The Remarkable Weldon Humble

If you woke up this morning and you pondered what you've done with your life, whether you've done enough, maybe this article isn't for you. We're going to tell you about the remarkable Weldon Humble. Remarkable may lack the proper respect or esteem for what Humble did during his life. Suffice to say, his remarkable athletic prowess and military service may make you wonder if they make 'em like Weldon Humble anymore? They don't. He was remarkable.

Humble was born in Nixon, Texas just southeast of San Antonio. Humble showed athletic flashes and ability from an early age. By the time he got to San Antonio Brackenridge, he was a multi-sport star. He played football, basketball, ran track, and swam for the Eagles. After graduating in 1940, Humble enrolled at the Rice Institute as a 6'1, 185 pound quarterback with sprinter speed.

Humble at Rice

Humble at Rice

Playing for the great Jess Nealy, Humble spent his first season on the freshman team before making the varsity as a sophomore. Humble played end his sophomore but his junior year moved to the offensive line as a guard. He was named All-Southwest Conference and named Rice's Most Valuable Player that season. The year however was now 1943 and hostilities were well underway in Europe and in the Pacific theater.

Humble left Rice and headed to the University of Louisiana Lafayette where he enrolled in the Navy's V-12 program or Officers Candidate School. While there, Humble played with other officer candidates on a military team, he was selected captain of the squad.  After his training completed, Humble enlisted in the Marine Corps and was sent to the Pacific. During his years in the service, Humble rose to the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He would win the Bronze Star for his actions on Okinawa.

After three years of service, Humble returned to Rice to finish his education and resume his athletic career. He lettered in football and track. Humble led the Owls as a team captain to a 8-2 record and a Orange Bowl victory over Tennessee. He was a consensus All-America and voted All-SWC Conference for his efforts. A two-way player Humble was named lineman of the week for his defensive efforts against Texas A&M. The Owls finished 1946 as the 10th ranked team in America.

Did we mention he did all this while weighing a feathery 212 pounds? Not only did he excel on the field but he was a gifted track athlete at the shot and discuss and even ran the 440. Jess Neely estimated that Humble had 10 second hundred yard dash speed. His senior year Humble played 415 of 600 minutes for the Owl football team.

Humble met legendary coach Paul Brown while Brown was scouting the Orange Bowl. Brown came away impressed with what he saw. He made up his mind that if given the opportunity, he would acquire Humble's services. Humble was drafted by the Baltimore Colts of the All American Football League and the Chicago Cardinals for the NFL. He settled on the Colts and Brown traded four players to the Colts to bring him to Cleveland in 1947.

Humble was part of a Cleveland offensive line that led the Browns to three straight AAFL crowns. A two-way player, Humble also had five interceptions from his linebacker position and filled in for the retiring Lou Saban, widely considered the best linebacker in the league. He was one of the only Browns to play significant minutes on both sides of the ball, starting at left guard on offense.

Humble #38 on Cleveland's 1950 Championship offensive line.

Humble #38 on Cleveland's 1950 Championship offensive line.

He blocked for greats like quarterback Otto Graham and Marion Motley. Motley won the rushing title in 1948 and 1950 and set a league record for yards per carry. The 1948 Browns are still considered one of the greatest professional football teams of all-time. Humble was voted 2nd Team All-AAFL in '48. After Cleveland was absorbed into the NFL following the 1949 season, Humble was an All-Pro selection for the undefeated NFL Champion Browns. Humble was also selected to the first ever NFL Pro-Bowl in 1950. He played on four straight title winning teams for Cleveland from 1947 to 1950.   

Still a navy reservist in 1951, he was called back up for duty during the Korean War. Never one to give up the game, he played for the Marine team at Quantico and was named First Team All-Marine in 1951. Humble returned to the NFL to learn he'd been traded to the expansion Dallas Texans, where he played one season before retiring in 1952.

After his playing career Humble went into banking, working 20 years for First City National Bank in Houston. He was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame, the first Rice Owl to achieve such recognition. He was also inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, named to the SWC 50th Anniversary Team, the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame and the Rice Athletics Hall of Fame. He served his university as president of the "R" Association and served as the President of the Great Houston Bowl Association, which organized the Bluebonnet Bowl.

Humble died in 1998, after a long bout with illness and a remarkable life well lived.

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Posted on April 24, 2017 and filed under Southwest Round-Up, Rice.