Former University of Georgia quarterback and College Football Hall of Fame member Johnny Rauch has died at his home in Oldsmar, Fla. He was 80.
From everything I've ever read about Rauch, he was one of the best. He started every game of his college career from 1945 to 1948. He played on the undefeated 1946 Bulldog team, sharing the backfield with fellow Bulldog great Charley Trippi in two of those years.
Rauch was the first pick of the 1949 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions. There are some old timers who will tell you Johnny Rauch was maybe the best quarterback Georgia ever had. He coached the Oakland Raiders to Super Bowl II in 1967.
According to his obituary, Coach Butts discovered Rauch on a flag football field. Damn good Dawg.
Thanks to Dawgs Online, where I saw the news first.
UPDATE: I called Mr. Trippi. His thoughts on Rauch as a player:
"He came as a freshman and took over the team," Trippi said. "He took four teams to a bowl game so I'd have to say he was one of the best we ever had."
Georgia ran the T formation back then, with Rauch under center and 3 backs behind him, Trippi said. Rauch "could throw all kind of passes, according to the situation," Trippi said.
"The thing that I remember the most about him would be he was a winner," Trippi said. "He knew how to win. And he utilized his personnel that played behind him. He had a good football mind. ... Anybody that's ever coached with him or played with him would have high praise for him."