Angelo Bertelli

Angelo Bertelli

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Angelo Bertelli

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Angelo Bortolo Bertelli (June 18, 1921 – June 26, 1999) was an American football player. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1943 playing as a quarterback for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Early life

Bertelli born in West Springfield, Massachusetts on June 18, 1921 to Italian immigrant parents. At Cathedral High School in Springfield, he won all-state honors in football, baseball and hockey and was senior class president.

College career

When Bertelli entered Notre Dame in 1940, he was 6 feet 1 inch and 173 pounds, a skinny but highly regarded tailback in the single-wing formation used by most college teams. When Coach Elmer Layden left to become commissioner of the National Football League, Notre Dame's new coach, Frank Leahy, immediately noticed Bertelli's passing talents.

As a sophomore, Bertelli, still a single-wing tailback, led the nation with a 56.9 percent passing average, completing 70 of 123 attempts. In 1942, Leahy switched to a modified T-formation, in which Bertelli would play under the center and take every snap. As he told his budding star, "Bert, you're the finest passer and the worst runner I've ever coached." That summer, preparing for his new role, Bertelli said he took "a thousand snaps...maybe a million." Bertelli and the T-formation were an immediate success. He passed for 1,039 yards and 10 touchdowns. Celebrated sportswriter Grantland Rice referenced Bertelli as "the T-formation magician."

During his...
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