IU renames Memorial Stadium plaza after late Taliaferro

New York Yanks quarterback George Taliaferro, 1949 Rookie of The Year, runs on the field, carrying a football, circa 1949. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University has renamed the North End Zone plaza at Memorial Stadium after George Taliaferro, the late Hoosier football star who was the first African-American drafted by an NFL team.

IU President Michael McRobbie announced the renaming to George Taliaferro Plaza at a celebration of life Saturday to honor Taliaferro, who died Oct. 8, 2018, at the age of 91.

A 1981 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, Taliaferro was a three-time All-American and the leading rusher on the 1945 Big Ten championship team that went 9-0-1, the only undefeated team in school history.

He was selected in the 13th round of the 1949 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears and played six years for teams in New York, Dallas, Baltimore and Philadelphia, earning Pro Bowl honors three times.

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