Did You Know...

Five former Georgetown players played on the 1920 NFL franchise coached by Jim Thorpe, the Canton Bulldogs.

History & Tradition: Hoyas In The NFL

More names than you might think.

Unbeknownst to most fans, Georgetown alumni have been a part of numerous NFL teams over the years, from the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins to now-forgotten franchises like the Newark Tornadoes and the Pottsville Maroons.

The first Georgetown men in the pro ranks were there at the start of the league. When assembling the first NFL team at Canton, Ohio in 1920, player-coach Jim Thorpe knew well of Georgetown, having competed against them at Carlisle in the early 1900's. He selected five Georgetown men to fill out his original 24 man roster, more than from any other college.

The zenith of Georgetown's NFL representation came in the early 1940's. A record ten members of the 1941 Orange Bowl team went into the NFL ranks, chief among them Al Blozis (C'42), arguably the greatest athlete in Georgetown history. Blozis earned Rookie of the Year and NFL All-Pro honors with the New York Giants before serving in World War II, where he was killed in battle in 1945. Blozis' #32 is among the few jersey numbers ever retired in the Giants' storied football history.

Georgetown alumni have also made their mark as team coaches, owners and executives. Among them are:

Art Rooney(ex'22), a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, attended both Georgetown and Duquesne in the 1920's, but did not play varsity football at Georgetown. Rooney was the long time chief executive of the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1933 through his death in 1988.

William Shea (L'31), a part owner of the Washington Redskins in the 1960's, was a letterman in 1928. Shea, who helped bring National League baseball back to New York in 1962, is also the namesake of the former Shea Stadium, home of the New York Jets from 1964-2009.

Sam Cordovano (C'30), a letterman from 1927 through 1929 and member of the Georgetown Athletic Hall of Fame, was owner and general manager of the original Buffalo Bills from 1946-1949 when they played in the the All-America Football Conference (AAFC).

Dan Reeves (C'32), owner of the Cleveland/Los Angeles Rams from 1941 through his death in 1971, also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Reeves was the first NFL owner to break the color barrier after World War II and was the first owner to achieve success with a pro football team on the West Coast.

Edward Bennett Williams (L'44), an owner of both the Washington Redskins and baseball's Baltimore Orioles during his long career as one of the nation's most prominent attorneys;

Charles Bidwill, Jr. (C'50), former president of the Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals from 1960 to 1972;

William Bidwill (C'53), president and majority owner of the St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals since 1972;

Paul Tagliabue (C'62), NFL commissioner from 1989 through 2006;

Carmen Policy (L'66), former president of the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns;

Jim Schwartz (C'89), a four year letterman from 1985-88, is the current assistant coach of the Buffalo Bills;

Jerry Jones, Jr. (C'92), a letterman in 1988 and 1989, is vice president of the Dallas Cowboys.

There are 51 alumni with NFL experience, listed below:

Barron, Jim (T)
Rochester Jeffersons 1921

Blozis, Al (T)
New York Giants 1942-1944

Buzbee, Alex (DE)
Washington Redskins 2007

Castiglia, Jim (FB, LB)
Philadelphia Eagles 1941, 1945-1946
Baltimore Colts 1947 (AAFC)
Washington Redskins 1947-1948

Comstock, Rudy (G,T)
Canton Bulldogs 1923, 1925
Cleveland Bulldogs 1924
Frankford Yellow Jackets 1926-1929
New York Giants 1930

Connaughton, Harry (T)
Frankford Yellow Jackets 1927

Corcoran, Art (TB)
Canton Bulldogs 1920
Cleveland Indians 1921
Akron Pros 1921-1922
Buffalo All-Americans 1923

Cordovano, Sam (G)
1930 Newark Tornadoes

Doolan, Jack (DB, WR, TE)
Washington Redskins 1945
New York Giants 1945-1946
Chicago Cardinals 1947-1948

Dubofsky, Maurice (G)
New York Giants 1932

Dwyer, Bob (TB)
Orange Tornadoes 1929

Flaherty, Jim (TE, HB)
Chicago Bears 1923

Flavin, Jack (FB, CB)
Buffalo All-Americans 1923-1924

Florence, Paul (E)
Chicago Cardinals 1920 [Note 1]

Frank, Joe (T)
Philadelphia Eagles 1941-1943

Ghecas, Lou (HB, DB)
Philadelphia Eagles 1941

Gilroy, Johnny (RB, DB)
Canton Bulldogs 1920
Cleveland Tigers 1920

Golsen, Gene (FB, DB)
Louisville Colonels 1926

Golsen, Tom (G)
Louisville Colonels 1926

Gormley, Tom (G)
Cleveland Tigers 1920

Green, Larry (TE, G)
Canton Bulldogs 1920
Hammond Pros 1921

Hagerty, Jack (TB, DB)
New York Giants 1926-1930, 1932

Itzel, John (FB, LB)
Pittsburgh Steelers 1945

Jawish, Heinie (T, G)
Pottsville Maroons 1926

Kenyon, Bill (TB)
New York Giants 1925

Kercher, Bob (DE)
Green Bay Packers 1944

Koshlap, Jules (HB, DB)
Pittsburgh Steelers 1945

Lascari, John (DE)
New York Giants 1942

Lio, Augie (G, LB, K)
Detroit Lions 1941-1943
Boston Yanks 1944-1945
Philadelphia Eagles 1946
Baltimore Colts 1947 (AAFC)

Liston, Paul (G)
Newark Tornadoes 1930

Matuza, Al (C, LB)
Chicago Bears 1941-1943, 1946

McGrath, Frank (E)
Frankford Yellow Jackets 1927
New York Yankees 1928

McQuade, Johnny (TB, LB)
Canton Bulldogs 1922

Metzger, Lou (FB, DB)
Louisville Colonels 1926

Mooney, Jim (TE, T, G, LB)
Newark Tornadoes 1930
Brooklyn Dodgers 1930-1931
Cincinnati Reds 1933-1934
Chicago Cardinals 1935

Morelli, John (G, LB)
Boston Yanks 1944-1945

Murtagh, George (C, G, DE, DT)
New York Giants 1926-1932

O'Connor, Dan (G, T)
Canton Bulldogs 1920
Cleveland Indians 1921

Paternoster, Angelo (G, LB)
Washington Redskins 1943

Perpich, George (T)
Brooklyn Dodgers 1946 (AAFC)
Baltimore Colts 1947 (AAFC)

Plansky, Tony (FB, DB, K)
New York Giants 1928-1929
Boston Braves 1932

Rawlings, Bob (FB, TB)
Buffalo All-Americans 1922 [Note 2]

Ricca, Jim (DG, DT)
Washington Redskins 1951-1954
Detroit Lions 1955
Philadelphia Eagles 1955-1956

Scalzi, Johnny (TB)
Brooklyn Dodgers 1931

Sorce, Russ (T)
Pittsburgh Steelers 1945

Stralka, Clem (G)
Washington Redskins 1938-1942, 1945-1946

Tomaini, John (T)
Orange Tornadoes 1929
Newark Tornadoes 1930
Brooklyn Dodgers 1931

Waite, Carl (HB, TE, FB, DB, T, G)
Frankford Yellow Jackets 1928
Orange Tornadoes 1929
Newark Tornadoes 1930

Werder, Richard (G)
New York Yankees 1948 (AAFC)

Whalen, Tommy (E, C)
Canton Bulldogs 1920
Cleveland Indians 1921

Zuidmulder, Dave (HB)
Green Bay Packers 1930 [Note 2]

Note 1: Florence played briefly in the NFL before attending Georgetown and is presumed to have received his eligibility back as a result.
Note 2: These players transferred from Georgetown as freshmen and thus did not play varsity football.

Pre-1960 listings are found courtesy of "The Encyclopaedic History of Pro Football, 1895-1959", ©1974.