Felix 'Doc' Blanchard Wins Heisman Trophy
An All-American for three years, the 6-foot, 205 pound "Mr. Inside" scored 38 touchdowns and gained 1,908 yards on three powerhouse West Point teams that were unbeatable during the World War II years.
The pulverizing fullback ran the 100 yards in ten flat. In his very first game against North Carolina, he averaged 58 yards on kickoffs, punted once for 40 yards, and carried the ball four times for a 4.5 yard average, although he only played 17 minutes. He was the first junior to win the Heisman Trophy. Blanchard, after graduation from USMA, spent his entire working career with the Army Air Force retiring with the rank of Colonel. "Doc" now relaxes and enjoys life in Texas where he can fish and hunt to his heart's content.
Doc was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1959.
Doc Blanchard won in the East, the South and the Midwest, to outpoint his teammate, Glenn Davis, who finished first in the West. Fenimore won in the Southwest for the second year in a row. Wedemeyer later went on to fame portraying a police sergeant on the long-running television series,"Hawaii 5-0"
Felix Anthony "Doc" Blanchard (December 11, 1924 – April 19, 2009) is best known as the college football player who became the first ever junior to win the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and was the first ever football player to win the James E. Sullivan Award, all in 1945. He played football for the United States Military Academy at West Point. Because his father was a doctor, Felix Blanchard was nicknamed "Little Doc" as a boy. After football, he served in the United States Air Force from 1947 until 1971 when he retired with the rank of Colonel.
During his three years of playing football at West Point (he sat out the 1943 season), his team under coach Earl "Red" Blaik compiled an undefeated 27–0–1 record - the tie being a famous 0–0 game against Notre Dame.
Notre Dame coach Ed McKeever was amazed by Blanchard. After his 1944 team lost to Army by a score of 59–0, McKeever said, "I've just seen Superman in the flesh. He wears number 35 and goes by the name of Blanchard."
An all-around athlete, Blanchard served as the placekicker and punter in addition to his primary roles as an offensive fullback and a linebacker on defense. In the first capacity, he teamed with soon to be fellow Heisman winner Glenn Davis (Davis won the Heisman the following year, 1946) to form one of the most lethal rushing combinations in football history. Blanchard, in his three seasons at West Point, scored 38 touchdowns, gained 1,908 yards and earned the nickname "Mr. Inside." Teammate Davis earned the nickname "Mr. Outside" and in November 1945, they both shared the cover of Time magazine.
In 1945, he became the first college junior to ever win the Heisman Trophy and the first ever football player to win the James E. Sullivan Award. In 1984 at the awards ceremony marking the 50th Heisman Trophy presentation, Blanchard took the occasion to recall, in comparison to the big glitzy shows for the ceremony today, how he learned of his Heisman selection in 1945. He said, "I got a telegram. It said, 'You’ve been selected to win the Heisman Trophy. Please wire collect.'"
In 1946, Blanchard missed the first two games of the season due to an injury to his knee.
In 1947, Blanchard played himself in the movie The Spirit of West Point. His West Point team-mate Glenn Davis also played himself in the film. Other cast members include Robert Shayne as Coach Colonel Earl "Red" Blaik, Anne Nagel as Mrs. Blaik, George O'Hanlon as Joe Wilson, Michael Browne as Roger "Mileaway" McCarty, Tanis Chandler as Mildred, Mary Newton as Mrs. Mary Blanchard and William Forrest as Doc Blanchard's father, Dr. Felix Blanchard. Also appearing as themselves are 1940 Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon and sportscasters Bill Stern and Harry Wismer. The screenplay was written by Tom Reed based on a story by Mary Howard. Ralph Murphy directed.
In addition to football, Blanchard was also a member of the Army track and field team, with a shot put championship and a 10-second 100 yard dash in 1945.
In 1947, Blanchard graduated from West Point and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He coached Army’s freshman team in the 1950s, but he never played professional football, choosing a military career instead.