Saturday, June 16, 2012

77 Bruce Bosley

Hometown: Green Bank, WV
Career: 1952-1955
Record: 31-7, Bowl Record: 0-1
Bruce Bosley was one of the greatest athletes to ever play for the Mountaineers, at any position. Bosley was a stout defender, a ferocious blocker, and even excelled on special teams. What is amazing about Bosley is that he was discovered by chance! Coach Art “Pappy” Lewis traveled to Green Bank in 1951 and decided to drop in on a high school basketball game in which Bosley was playing. Coach Lewis was so impressed with Bosley that he offered him a scholarship on the spot. From the moment Bosley set foot on campus, he made a major impact for the Mountaineers. Bosley would start on both sides of the ball for the Mountaineers and would go on to earn All- Southern Conference honors in 1953, 1954, and 1955. During his senior season, he would earn consensus All-America honors, Jacobs Blocking Award (Southern Conference Best Lineman), and Southern Conference MVP honors. He would also have a solid pro career with the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons. Bosley would be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.

Memorable Game: One game that best symbolizes Bruce Bosley’s athletic prowess is the 1953 game against Penn State. The Mountaineers were undefeated (5-0) and ranked 5th coming into the road match against the Penn State Nittany Lions. WVU had lost the 6 previous contests against the Nittany Lions. Bosley made it his personal mission to break the losing streak. He would make the biggest play of the game on special teams. Bosley tore through the punt coverage team, blocking the punt, and scoring a touchdown off the block. Bosley’s touchdown would give WVU the decisive edge in a narrow 20-19 win. The win would swing momentum in the series to WVU, which won the next two meetings against Penn State.

Competition: The #77 is quite popular at WVU. Bosley beat out fellow WVU Sports Hall of Fame inductee Brian Jozwiak. Bruce won out based on his College Football Hall of Fame selection. Other mentions at #77 include: Mike Compton, Solomon Page, and Josh Jenkins.

Teaser: Will we go for 3 Hall of Famers in 3 days? Unfortunately, no. Tomorrow’s selection at #76 is not yet a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, but is likely to be inducted in the near future (in my opinion). This offensive lineman led Mountaineer rushers to the red zone (and ultimately the end zone) much like Moses led the Israelites through the Red Sea. See what I did there?

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