Offensive linemen are usually the least appreciated players on a football field. Most fans do not recognize these players for doing their job. However, when a holding penalty is called or a block missed, that's what people remember.
Back in the 1930s, there was an offensive guard who dominated his position and made very few mistakes. His name was Leroy Monsky.
Born in Montgomery, Ala., Monsky received All-State honors in high school. It would be a precursor to his fantastic career at the University of Alabama.
While in Tuscaloosa, the 5'10", 185-pound Monsky played three years with the Crimson Tide from 1935 to 1937. As a junior in 1936, Monsky earned All-Southeastern Conference honors. Along with guard Arthur "Tarzan" White, the duo led Alabama to an 8-0-1 record. The offense racked up 168 points, while the defense held opponents to 35 points.
Monsky had a solid 1936 season, but his 1937 campaign was arguably the best by an Alabama offensive lineman.
Monsky captained the team to a 9-0 record and outscored their opponents 212-35 during the regular season. Monsky became the sixth Alabama player to earn consensus All-American honors. He also won the Jacobs Trophy as the best blocker in the SEC.
Unfortunately for Monsky and his Crimson Tide teammates, the 1937 season came to a disappointing end in the Rose Bowl. Playing against California, Alabama turned the ball over eight times and the offense was shut out for the first time all season in a 13-0 loss to the Golden Bears.
After leaving Alabama, Monsky was drafted in the fifth round by the Brooklyn Dodgers of the NFL. For his accomplishments in high school and college, Monsky was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1978. He died three years later in 1981.
Some may consider John Hannah the best Alabama offensive lineman in history. While Hannah was a two-time All-American in the 1970s, Leroy Monsky was as dominating an offensive lineman as the Crimson Tide have ever had.