Sunday, December 03, 2006

50 GREATEST GOLDEN BEARS - #22 - PAUL LARSON

#22 - PAUL LARSON - QUARTERBACK/SAFETY (1951-1954)
In two years as Cal's starting quarterback Larson threw for nearly 3,000 yards. That might not sound like much, until you consider that Pappy Waldorf was a run-first coach in a very conservative era. Larson's 1537 passing yards during his senior year of 1954 led the nation, and his 1572 yards of total offense in his junior year also led the nation in that category.

Larson did much more than throw - he is tied for third all-time with 12 interceptions, including a critical pick in the 1953 Big Game that preserved a 21-21 tie. He also punted and kicked field goals in 1954, and returned both punts and kicks in three of his varsity seasons, averaging 28.5 yards per kick return and 10.7 per punt return with a touchdown.

Larson finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1954, and was the top vote-getter in the Western region; he was also named to the FWAA All-America team. Larson was also indirectly responsible for the decline of Cal football after Waldorf. If he had not been a star, then prized recruit Ronnie Knox might have cracked the starting lineup in 1954 and not transferred to UCLA. Knox and his father later ratted out Cal boosters to the NCAA, which landed the Bears on probation.

Larson was drafted in the eighth round by the Chicago Cardinals in 1954, and played two seasons in professional football.

7 Comments:

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Ken Edwards said...

When I was growing up in Turlock,California, we were neighbors to the Larsons. We used to play football in the field next to their house. Paul (or Bud, as we knew him then) pretty much stayed on the sidelines because he was a few years yonger than his big brother Charlie and the rest of us. When I was in the Air Force I was stationed on Long Island in New York. Traveled to Philadelphia to watch the Bears play Penn. Bears won big time and Paul was the star. As a native of Turlock and a former player at Turlock High myself, we're all tremendously proud of Paul's achievements at Cal.

 
At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It"s #12 - not #22

 
At 6:24 AM, Anonymous pharmacy drugstore said...

He is frequent chair and committee member of conferences such as VLDB, SIGMOD, and ICDE. In 2004 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.

 
At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Kevin said...

Yeah, and what did Ronnie Knox ever do for UCLA? He played one year and did next to nothing. He was a head case with a meddling father. All-star can't-miss high school quarterbacks are a dime a dozen, and Knox was one of them. Paul Larson was the real deal, and in no way, directly or indirectly, was he responsible for anything Ronnie Knox did or didn't do.

 
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