Pasadena, CA – Johnny Mack Brown, Elmer Layden and Ernie Nevers have been nominated as finalists for the Rose Bowl Game All-Century Class as representatives from the 1920s. The candidates, as voted by an esteemed panel from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), are the second of a series of names who will be unveiled each Sunday throughout the remainder of the college football regular season.
In commemoration of the 100th Rose Bowl Game, the All-Century Class will highlight and honor great players and coaches throughout the history of The Granddaddy of Them All.
Ernie Nevers established a Rose Bowl single-game rushing record in 1925, running for 114 yards on 34 carries. He also participated in nearly 80 percent of Stanford's defensive plays, despite having casts taken off two broken ankles just ten days earlier. Stanford lost the game to Knute Rockne's Notre Dame and his Four Horseman, 27-10, however, Nevers was still selected as co-Player of the Game with Notre Dame fullback Elmer Layden. Nevers went on to play professional baseball before beginning his professional football career. He holds the NFL record for points in a game, scoring six touchdowns and kicking four extra points. Nevers was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963 and into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1991.
Best remembered as an All-America fullback and one of the legendary Four Horsemen of Notre Dame, Elmer Layden scored two touchdowns on interceptions, a third on a scrimmage play and kicked an 80-yard punt during the 1925 Rose Bowl Game. Notre Dame's victory over Stanford, 27-10, completed the Fighting Irish's undefeated record for the season. Layden played one year of professional football before beginning his successful coaching career, which culminated at Notre Dame where he also served as Athletic Director. He was inducted to the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1992.
In the third quarter of the 1926 Rose Bowl Game, halfback Johnny Mack Brown guided Alabama to three touchdown drives on the way to a 20-19 victory. After trailing 12-0 to Washington at halftime, the underdogs from Tuscaloosa scored three touchdowns in a seven-minute span to take a 20-12 lead. Brown scored the final two touchdowns on 59 and 30-yard receptions. He returned to the 1927 Rose Bowl Game as an assistant backfield coach for Alabama, which ended in a 7-7 tie with Stanford. While in town for the game, Brown was asked to take a screen test for acting. The studios liked what they saw, and a 40-year movie and television career was launched. Brown appeared in over 160 movies from 1927 to 1966. He was a member of the 2000 Rose Bowl Hall of Fame induction class.
The FWAA voting committee will select one Rose Bowl Game representative from each decade to comprise the All-Century Class. In addition, one overall player and one overall coach will be highlighted at a press conference on Selection Sunday, which will take place on December 8, 2013, in Pasadena.
For more information on the 100th Rose Bowl Game, please visit www.tournamentofroses.com.