Texas A&M football: 30 greatest players of all-time

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M Aggies. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M Aggies. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) /
19 of 30
John Kimbrough
John Kimbrough. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images) /

Stats – 1,292 rushing yards, 17 touchdowns

Accolades – Consensus All-American in 1939 and 1940, Runner-up in Heisman Trophy voting in 1940, Fifth in Heisman voting in 1939, College Football Hall of Fame (1954)

Team signature moment – Winning the 1939 National Championship

It’s hard to understate the importance of Jarrin’ John Kimbrough to Texas A&M football. He was the leader on the Aggies’ only national championship. He was the first Aggie to finish in the Top 5 of the Heisman Trophy voting and did it two years in a row. Like many of the players of the day, he played both ways. He intercepted six passes in his runner-up Heisman year.

Kimbrough rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns in the Sugar Bowl against the Tulane Green Wave to lock up their undefeated season and national championship. He also rushed for 75 yards, scored the winning touchdown and blocked an extra point in the one-point Cotton Bowl win after the 1940 season.

He would go on to be the No. 2 overall pick of the then-Chicago Cardinals in the 1941 NFL Draft, but elected to serve in the army instead. He served as an Army pilot in the Pacific during World War II. He would eventually come home and play three seasons with the Los Angeles Dons of the All-American Football Conference.

Kimbrough also starred in movies and was well-liked in Hollywood, starring in two movies before joining the Army. He briefly served in the Texas legislature from 1953-55 before becoming a rancher in his home town of Haskell, Texas.