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On the 40th anniversary of the NCAA permitting freshman eligibility, we review Notre Dame’s best true freshmen at each position.
poster of the century status-irishnd966/The Ohiosupergenius has spoken-Norberg/2D6 is always right-floridacarpenter/4/5/04 13,000+
And remember Leon Hart is the only lineman to earn the Heisman. Of course TE was not a position in the 40's because both he and Jim Martin were suited for the TE slot. If memory serves me correctly Hart also played FB and Martin kicked the extra points. Point of interest I watched Hart(Detroit Lions) play in the first Pineapple Bowl in Honolulu in 51. He played much of the game at FB. This was a game that pitted the U of Hawaii against college seniors.
The title "tight end" wasn't assigned as a position at Notre Dame until 1967 with Jim Winegardner. However, we recently did a feature in our print edition on 1951 team captain Jim Mutscheller, who became one of the first outstanding receiving tight ends in the NFL while playing for the Baltimore Colts with Johnny Unitas at quarterback.
Hart became a vital cog at fullback, especially during the game-winning fourth-quarter drive versus SMU in the 1949 finale that clinched the national title. He played a lot there in the NFL as well.
There wasn't anybody in history that had a more perfect football career at the collegiate level than Leon Hart. Name one other player who 1) never lost a game in four years (36-0-2), 2) won three national titles, 3) won the Heisman Trophy, 4) was the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. You can't.
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