Chris "Red" Cagle

Chris "Red" Cagle
1905-1942
Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame 1954.

Born in DeRidder Louisiana, Chris Cagle was one of eight children. Chris attended high school in Merryville where a mischievous schoolboy prank played a major role in developing Cagle's tremendous thighs. A less-gifted student might have been expelled by the Merryville High principal, but Cagle's presence on the football field was necessary. Instead of being expelled, he was kicked off the school bus; and he turned the punishment into a conditioning drill by racing the bus over the four miles between his home and the school each day, catching up each time the bus stopped to pick up passengers. Those daily jaunts developed the speed, power, and endurance that made him a complete football player. 

Cagle was a triple threat tailback for University of Louisiana Lafayette through three seasons - 1923, 1924, and 1925. He returned 10 kicks for touchdowns during those three seasons, setting a career scoring record of 182 points. In 1923, as an eighteen-year-old freshman, he threw a scare into LSU with a superb passing performance and kicked a field goal that gave the Lafayette team a 3-0 lead deep into the fourth quarter when the Tigers managed to salvage a 7-3 victory with a desperation pass. "He was the greatest player ever," recalled former teammate Bernard Lange. "When Cagle would run, you never were sure where his next step would land. He had thighs as big as watermelons, and they allowed him to change directions in mid-air."

Chris Cagle went on to play for the United States Military Academy (Army) but did not graduate because he had secretly married in violation of Academy rules which specified that no cadet could possess a "horse, mustache, or wife."

At West Point, Cagle was the first football player selected on Grantland Rice's All-America team three years in a row. Before the existence of the Heisman Trophy, Cagle was selected college player of the year. A half century later, Sports Illustrated named Cagle, George Gipp of Notre Dame, Red Grange of Illinois, and Ernie Nevers of Stanford as the backfield on the Collegiate Football Team of the 1920's. Cagle was the team captain at Army in 1929 and was featured on the September 23 cover of Time magazine.