Two former Lions' teams to receive award

Penn State running back Wally Triplett (pictured here) and teammate Dennie Hoggard were the first African-Americans to play in the Cotton Bowl. (Pigskinhistory.blogspot.com)

The Penn State football family lost a pioneer on Thursday.
 
The Nittany Lions announced in a press release Wally Triplett, the Penn State football program's first African-American starter, died at 92.
 
Triplett, a La Mott, Pennsylvania native, was the first African-American player to score a touchdown in the Cotton Bowl when he caught a pass in the 1948 contest against Southern Methodist University. He was also one of the first African-American players to ever be selected in the NFL Draft.
 
He spent two successful years as a running back and return man for the Detroit Lions before he became a pioneer in another area: the first NFL player to be drafted to serve for the United States in the Korean War.
 
The trailblazer returned to the NFL two years later as a member of the Chicago Cardinals before he retired in 1953. 

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Matt Lingerman is a junior studying Broadcast Journalism with minors in Psychology and International Studies. He's covered Penn State football, men's basketball and hockey, women's soccer and fencing for The Daily Collegian.