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Sports Illustrated NOVEMBER 22, 1965
SINCE TEXAS TECH COLLEGE SITS rather aloofly out in Lubbock on the South Plains, surrounded by towns like Bronco, Shallowater, Idalou and Frenship—towns known mostly to tool dressers and rig watchers—it is possible that even now the football world is not too familiar with the Golden Palomino, or Donny Anderson, a horse in hip pads. It should be. Anderson, who is poured with almost perfect bulges into a suit at 6' 3" and 210 pounds, is proving for the third straight season that he is one of the buckingest, swiftest, busiest halfbacks ever to come along.
On Saturday Nov. 13 Anderson, who has a square chin, high cheekbones and blond hair that lies down flat, did all the things he does so well—run, catch, return, kick, block, tackle. As a consequence, the Red Raiders beat Baylor 34-22 to run their astonishing record to 8-1, and the professional scouts, wiping the drool from their chins, pondered even more deeply which position he ought to play when he graduates.
"He's got to be a running back," said one scout. "Speed, size and tough—why, he hasn't been hurt in three years." Well, Anderson could play running back. He gained 609 yards as a sophomore in 1963, 966 last year, and his total for this season went to 630 yards with Saturday's game.
"Nope," another scout said. "He's the ideal flanker or split end." Possibly. He caught five passes against Baylor, which gave him 50 for 654 yards on the season. Once he took a short toss over the middle from quarterback Tom Wilson and zoomed, after a shoulder feint, 43 yards for the touchdown that assured Tech's win.
"I'll tell you the truth," said one more scout, "with his speed he could be a truly great defensive safety, even though he could play four places on offense." He could do that easily enough; he made a score-saving tackle against Baylor after a punt. And he can punt. He boomed one 56 yards in the pleasant, clear air above Tech's Jones Stadium. The best thing he does, however, is move the football forward.
Tech probably will go to a major bowl even if it loses to Arkansas this Saturday, so Anderson cannot sign what will certainly be a big-money pro contract until after that. "I'd play safety if that was the only place I could play," he said. "But I prefer running with the ball and breaking for a pass." Those are two things that have made Texas Tech one of the surprise teams of the year and Donny Anderson one of the Southwest Conference's alltime performers.