Carl Allison, a rare four-year starter and a captain on OU's undefeated 1954 football team, died Tuesday at his home in West Monroe, La. He was 80.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at Whites Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe.
Allison, who attended McAlester High School, came to OU and started as a true freshman at end in 1951, when the NCAA allowed freshmen to play because of numbers reduced by the Korean War.
Allison made the initial hit on Maryland fullback Ralph Felton on fourth-and-goal in the 1954 Orange Bowl, won by the Sooners 7-0. Allison also made Notre Dame coach Frank Leahy's all-opponents team in both 1952 and 1953.
In Bud Wilkinson's final 1954 letter to alumni, he wrote, “I never hope to coach a finer football player (than Allison). Carl started every game we have played the last four years. He was never late to practice, never hurt, never sick. He was a fine captain. He is a straight B student. In reliability and character he stands at the very top of our squad. We could always depend on him to do his job well.
“I don't mean to take anything away from our other more-publicized boys but I've never seen a better all-around football player, nor a more reliable one, than Carl Allison.”
Allison also played left field on the OU baseball team. He was drafted by the NFL Chicago Bears and also was offered a baseball contract by the Boston Red Sox.
Allison went into coaching and reinstated the football program at Harding University. Allison was on Gomer Jones' OU staff in 1964 and 1965.
Allison entered the ministry and helped establish the Whites Ferry Road Church School of Preaching, serving as director for 22 years.
-- By Berry Tramel