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George Franck


George Henning Franck

Inducted 2002

Date of Birth



Davenport, IA


University of Minnesota (1938-1940)


During the 1940 season, Minnesota's George "Sonny" Franck teamed with fellow Hall of Famer Bruce Smith to become one of the greatest halfback duos in college football history. When one also considers that future All-America Bill Daley was the Gopher fullback that season, the 1940 Minnesota backfield would have to be listed as one of college football's all-time finest. Playing in the days of single-wing, one-platoon football, Franck was required to be a multi-talented player as he ran, passed, caught passes, kicked, returned kicks and played defense. Franck also called the signals for coach Bernie Bierman. Franck's greatest quality was his speed. He was the captain of the Minnesota track team and was the Big Ten indoor 60-yard dash champion. Outdoors, he ran the 100-yard dash in 9.6 seconds and the 220 in 21.1. "We were all fast in that backfield," remembered Daley, "but he was really fast. We would run sprints at the end of practice. By the time he had gone three or four steps, he was at full speed and was out of reach." That season Franck led the Gophers to an undefeated season and the 1940 national championship. Franck was honored as an All-Conference player, consensus All-America and the third place finisher in the 1940 Heisman trophy race behind Hall of Famers Tom Harmon and John Kimbrough. Before turning professional with the New York Giants, he won MVP honors in the College All Star game. His professional career was interrupted by World War II. As a fighter pilot, he earned nine battle stars in the South Pacific.


Height 6'0

Weight 176

Career Highlights

  • 1940 All-Conference
  • 1940 Consensus All-America
  • 1940 Heisman - Third
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