BYU Football Countdown: Recap 89-100

Andy Lyons/Allsport
Andy Lyons/Allsport /
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No. 92 Gordon Gravelle – Lineman – 1967-1971

Gordon Gravelle played for BYU during a time when running the football was the main focus of the offense. In fact in 1967, Marc Lyons was the quarterback and he threw for only 1310 yards. To put some perspective on that, this season that would have put Lyons as 127th in the nation only ahead of Georgia Tech, Army, Georgia Southern and Navy, all option running teams.

So to be successful, linemen had to be be big, quick and strong to help the running backs get up the field. I watched a few highlights from this time period (there aren’t many) and honestly I couldn’t make out which player was Gravelle because of the fuzziness of the cameras back then, but what I was able to see was that for a offense to work at that time, the backbone of the team was the linemen.

Something else that showed me how good Gordon Gravelle was is the fact that he was named an All-American second teamer in 1971. That season, the Cougars went 5-6 overall meaning that Gravelle likely was the best lineman in the country that season in college football but because of it being a team from the WAC (sixth best conference that season) and that he came from a losing team, he was not awarded with the top award. In total he earned second-team All-American recognition from the AP, UPI and Universal Sports.

After playing at BYU, Gravelle went on to play in the NFL for eight seasons and played in three super bowls, winning two of them (IX and X) with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2012 Gravelle was added to the BYU Sports Hall of Fame being the sixth lineman to ever join that group alongside 32 other players.

Although we do not have the statistics, video or memorable moments that we like to see from players in this countdown, there is no question that Gordon Gravelle absolutely deserves a spot on this list. He is in a sense the unknown hero, the player who received all the awards but yet we can’t find anything about him.