Three finalists for the Rose Bowl Game All-Century Class of the1920s were named on Sunday, Sept. 29. They are Johnny Mack Brown (Alabama), Elmer Layden (Notre Dame) and Ernie Nevers (Stanford). The remaining nominees, chosen by the Football Writers Association of America for the 100th playing of the Granddaddy of Them All, will be announced each week by decade; the details of the selection and schedule have been posted in this column.
Ernie Nevers and Elmer Layden played on opposing teams in the 1925 Rose Bowl Game, which Knute Rockne’s Fighting Irish won, 27-10. All-America fullback and one of the legendary Four Horsemen of Notre Dame, Layden scored two touchdowns on interceptions, a third on a scrimmage play and kicked an 80-yard punt. He played one season of pro ball, moving on to coaching an eventually the position of athletic director at his alma mater. He was inducted to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1992.
Nevers played the game for Stanford after having casts removed from two broken ankles just 10 days earlier. He established a Rose Bowl Game single-game rushing record for 114 yards on 34 carries and was selected as co-Player of the Game with Layden. He played professionally in both baseball and football. He holds the NFL record for points in a game, scoring six touchdowns and kicking four extra points. He was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963 and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1991.
Johnny Mack Brown led Alabama in three third-quarter touchdown drives and a 20-19 victory over Washington in the 1926 Rose Bowl Game. Alabama trailed at the half, 12-0, but three touchdowns in seven minutes put the team ahead. Brown’s final two TDs were on 59- and 30—yard receptions. The halfback, who was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000, returned to the Rose Bowl in 1927 as an assistant backfield coach for Alabama, which ended in a 7-7 tie with Stanford.
The trip proved to be fortuitous for Brown off the field, when he was asked to take a screen test that launched a 40-year film and television career. He appeared in more than 160 movies, mainly westerns, with his final appearance being Sheriff Ben Hall in Apache Uprising in 1965.
Follow All Things Rose Parade on Facebook to see the remaining names as they are released. The media is being notified by emails which are not posted online at publication time.
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