Jerry LeVias overcame both polio and racial segregation to star for SMU in the 1960s. He integrated the Southwest Conference as the first black scholarship athlete in Southwest Conference football history. He earned consensus All-American honors in 1968 before being drafted by the Houston Oilers.
In this first episode of a two-part series, Jerry talks about growing up in Beaumont, Texas, his stellar high school football career, and how SMU coach Hayden Fry lured him to play for the Mustangs. Jerry and friend Bill Bradley (University of Texas, Philadelphia Eagles) remember the monumental 1965 Big 33 Classic, a high school all-star game that matched the best in Texas versus the best in Pennsylvania. The Texas team, coached by NFL legends Bobby Layne and Doak Walker, overpowered the Pennsylvanians led by future Notre Dame star Terry Hannratty.
The Texas Sports Hall of Fame Podcast is presented by the Hampton Inn Waco North. Jackson Michael, author of "The Game Before the Money" hosts and produces the podcast. Please visit www.TSHOF.org for more information about the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.