to apply to college. George finally found a school that would accept him—tiny Olivet College in Michigan, where he started and starred at defensive tackle for four years. He was drafted in the 16th round in 1965 by the Patriots, then of the AFL, and became an immediate starter. But he left after one season and settled down to make a living and raise a family.
Jim Pyne has apparently been blessed with a talent beyond that of his father and grandfather. David discovered that during his senior year at Milford, when he went against Jim, then a junior, in a drill. "It was like hitting a brick wall," says David. "I thought, Oh, my god." A year later David came home from Choate for Thanksgiving to watch Milford play Shrewsbury High. On the second play of the game Jim threw a vicious block on a noseguard, knocking him five yards backward and into a referee. Jim then pancaked both player and ref and wound up on top of the pile.
Such plays caused Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer to get on a plane to Boston within two hours of viewing a recruiting tape. "Usually you can tell if a guy has ability after about five plays," Beamer says. "Jim's was a three-play tape." In his pitch Beamer pointed out Tech's tradition of turning out great linemen—such as Bruce Smith, the 1984 Outland Trophy winner, and George Preas, the Baltimore Colt who threw the block in the 1958 NFL championship game against the New York Giants that allowed Alan Ameche to score the winning TD.
In the NFL, Jim's chief assets will be his speed (he has run a 4.9 in the 40) and quickness and his incredible strength. The combination makes him, among other things, an ideal pass blocker. Of course, his genes don't hurt. Jim doesn't know what qualities he inherited from his grandfather, who died when he was a baby, or from his father, since he never saw cither of them play. George maintains that the speed and strength come from him and that the dimple in Jim's cheek comes from his grandfather. David suggests the real inheritance is something else: "Some people might say it's in the genes. I'd say it's more the work ethic."
George explains it in his own way. "All these kids," he says, "if you cut them open, they all have that heart."