Ed Widseth is among the greatest players in Gophers football history.

As a 6-foot-2, 220-pound tackle for the Gophers (1934-36), the Gonvick, Minn., native was named an All-American twice and first-team All-Big Ten three times.

In each of Widseth's three seasons with the Gophers, they won national championships, while losing just one game in three seasons. In 1936 he was the Gophers captain and was voted the Gophers Most Valuable Player.

According to the College Football Hall of Fame, "Ed Widseth 'lived' in enemy backfields and was unquestionably the pillar of strength in the Gopher line during a truly remarkable era."

He also was a two-year letterwinner for the Gophers baseball team.

Widseth was drafted by the New York Giants in the first round (fourth player overall) in the 1937 NFL draft. He played for the Giants for four seasons.

As a rookie in 1937, he was named second-team All-NFL. In 1938, he was named first-team All-NFL and a NFL Pro Bowler. Following the season, Widseth and the Giants defeated the NFL All-Stars, 13-10, in Los Angeles in the first NFL All-Star game. In 1939, he was named second-team All-NFL.

Widseth sufference a fractured ankle in an exhibition game before the 1941 season. The injury ended his NFL career.

After serving in the Navy in World War II, Widseth coached the St. Thomas College football team in 1945.

Widseth was the only Gopher on the National Football Foundation's 11-man All-America squad for the 25 seasons from 1924-1948.

Widseth was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954.

"Ed was not only a Hall of Fame football player, but he was also a Hall of Fame person," Gophers men's athletic director Mark Dienhart told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 1998. "I never met a kinder, gentler more thoughtful individual."

The football field at the University of Minnesota-Crookston is named Ed Widseth Field.


Class: 1963.

Sport: Football.

Teams: Gophers, N.Y. Giants.