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Bobby Grayson
Date of birth: December 8, 1914
Place of birth: Portland, Oregon
Date of death: September 22, 1981 (aged 66)
Career information
Position(s): Fullback
College: Stanford
NFL Draft: 1936 / Round: 3
Organizations
College Football Hall of Fame

Bobby Grayson (December 8, 1914 - September 22, 1981) was an American football player. He was a two-time consensus All-American player who led the Stanford University football team to three consecutive Rose Bowl Games from 1933 to 1935.

At Stanford, Grayson played for the varsity football team in the 1933, 1934 and 1935 seasons. He was recruited to Stanford by Coach Glenn "Pop" Warner and helped lead Stanford to a Pacific Coast Conference title in 1934 and co-championships in 1933 and 1935.[1] He was a consensus All-American at in both 1934 and 1935.

In 1932, Grayson played for Stanford's freshman football team. The team included Grayson, Bob Reynolds, Monk Moscrip and Bones Hamilton, and came to be known as the "Vow Boys." The 1932 Stanford varsity team was soundly defeated by the Southern California Trojans. After watching the defeat, the freshmen players got together and vowed that they would never lose to the Trojans.[2] In November 1933, Stanford defeated USC, and Grayson scored the Reskins' only touchdown. Time magazine reported that "Stanford's speedy Fullback Bobby Grayson slashed and passed through the Trojan line, punched over a touchdown," resulting in a "resounding crash" for "the fattest Humpty Dumpty of 1933 football."[3] The Stanford team proceeded to beat USC three straight years from 1933-1935 -- making good on the vow. Stanford was the dominant team on the Pacific Coast, appearing in the New Year's Day Rose Bowl game in each of those three years. In three seasons, Grayson was part of a Stanford team that compiled a 25-4-2 record and became the first team to play in three consecutive Rose Bowls.[2]

In the 1934 Rose Bowl, Grayson rushed for 152 yards, a Rose Bowl record. Ernie Nevers said Grayson was "the best back I've ever seen."[2] Grayson set numerous Stanford records.[1] He set the record for most interceptions in a single game with four (two of which he returned for touchdowns) in a 1934 game against the University of Washington.[1][2] His career total of 1,547 rushing yards in 405 carries established a Stanford record that stood for 20 years.[4] A historical account of Grayson's accomplishments published by the LA84 Foundation notes:

"Bobby Grayson had the looks of a matinee idol; and he remians as one of the most publicized players in Pacific Coast football history. A member of the legendary 'Vow Boys' of Stanford, Grayson starred from 1933-1935 in an era that is regarded as the greatest in the school's gridiron history. A workhorse ball carrier from the fullback spot, Grayson combined speed and power in piling up the school's career reusing record that stood for nearly two decades. Grayson used sprinter-class speed in sweeping the ends, and his swivel-hipped moves eluded tacklers in the open field.; while he was as adept at battering up the middle and punishing opposing defensive lines."[4]

Grayson was the 21st player drafted in the 1936 NFL Draft -- the inaugural NFL draft. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates but cid not play professional football.

Grayson died of a heart ailment in 1981 at age 66. He was survived by his wife, Sue Grayson, and a son, Dan Grayson.[1]

In 2003, the Oakland Tribune ranked Grayson as one Stanford's top ten players of all time, ranking him at number five behind Ernie Nevers, Jim Plunkett, Frankie Albert, and John Elway.[5]

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