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Ozzie Simmons
Ozzie Simmons - Image courtesy of
Ozzie Simmons - Image courtesy of
Ozzie Simmons - Image courtesy of
Ozzie Simmons
Ozzie Simmons
Ozzie Simmons
Ozzie Simmons

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Ozzie Simmons      Texas Wikipedia 

Position(s): RB

HIGH SCHOOL: Ozzie Simmons attended Gainesville High School and lived in or near Gainesville, Texas. He was an all-state high school quarterback, but college opportunities were limited in Texas. He arrived on campus at Iowa unannounced with his brother Don Simmons, and they were quickly added to the team after the first practice.

COLLEGE: He was nicknamed the "Ebony Eel", and was one of the first black All-American football players in the 1930's. He ended with 1,544 career rushing yards, the third most in Iowa history at the time. He scored 14 touchdowns in his career, eight of them on plays of 50 yards or more. He struggled with injuries during his three years. He was twice named All-Big Ten and All-American.

In 1934, he suffered targeted racist cheap shots during a 48-12 loss to the Gophers. As a result, the 1935 game against Minnesota carried high tensions and threats of violence, and the two Governors decided to wager a pig to the winner of the game. It became the inaugural "Floyd of Rosedale" trophy game to help alleviate racial tensions, and it was deemed a success.

PROFESSIONAL: He played two years professionally for the Patterson Panthers of the all-black American Association in 1937 and 1939 (as Black players were not allowed in the NFL at the time). He was a second team all-league player in 1937 and a first team all-league player in 1939.

Born 6/6/1914 and died on 9/26/2001 at the age of 87.

Joined as walk-on (non-scholarship)  All Conference: 1st Team (1934, 1935) All American: 1st Team (1935), 2nd Team (1934) U of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame 



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Ozzie Simmons - Iowa Hawkeyes Player Profile | Football - Summary of Iowa football and basketball games