Green Bay-Tulsa War Time Connection

The University of Tulsa was an early proponent of the passing game, producing future pro passers Tommy Thompson, Glenn Dobbs and Clyde LeForce from 1938-43. It makes sense that offensive-minded Curly Lambeau would find their program of interest.

1942 marks the beginning of Tulsa connection to Green Bay. That season, with Dobbs a senior and LeForce a junior, the Golden Hurricanes also featured four future Packers: ends Clyde Goodnight and Nolan Luhn, halfback Charlie Mitchell and freshman guard Buddy Burris. Burris went into the service in 1943 and then transferred to Oklahoma in 1946 before being drafted by the Packers in 1948.

Goodnight, Luhn and Mitchell continued at Tulsa in 1943 and were joined by two freshmen in 1944: passer Perry Moss and halfback J.R. Boone. In fact, at the 1945 Orange Bowl where Tulsa defeated Georgia Tech, Moss and Goodnight started the game and Luhn, Mitchell and Boone came off the bench to appear in the game as well.

In 1945, the Packers drafted Goodnight in round three and Luhn in round 25, with the Bears taking Mitchell in round 28. The first game of the preseason featured the defending champion Packers playing the College All-Stars, and the most exciting play came early in the fourth quarter when veteran Don Hutson intercepted a pass by All-Star quarterback Perry Moss and returned it 82 yards for the final score of the contest. That season, Goodnight and Luhn trained under Hutson and both moved into the starting lineup in 1946 when Charlie Mitchell joined the Packers for one season.

Luhn and Goodnight each had their biggest season in 1947, catching 42 and 38 passes respectively. In 1948, the Packers drafted Perry Moss, who had transferred to Illinois, in the 13th round, but he completed just four of 17 passes in his only year as a pro, while Luhn and Goodnight dropped to 17 and 28 catches respectively.

As noted above, Buddy Burris joined the team in 1949, and that would prove to be the final Packer season for the Luhn-Goodnight duo. Burris would play in Green Bay through 1951, and a year after that, the WWII Tulsa connection ended when J.R. Boone finished his NFL career with the Packers in 1953. Ultimately, Nolan Luhn probably had the best Packer career, with 100 receptions and one second team All-NFL notice. Luhn was also better than any Golden Hurricane Packers since then: punter Ken Duncan, receiver Jessie Green, linebacker Marv Matuszak, infamous quarterback T.J. Rubley and safety Todd Franz.

1948lnluhn  1948logoodnight  1948bpmoss  1949lbburris


All custom cards are colorized.


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