Rice Institute Owls football player Don Rhoden # 54
Black and white photograph of Rice Institute Owls football player Don Rhoden, class of 1953, headlining his achievement into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame. Caption reads: It is an oft-used expression, but what better way to describe Donnie “Deepfreeze” Rhoden as “pound-for-pound one of the finest defensive players of any era to play for the Rice Owls.” He was only 5-10 and it is doubtful he ever reached the 190 pounds he alleged was his playing weight. But this man earned that nickname because when he tackled a runner he really chilled him! Just unbelieveable [sic] quickness and sharp striking power. It was no surprise Don won numerous honors in his varsity days of 1950-52 (also accolades from the tough ’49 champion Owls for his scrimmage hits in the days when frosh couldn’t play on the varsity). He was All-America on a vote of players in ’52, second team on most media selections, and named SWC Defender of the Year. Donnie played in the East-West and College All-Star games. He was All-SWC and an Owl co-captain for a 1952 Rice team that was second in the SWC and played UCLA, Wisconsin (with Alan Ameche) and LSU. In ’53 after Don’s graduation returning lettermen were nucleus of a 1953 SWC title team. This former Owl had that certain “charisma” that made him a big crowd favorite in the peak years of Rice grid success when the Owls won titles or placed high almost every year to dominate the Houston sports scene as the most popular team in the city in the early days of the handsome Rice Stadium. After graduation, Rhoden had many years of success in business circles in Houston before moving to his old home town of Kerville in 1971 to go into real estate as a partner in Southwest Realty. No question, Donnie Rhoden was one of the finest center-linebackers ever for a school that has had a host of great ones, such as Joe Watson, Gerald Weatherly, Malcolm Walker, Leo Rucka, Billy Blackburn, and many more. And that is fast company!
Rice Athletic Hall of Fame
Citable link to this pagehttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/64020
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