39 Days Until the College Football Season Kick Off
Another fullback, I love it.
Yesterday for day 40, we highlighted the A-Train, the greatest fullback of all time. Now as we break into the thirties, we look at a fullback who played college ball on the west coast in the 1970s.
Sam “Bam” Cunningham was born in Santa Barbara, California and attended Santa Barbara High School. He only had to travel two hours south east to college where he played for the USC Trojans.
Cunningham played for the Trojans from 1970 to 1972. In 1970, Bam was a part of the famous USC all black backfield with quarterback Jimmy Jones and half back Clarence Davis. This was the first all black backfield in D1 single A history.
In a game in 1970 against an all white Alabama starting lineup, Bam went for 135 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Trojans defeated Bear Bryants Crimson Tide. One of Bryants assistants said that what Cunningham did in that sixty minute span was more than what MLK did in twenty years for desegregating football. Following this game, the SEC began to shift to eliminate segregation in football.
Cunningham was named an All American in 1972 and was the 1973 Rose Bowl Player of the Game. Bam scored four touchdowns against Ohio State which is still a Rose Bowl record. For his efforts, he was named to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
The six foot three power back was selected eleventh overall by New England and played with the Patriots from 1973 to 1982. He is a member of the Patriots Ring of Honor.
Tomorrow for day 38, we take a close look at a tight end that has put Iowa in contention for Tight End U.