The Washington Redskins will mark their 80th anniversary Sunday by revealing their 80 greatest all-time players, and one of those honored also will have played a significant role in University of Miami making a national name for itself.
Don Bosseler, now 76, starred at UM in the mid-1950s, back when the Canes were the biggest game in town, closer to the only game in town. Back then, if you said “the Dolphins,” folks thought you must have been talking about an attraction at the newly opened Miami Seaquarium.
This was three decades before the Canes’ first national championship. This was before stars such as George Mira and Ted Hendricks came along.
You want to know how different ’50s college football was?
“I played at 200 pounds,” Bosseler, then a fullback, recalled Thursday with a chuckle, “and I think I was larger than both my guards. Sometimes, they’d be pulling and I’d have to yell, ‘Hey, not so fast!’ ”
In 1956, Bosseler became only UM’s fourth Associated Press first-team All-American, and he is the earliest Canes player now inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. His last three UM teams were a combined 22-5-1. He was a part of Miami’s first national top-10 ranking in 1954, was a party to the team’s first-ever Orange Bowl sellout (against Notre Dame) in 1955, and his senior year in 1956, UM ended up ranked No. 6.
But his proudest Canes memory?
“We never lost to the Gators!” he said.
Bosseler, a first-round NFL draft pick, retired from the NFL in 1964 as Washington’s all-time leading rusher before returning to Miami and a long career as a stockbroker.
This weekend’s Redskins honor is deserved. So is the gentleman’s place in UM history.
Scatter-shooting the league: