Hometown: Wellsburg, WV
Record: 28-10, Bowl Record: 0-1
Gene “Beef” Lamone was a sensational two-way player for the Mountaineers. He would team with other WVU legends such as Sam Huff, Joe Marconi, and Fred Wyant to create some of the best Mountaineer teams in school history. Lamone was an exceptional blocker, playing Guard. On the defensive side of the ball, he was an adept tackler. “Beef” would earn 2nd team All-America honors in 1953, 3rd team All-America in 1954, and All-Southern Conference in 1954. He would play three years in the NFL but would ultimately step away from the game after a brief career. In 1995, Lamone was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame.
Memorable Game: The 1954 season was one of the most memorable seasons in school history. WVU would rack up an 8-1 season and a Southern Conference Championship. Arguably the biggest victory from that season came in the third game of the campaign. West Virginia came into the road game against the 9th ranked Penn State with a 14th ranking. The Mountaineers trailed the Nittany Lions by a score of 14-6 late in the 4th quarter. WVU would manage to punch in two touchdowns, mostly on the legs of Fred Wyant and the option rushing game. WVU would complete the rally to win 19-14.
Competition: Other players to wear the #72 at WVU include John Bradshaw, Paul Sharkady, and Jack Linn.
Teaser: The star athlete selected for #71 is another member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame. He churned out classic performances but without much herald until recently. When you see a famous player finally get his due, it’s a beautiful thing. This player long went unheralded, much like Hollywood director Robert Benton. Name sound familiar? He directed hit movies like Kramer vs Kramer and Superman. Although, I think Benton's work could have used a little edit.