1939 College Football All-America Team

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The 1939 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1939. The nine selectors recognized by the NCAA as "official" for the 1939 season are (1) Collier's Weekly, as selected by Grantland Rice, (2) the Associated Press, (3) the United Press, (4) the All-America Board, (5) the International News Service (INS), (6) Liberty magazine, (7) the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), (8) Newsweek, and (9) the Sporting News.

Two players, USC guard Harry Smith and Cornell tackle Nick Drahos were unanimously chosen by all nine official selectors. Two other players, Iowa halfback Nile Kinnick and Michigan halfback Tom Harmon were selected as first-team All-Americans by eight of the nine official selectors, with Kinnick winning the Heisman Trophy in 1939 and Harmon winning it in 1940.

Consensus All-Americans[edit]

For the year 1939, the NCAA recognizes nine published All-American teams as "official" designations for purposes of its consensus determinations. The following chart identifies the NCAA-recognized consensus All-Americans and displays which first-team designations they received.

Name Position School Number Official Other
Harry Smith Guard USC 9/9 AAB, AP, CO, INS, LIB, NEA, NW, SN, UP BL, CP, CW, LIFE, NYS, WC
Nick Drahos Tackle Cornell 9/9 AAB, AP, CO, INS, LIB, NEA, NW, SN, UP CP, CW, LIFE, WC
Tom Harmon Halfback Michigan 8/9 AAB, AP, CO, INS, LIB, NW, SN, UP BL, CP, CW, LIFE, NYS, WC
Nile Kinnick Halfback Iowa 8/9 AAB, AP, CO, INS, NEA, NW, SN, UP BL, CP, CW, WC
John Kimbrough Fullback Texas A&M 7/9 AAB, AP, INS, LIB, NEA, NW, UP BL, CP, LIFE, WC
Esco Sarkkinen End Ohio State 5/9 AAB, CO, NEA, NW, UP CP, NYS, WC
Ken Kavanaugh End LSU 5/9 INS, LIB, NW, SN, UP BL, CW, LIFE
Ed Molinski Guard Tennessee 5/9 AAB, AP, CO, LIB, NEA --
George Cafego Quarterback Tennessee 4/9 INS, NW, SN, UP CW, LIFE
John Schiechl Center Santa Clara 3/9 AAB, AP, CO, NEA CP, WC
Paul Christman[1] Quarterback Missouri 4/9 AAB, CO, NEA, SN CW, WC
Harley McCollum Tackle Tulane 3/9 AP, LIB, NEA --

All-American selections for 1939[edit]


  • Esco Sarkkinen, Ohio State (AAB; AP-2; CO-1; NEA-1; NW-1; UP-1; CP-1; NYS-1; WC-1)
  • Ken Kavanaugh, LSU (College Football Hall of Fame) (AP-2; INS-1; NW-1; LIB; SN; UP-1; BL; CP-2; CW-1; LIFE-1)
  • Bud Kerr, Notre Dame (AAB; AP-1; INS-2; NEA-1; SN; UP-2; BL; CP-2; CW-1; LIFE-1; NYS-2; WC-1)
  • Ralph Wenzel, Tulane (UP-3; CP-1; CW-2; LIFE-2; NYS-1)
  • Paul Severin, North Carolina (AP-1; UP-3; NEA-2)
  • Harlan Gustafson, Penn (AP-3; INS-1; CW-2; LIFE-2)
  • Pop Ivy, Oklahoma (AP-3; CO-1)
  • Dave Rankin, Purdue (LIB)
  • Erwin Prasse, Iowa (UP-2; CP-3)
  • Bob Ison, Georgia Tech (CP-3; NEA-3; NYS-2)
  • Bob Nowaskey, George Washington (NEA-3)
  • Hal Newman, Alabama (NEA-2)
  • Bill Anahu, Santa Clara (INS-2)


  • Nick Drahos, Cornell (College Football Hall of Fame) (AAB; AP-1; CO-1; INS-1; LIB; NEA-1; NW-1; SN; UP-1; CP-1; CW-1; LIFE-1; WC-1)
  • Harley McCollum, Tulane (AP-1; INS-2; NEA-1; LIB; CP-3)
  • Harry Stella, Army (AP-2; INS-1; NW-1; UP-1; CW-2; LIFE-2)
  • Joe Boyd, Texas A&M (AP-3; CO-1; NEA-2; SN; UP-2; BL; CP-2; CW-1; LIFE-2; NYS-1)
  • Cliff Duggan, Oklahoma (INS-2; NEA-3; UP-2; BL; CP-1; LIFE-1; CW-2; NYS-1)
  • Lee Artoe, California (AP-2)
  • Ty Coon, North Carolina State (NEA-2; NYS-2)
  • Win Pedersen, Minnesota (AP-3; UP-3)
  • Mike Enich, Iowa (NEA-3)
  • Phil Gaspar, USC (UP-3)
  • Bob Tierney, Princeton (CP-2)
  • Jim Reeder, Illinois (AAB; NYS-2; WC-1)


  • Harry Smith, USC (College Football Hall of Fame) (AAB; AP-1; CO-1; INS-1; LIB; NEA-1; NW-1; SN; UP-1; BL; CP-1; CW-1; LIFE-1; NYS-1; WC-1)
  • Ed Molinski, Tennessee (College Football Hall of Fame) (AAB; AP-1; CO-1; LIB; NEA-1; UP-2; CP-3; WC-1)
  • Bob Suffridge, Tennessee (College Football Hall of Fame) (INS-1; NEA-3; NW-1; SN; UP-1; BL; CP-1; CW-1; LIFE-1; NYS-1)
  • Marshall Robnett, Texas A&M (AP-2; UP-3)
  • Jim Turner, Holy Cross (UP-3; CP-2; INS-2; NYS-2)
  • Elbie Schultz, Oregon State (AP-3; CP-3; CW-2; LIFE-2; NYS-2)
  • Allen Johnson, Duke (INS-2; CW-2; LIFE-2)
  • Mel Brewer, Illinois (UP-2)
  • Warren Alfson, Nebraska (AP-2)
  • Robert Waldorf, Missouri (NEA-2)
  • Tommy O'Boyle, Tulane (NEA-2)
  • Jack Sommers, UCLA (CP-2)
  • Frank Ribar, Duke (AP-3)
  • Joseph Enzler, Portland (NEA-3)
  • Carl Nery, Duquesne (CP-3)




  • Tom Harmon, Michigan (College Football Hall of Fame) (AAB; AP-1; UP-1; CO-1; CINS-1; NEA-3; NW-1; LIB; SN; BL; CP-1; CW-1; LIFE-1; NYS-1 [fb]; WC-1)
  • Nile Kinnick, Iowa (College Football Hall of Fame) (AAB; AP-1; UP-1; CO-1; INS-1; NEA-1; NW-1; SN; BL; CP-1; CW-1; LIFE-2; NYS-1; WC-1)
  • Banks McFadden, Clemson (College Football Hall of Fame) (UP-3; CO-1 [fb]; CP-3; NEA-1)
  • George McAfee, Duke (College and Pro Football Hall of Fame) (AP-2; UP-2; CP-2; NEA-2; NYS-1; BL; LIFE-2)
  • Kenny Washington, UCLA (College Football Hall of Fame) (AP-2; UP-2; CP-3; INS-2; NEA-2; CW-2; NYS-2; LIB; LIFE-1)
  • Grenny Lansdell, USC (AP-3; CP-1; CW-2)
  • Dick Cassiano, Pitt (NEA-3; UP-3; CW-2; LIFE-2)
  • Jim Lelanne, North Carolina (INS-2; LIFE-2)
  • Beryl Clark, Oklahoma (INS-2)
  • Robert Hoffman, USC (NYS-2)
  • Jack Crain, Texas (AP-3)


  • John Kimbrough, Texas A&M (College Football Hall of Fame) (AAB; AP-1; INS-1; NEA-1; NW-1; LIB; UP-1; BL; CP-1; CW-2; LIFE-1; NYS-2; WC-1)
  • Milt Piepul, Notre Dame (UP-2)
  • Dom Principe, Fordham (AP-3; UP-3; CP-3; NEA-3)


Bold = Consensus All-American[2]

  • -1 – First-team selection
  • -2 – Second-team selection
  • -3 – Third-team selection

Official selectors[edit]

Other selectors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Quarterbacks George Cafego and Paul Christman both received four official first-team honor. However, Christman is not currently recognized by the NCAA as a consensus All-American.
  2. ^ "Football Award Winners" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). 2016. p. 7. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c ESPN College Football Encyclopedia. ESPN Books. 2005. p. 1178. ISBN 1401337031. 
  4. ^ "The 1939 A.P. All America". San Antonio Express. 1939-12-09. 
  5. ^ "All America Is Picked By Colliers". Wisconsin State Journal. 1939-12-09. 
  6. ^ "Kimbrough Named To INS All America Team". Port Arthur News. 1939-11-24. 
  7. ^ Harry Grayson (1939-11-28). "NEA Picks All America Eleven: Nile Kinnick Named Back of Season". Ironwood Daily Globe. 
  8. ^ "Newsweek Picks Super Eleven". Wisconsin State Journal. 1939-12-09. 
  9. ^ "U.P. Team Lists Kinnick As Best". Brainerd Daily Dispatch. 1939-11-29. 
  10. ^ "The 1939 All-American, All-Scout Team". Boy's Life. February 1940. p. 25. 
  11. ^ Walter Johns (1939-12-10). "South Dominates Captains' All-American". Wisconsin State Journal. 
  12. ^ "Harmon Is Chosen Captain on Collegiate Writers' All-American". Columbia Daily Spectator. December 13, 1939. p. 1. 
  13. ^ "Bill Stern, Top NBC Announcer, Picks His 1939 All-America Team". Life. November 20, 1939. p. 94. 
  14. ^ "N.Y. Sun Picks All American". Modesto Bee And News-Herald. 1939-12-02. 
  15. ^ "Walter Camp Football Foundation All-American Selections". Walter Camp Football Foundation.