Notre Dame football: The 5 best to play on the offensive line

Notre Dame offensive line (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Notre Dame offensive line (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Offensive line
1.  George Connor(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Sharing an offensive line with Bill Fischer was the legendary George Connor. Connor played under legendary coach Frank Leahy and was a two time National Champion in 1946 and 1947.

George Connor didn’t begin his career with Notre Dame. He began his career with Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was excellent there too, becoming a second-team All-American in 1943. That’s when the US Navy came calling, and he went to serve the United States in World War II.

Coming home a veteran, he had the option to go play for the New York Giants. Instead, he decided to transfer to Notre Dame instead. That decision to come to Notre Dame, and play for fellow Naval veteran Frank Leahy, was a good one. He’d go on to be a two-time consensus All-American for Notre Dame. In his 1946 season, he was even named as the first-ever winner of the Outland Trophy.

Just like his fellow offensive lineman, Bill Fischer, Connor was a two-way player. He turned around to play linebacker. Playing two ways, in the trenches and the defensive front 7 is brutally difficult. To be successful you need to force your will on the player across from you. Connor was able to do that in a way most players aren’t physically capable of doing.

An overwhelming mauler of an offensive lineman, Connor was an unstoppable force during his two seasons with Notre Dame. Without the dominance and tone he set, Notre Dame wouldn’t have won those back to back National Championships.

It’s no wonder that there were so many great offensive linemen under Leahy. He was an offensive lineman himself while playing at Notre Dame for Knute Rockne. He was also the offensive line coach for Fordham’s Seven Blocks of Granite. He appreciated that the team was built outwards from the offensive line, and that’s how he won five National Championships with Notre Dame.

Players like George Connor were appreciated by Frank Leahy and allowed to flourish to their full potential. For Connor, that full potential was the best lineman in Notre Dame Football history and the College Football Hall of Fame.