The pride of San Antonio Jefferson, a Longhorn Legend, and a College Football Hall of Famer passed on today, rest easy Tommy Nobis.
When you think of dominant middle linebackers, Mike Singletary, Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, Junior Seau, you should consider of Nobis who put the SWC and college football in a stranglehold for three seasons. Nobis averaged almost 20 tackles a game and did it all while playing both ways.
In the 1965 Orange Bowl Nobis famously stoned Broadway Joe, then of Alabama, on a fourth and inches. He helped Texas win a National Title by beating Roger Staubach and Navy in the '63 Cotton Bowl. He won the Rockne Trophy (college football's best lineman) the Outland, (college football's best interior lineman) and the Maxwell (college football's best player). Nobis graced the cover of Sports Illustrated and Time Magazine. He was the number draft pick of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and the number five overall pick in the AFL draft the same year.
For a time if you played middle linebacker at Texas, and were particularly transcendent, you were given the honor of wearing number 60. Jeff Leiding, Brian Jones, and Britt Hager had the honor. The Longhorns officially retired the number in 2008.
Nobis casts a rather long shadow in Austin. It won't soon fade. He was 74 years old.