For­mer Michi­gan State star Kowal­czyk dies

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - SCOREBOARD -

Walt Kowal­czyk, a star half­back at Michi­gan State who fin­ished third in the 1957 Heis­man Tro­phy race, has died. He was 83.

Michi­gan State said Mr. Kowal­czyk died Wed­nes­day. Nick­named “The Sprint­ing Black­smith,” Mr. Kowal­czyk helped the Spar­tans to top-three fin­ishes in the AP poll for the 1955 and 1957 sea­sons. He was named MVP of the 1956 Rose Bowl.

Mr. Kowal­czyk led the Spar­tans in rush­ing dur­ing the 1957 sea­son and scored nine rush­ing touch­downs. He also ranked sec­ond in all-pur­pose yards. John David Crow of Texas A&M topped the Heis­man vote that sea­son, fol­lowed by Alex Kar­ras and Mr. Kowal­czyk.

Mr. Kowal­czyk was drafted in the first round by the Philadel­phia Ea­gles in 1958. He spent three sea­sons in the NFL, two with Philadel­phia and one with Dal­las, and fin­ished his ca­reer in the AFL with Oak­land in 1961.

Devon John­son, a for­mer Mar­shall Uni­ver­sity stand­out run­ning back who led the team to a con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship, has died. News out­lets re­ported that the 25-year-old passed away Tues­day at Blue­field Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter.

Mar­shall head coach Doc Hol­l­i­day learned about Mr. John­son’s pass­ing af­ter Tues­day’s prac­tice. Hol­l­i­day said he was “shocked and sad­dened” to learn of Mr. John­son’s death. The cause of death was not known.

Dur­ing the 2014 sea­son, Mr. John­son pro­duced 1,767 yards and 17 touch­downs to lead Mar­shall to the Con­fer­ence USA cham­pi­onship. He also set the Mar­shall sin­gle-game record for rush­ing yards with 272 against Florida At­lantic on Oct. 25, 2014. John­son was a Rich­lands na­tive.

Wis­con­sin stand­out nose tackle Olive Sa­gapolu will miss the rest of the sea­son with a right arm in­jury, while quar­ter­back Alex Horni­brook re­mains ques­tion­able for the game at No. 21 Penn State on Satur­day. Coach Paul Chryst said Sa­gapolu had surgery on Wed­nes­day af­ter get­ting hurt two weeks ago against North­west­ern. Horni­brook is in the con­cus­sion pro­to­col for the sec­ond time in three weeks. Sopho­more Jack Coan would make his sec­ond ca­reer start if Horni­brook can’t go.

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