"100 for 100" All-Time Team -- OFFENSIVE LINE
Celebrating 100 of the top players in Eastern Football History as the school embarks upon its 100th season of football in the 2008 season. For more information, go to: http://goeags.prestosports.com/hallfame/ewas-100for100.html
OFFENSIVE LINE (26)
&Indicates current member of Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame. *Member of the Dick Zornes All-Time Team (players from the years 1963-67, 1971, 1979-98)
No. - Name - Position - Hometown (Previous Schools) - Years Lettered - Honors/Notes/Stats
72 - T.J. Ackerman - Offensive Tackle - Nooksack, Wash. (Nooksack Valley HS '94) - 1995-96-97-98 - Honorable mention All-America in 1998; Signed CFL free agent contract.
53 - Tom Ackerman - Offensive Guard - Nooksack, Wash. (Nooksack Valley HS '91) - 1992-93-94-95 - Third team FCS All-America in 1995; Played eight seasons in the NFL.
66 - Matt Alfred - Offensive Guard - Gig Harbor, Wash. (Gig Harbor HS '03) - 2004-05-06-07 - First team FCS All-America in 2005 and 2007 (FCS Playoffs both seasons).
77 - Jim Buzzard - Offensive Tackle - Centralia, Wash. (Centralia HS '93) - 1995-96-97 - FCS All-America in '96 & '97; Signed free agent contract with San Diego.
76 - *Harold Fox - Offensive Guard - Vancouver, Wash. (Evergreen HS) - 1991-92-93-94 - FCS All-America in '93 & `94; First Team All-Big Sky Three Seasons.
76 - Luke Fritz - Offensive Lineman - Osoyoos, B.C. (Oroville '96) - 1997-98-99-00 - Honorable mention All-America in 2000; Entering eighth CFL/NFL season.
56 - *Greg Gavin - Center - Tonasket, Wash. (Tonasket HS) - 1966-67-68-69 - NAIA All-America in '68 & '69; Three-time All-Evergreen Conference pick.
77 - Rocky Hanni - Offensive Guard - Sumner, Wash. (Sumner HS '03) - 2004-05-06-07 - Third team FCS All-America and BSC Newcomer of the Year in 2004.
54 - Dick Huston - Center - Wapato, Wash. (Wapato HS) - 1954-55-56-57 - First team NAIA All-America in 1957.
NA - Claude Jones - Tackle - Harrington, Wash. (Harrington HS) - 1929-30-31-32 - Selected to the Red Reese All-Time Team that was published in 1947.
51 - Lance Knaevelsrud - Offensive Tackle - Bellevue, Wash. (Sammamish HS '95) - 1996-97-98-99 - First team FCS All-America in 1999.
60 - *Mick Landmark - Offensive Tackle - Kamiah, Idaho (Kamiah HS '61 & Boise JC) - 1964-65-66 - Little All-West Coast & honorable mention NAIA All-America in 1966.
61 - Ron Mensinger - Guard - Kennewick, Wash. (Kennewick HS '53) - 1956-57 - Little All-West Coast & honorable mention NAIA All-America in 1957.
77 - Jeff Mickel - Offensive Tackle - Edmonds, Wash. (Woodway HS '85) - 1985-86-87-88 - First team FCS All-America in 1988; Played several seasons in the NFL.
73 - *Kevin Peterson - Center - Port Orchard, Wash. (South Kitsap HS `93) - 1994-95-96-97 - Started 43-straight games; First team FCS All-America in 1997
55 - Chris Polinder - Center - Lynden, Wash. (Lynden HS '97) - 1998-99-00-01 - First team FCS All-America in 2001; Played two seasons in AFL.
65 - Trent Pollard - Offensive Tackle - Seattle, Wash. (Rainer Beach HS '90) - 1990-91-92-93 - Third team FCS All-America in 1993; Played for Cincinnati in NFL.
65 - *Barry Randall - Offensive Guard - Dorothy, Alberta - 1965-66 - First team All-Evergreen Conference in 1966; Went on to long career in CFL.
83 - Michael Roos - Offensive Tackle - Vancouver, Wash. (Mountain View HS '00) - 2001-02-03-04 - FCS Lineman of the Year in 2004; First team A-A in 2004; Now NFL starter
77 - &*Kevin Sargent - Offensive Tackle - Bremerton, Wash. (Bremerton HS `87) - 1988-89-90-91 - Earned FCS All-America honors in '90 and '91; Seven seasons in the NFL
32 - Ray Satterlee - Center - Longview, Wash. - 1939-40-41 - Selected to the Red Reese All-Time Team that was published in 1947.
76 - &*Ed Simmons - Offensive Tackle - Seattle, Wash. (Nathan Hale HS `83) - 1983-84-85-86 - First team FCS All-America in 1986; Played 11 NFL seasons from 1987-97
24 - Jerry Stannard - Guard - Spokane, Wash. - 1929-30-31 - Selected to the Red Reese All-Time Team that was published in 1947.
63 - Peder Thorstenson - Offensive Guard - Seattle, Wash. (Shorewood HS '88) - 1988-89-90-91 - Third team FCS All-America in 1991.
70 - John Tighe - Offensive Tackle - Lake Stevens, Wash. (CBC) - 1979-80-81 - First team D-II All-America in 1981.
10 - Cece West - Guard - Chelan, Wash. (Chelan HS) - 1936-37-38-39 - Selected to the Red Reese All-Time Team that was published in 1947.
Prior to the arrival of Michael Roos, there was Tom Ackerman, Kevin Sargent, Ed Simmons and a slew of other offensive linemen that helped put Eastern Washington University football on the national map. In the case of those four exceptional players, they developed into starters in the National Football League.
But long before Eastern's NFL legacy began, All-America guard Mick Landmark was a huge part of building the foundation of that heritage.
No position in school history has generated more All-America honors and more professional players than the offensive line. As a result, 26 linemen comprise more than one-fourth of Eastern's "100 for 100" All-Time Football Team being released in June by the EWU Athletic Department. The squad consists of 100 of the top players in school history to help commemorate the upcoming 100th year of football at Eastern.
Players on the squad will be honored on Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame Day on Sept. 27, 2008, in conjunction with EWU's Big Sky Conference football game with Idaho State. Starting June 19, the public is invited to vote on the top player at each position, with results announced on Sept. 27.
The list is certainly headlined by Roos, who has started every game so far of his three-year NFL career with the Tennessee Titans, and recently signed a six-year, $43 million contract extension. Roos is a perfect example of the development of offensive linemen that has taken place at Eastern. He played just one year of high school football and was a tight end and defensive lineman at EWU before his frame -- now an impressive 6-foot-7, 315-pounds -- made him a pro prospect at offensive tackle. He started the last 35 games of his Eastern career at tackle, and now has started 61-straight games for the Titans.
Ackerman, Sargent and Simmons played a collective 19 seasons in the NFL, and, like Roos and Landmark, were All-Americans at Eastern. Of the 26 offensive linemen selected to the "100 for 100" squad, 21 earned All-America honors. Of the five who didn't, four played before such honors existed for Eastern players.
The other non All-American on the team was Barry Randall, who played on Eastern teams with Landmark in 1965 and 1966 at the other guard position. Called a "Big, tough Canadian," by Landmark, Randall went on to a long career in the Canadian Football League.
The approach and results have stood the test of time. But the size of players has not.
"They just got bigger," laughed Landmark about the difference in offensive linemen in the last 40 years. In the 1966 media guide, Randall was listed as 6-foot-3, 245 pounds and Landmark was 6-2, 235.
"And our starting tackles were about 225," he continued. "Now, they are all 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds. If we had somebody like that on our roster, they would have just been out-of-shape. Eastern has had some outstanding offensive linemen through the years."
The art of developing offensive linemen appeared to start in the early 60's when Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame inaugural inductee Dave Holmes took over a program that was winless the two years prior to his arrival. After two rebuilding years, Eastern had records of 8-1, 7-1-1 and 11-1 as the "Savages" advanced to the NAIA Championship game in 1967.
Now, more than 40 years later, the recipe for success hasn't changed from when he played under Holmes and, later, when he continued his long-time friendship with another legendary member of the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame, Dick Zornes. Landmark spent one season as an assistant coach at Eastern in 1972, a year after Zornes was a member of the staff in 1971. Zornes returned as head coach in 1979.
"That was the story of Dick Zornes and Dave Holmes," said Landmark from his home in Kamiah, Idaho. "They took kids that were very green but had big-frame bodies, and they developed them into offensive linemen. They were great teachers and taught them to be successful."
Landmark said Holmes pushed all the right buttons, starting with a two-platoon system as players specialized more and no longer played on both sides of the ball. Also, Eastern's offense under Holmes utilized the innovation of guards pulling out and leading plays, and Landmark and Randall became exceptional at that skill. Plus, Landmark said Holmes hired equally-innovative assistant coaches, namely Brent Wooten, who would later become Eastern's head coach, and Cal Murphy, who eventually was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2004.
"Dave changed the whole culture of Eastern Football and offensive linemen,"
"You don't get good until somebody is tough on you and gets you out of your comfort zone," said Landmark, "He put the guards out there in the open and utilized a lot of pro techniques. He was a demanding coach, but he was smart and way ahead of his time. He was a very strong man and you didn't want to displease him. he added. "Another thing Dave brought into the program was a weight room. I hated it but it was an important addition to the program."
Landmark believes Eastern's success along the offensive line was a product of the system and players developing under great teachers. "When a 250-pound offensive lineman goes up one-on-one with a defensive back with a running back in his hip pocket, it wasn't too hard to be good."
He said geography has also played a huge part in Eastern's success along the offensive line.
"Eastern has always had the philosophy to recruit local kids, especially players they could teach to be offensive linemen or tight ends,"
"Throughout all the eras (of Eastern football) the coaches have been teachers and developers," he explained. "There are a lot of big bodies in those small towns. They are good kids and they can be taught." he added. "They've taken raw talent and made players successful as opposed to spending their time recruiting against bigger schools for the high profile players who were already at that level."
Landmark was such a player, playing the 1961 season at Boise Junior College before sitting out two years while attending Lewis-Clark State College. Instead of being recruited, he did the asking by sending a letter to Eastern assistant coach Bob Ames. Ames, a Central Valley High School graduate in Spokane, Wash., who attended the University of Idaho, had a prior association with Landmark, and convinced Holmes to bring him up to Cheney for his sophomore season in 1964.
"They knew they weren't going to lose much by bringing me in," he said of his scholarship, which consisted of in-state tuition of $77 a quarter and a $1 an hour job. He had to fork out the out-of-state tuition difference of about $30 a quarter.
He eventually earned All-Little West Coast honors as a senior in 1966 when he also earned honorable mention National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-America accolades. Twice he earned first team All-Evergreen Conference honors in leading the Savages to league titles in both 1965 and 1966. Eastern was 8-1 his junior season in 1965 and 7-1-1 as a senior when his career ended with a 41-0 victory over rival Whitworth.
After his collegiate career ended, he played in the CFL for parts of two years, but spent most of his time in the Continental Football League playing for the Norfolk Neptunes. He played in the league until it folded after the 1969 season. The Spokane Shockers and Seattle Rangers were two of the teams in what amounted to a minor league for NFL and CFL teams.
"It was good football, a lot of stories and no money," said Landmark, who remembers facing off in practices against teammate Otis Sistrunk, a defensive lineman who would go on to play for the Oakland Raiders in the NFL. "I played opposite him every day for three years."
His longest-lasting memory of the league was the knee injury he suffered that required knee replacement surgery 10 years ago. Recently, more surgery was needed, but it became infected and that has kept him slowed for the past month.
But he vows to make it back to Cheney on Sept. 27 when the "100 for 100" team is honored. He lived in Spokane for a short time, then permanently returned to Kamiah in 1975 where he runs an insurance agency along with his wife Vikki.
"Dave Holmes put in the foundation for success and that made it fun," added Landmark. "He allowed the guards to shine. He put in plays, you executed them and they worked. He re-established Eastern Football. We happened to be along for the ride."