Chuck Bednarik was the last of football’s iron men.  In an age of two-man platooning, he played 60 minutes a game, offense and defense at the most grueling positions of center and linebacker.

           

By the time Bednarik entered Penn in 1945, he was already 20 years old and had flown 30 combat missions over Germany as a gunner.  By his junior year, he was a first-team choice of five different All-America selectors.  By his senior year he was a legend and the All-America choice of virtually every selector in the country.

           

Following the 1948 season he received the Maxwell Award, given to the player whom the Maxwell Club of Philadelphia considers the outstanding collegiate player in the nation.  He was the first offensive lineman to receive the award.

           

Following graduation he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, who then played at Franklin Field.  He shifted between playing center and linebacker, as he had in college, and was an all-pro selection at both positions during his 14-year professional career.

           

“Concrete Charlie” received his greatest acclaim during the Eagles’ 1960 NFL championship season when he played both center and linebacker throughout the season.  He was on the field for nearly every play of the championship game with the Green Bay Packers.  He is a member of both the College Football and NFL Halls of Fame.  The Charles “Chuck” Bednarik Award is given annually to the outstanding lineman on the Penn football team in honor of the all-time All-American center.