Mosley, 6 others reach Colorado Sports Hall
April 14, 2009
DENVER John Mosley attended Colorado State intending to be a veterinarian, not a trailblazer.No, that happened by chance.On a whim, Mosley decided to walk on to the football team in 1939, making the squad. The school, after extensive research, believes he was the first African-American football player at CSU.Mosley played four seasons under progressive-thinking coach Harry Hughes, earning all-conference honors as a guard his senior year.Those were great times, said Mosley, who played back when the CSU Rams were known as the Colorado A&M Aggies. Made a lot of great friends.Mosley was set to be inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday night, along with former Denver Broncos Pro Bowl receiver Rod Smith, Montreal Canadiens center Ralph Backstrom, former Colorado State football coach Sonny Lubick, Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony, former Rockies owner Jerry McMorris and high school coach Laurice Lo Hunter.To be included with this company still marvels Mosley.It certainly is an All-Star class, said Mosley, who also trained with the all-black 99th Fighter Squadron at the Tuskegee Institute, the famed Tuskegee Airmen. That makes it even more impressive. Im quite humbled and surprised really. I didnt expect anything like this.Mosley had a remarkable prep career at Manual High School in Denver but, like a lot of top black athletes in his day, received no scholarship offers.Soon after enrolling at the school, he began missing football.So Mosley decided to see if he could make the squad. He showed up at tryouts out of the blue, all eyes watching his every move.He felt the stares of animosity and acrimony from players, and ignored it.First play, Mosley made a bone-jarring tackle on a ball carrier, only to have a player fall on his head hard. An elbow soon followed to his ear.For a couple of seconds, I was out cold, said Mosley, who refuses to reveal is exact age but is now in his mid-80s. My friends, who were watching from the stands, were like, Told you that you never shouldve gone out for football.Hughes saw enough to become convinced. He appreciated Mosleys tenacity, talent and toughness, awarding him a spot on the team.It was a spot Mosley felt he attained.I knew I was good enough to make any team at any place in the country, he said.Mosley became the first black player in the Mountain States Conference, a league that at the time consisted of Colorado, Colorado A&M, Denver, BYU, Utah, Utah State and Wyoming.
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