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Saturday, July 27th, 2024

at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
For table sponsorship info: Call David Thetford – 806-777-0677
or send an email request to: [email protected]

Johnny Tatum

Class of 2013

Johnny Tatum | 1950 - 1951 | Lubbock High School

Johnny Tatum played varsity football at Lubbock High School from 1950 to 1951. He was a two-way starter, playing both center and linebacker. He was also a kicker for the team.

In his junior year, the team was bi-district champions, losing to the defending state champion team in the quarter finals round of the playoffs. He was a tri-captain on the 1951 State Championship Team and acclaimed “most valuable Westerner” by his teammates that season. Tatum successfully battled through a damaged knee ligament during the game. He had sustained the injury in a prior game against Odessa. The team defeated Baytown High School 14-12 in the championship, which was played at the Cotton Bowl. Tatum had three interceptions and three fumble recoveries as a linebacker during the season. He kicked for 22 extra points across the season.

Also during in his senior year in 1951, Tatum was named an All-District, All-State, and All-Southern player. During his time at Lubbock High School, Tatum was described as a fiery team leader, and regularly addressed his teammates at their weekly Sunday meetings. The summer of 1952, Tatum was chosen to play in the 1952 THSCA All-Star Game in Ft. Worth, the 1952 Greenbelt Bowl in Childress (in which Tatum was named the “outstanding player”), and the 1952 Oil Bowl in Wichita Falls. Tatum also played shortstop on the baseball team during his time at LHS.

After graduating, Tatum went to the University of Texas on a football scholarship. He played on the freshman team in 1952 and moved up to the varsity team in 1953. He was a two-way starter in the linebacker and center positions. Tatum was given his place in the starting lineup for the fourth game of the 1953 season (after the team had lost the first three games), and his play was credited with being one of the major reasons for the resurgence of the winning spirit of the Longhorns. He played at Texas alongside Quarterback Charley Brewer, also from the 1951 LHS State Championship Team. Tatum was named to the 2nd Team All-SWC, and was an honorable mention All-American in 1955. After college Tatum was drafted by the Washington Redskins where he played briefly. He then went to Edmonton in the Canadian Football League during their 1956 season, in which the team went on to win the Grey Cup.

Tatum was to play in the Western Division All-Star Game, but was drafted into the U.S. Army. He played football with the Army in San Antonio in 1957 and 1958. After the Army, Tatum returned to Edmonton and played briefly before suffering a career-ending injury.
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