The first ever consensus All-American from UCLA, Kenny Washington played halfback for the Bruins from 1937 to 1939.
Washington led the nation in total offense in 1939 and was a part of a Bruin team that finished 6-0-4 with a share of the Pacific Coast (the predecessor of the Pac-12) conference crown.
After being blocked from the NFL as an African-American, Washington, along with teammate Woody Strode—as per gojoebruin.com— broke the NFL color barrier by signing with the Los Angeles Rams in 1946.
Washington shared the backfield at UCLA in 1939 with Jackie Robinson, who went on to break the color line in Major League Baseball in 1947, one year after his Bruin teammates signed with the Rams.
Washington was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1956, and his No. 13 jersey was the first to be retired at UCLA.
Given the racial issues in 1939, it’s worth noting that as a senior, Washington managed to finish third in the Far West region of the Heisman voting.
Ahead of him that year were Missouri quarterback Paul Christman, who finished third in the overall vote, and Iowa halfback Nile Kinnick, who won the Heisman.