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“Polly” Wallace became the first Cyclone football player to be named as a first team All-America selection in 1920. The center was tabbed by the Chicago Tribune’s Walter Eckersall as the top center in the country in 1920. He earned first-team honors on a team that included Norte Dame’s legendary fullback, George Gipp.


Wallace was the first Iowa State player to earn all-conference honors in three consecutive seasons. The first of these honors came as a sophomore when he was named all-Valley and all-Iowa by the area media. Wallace blocked a punt in the 1917 game against Kansas State to lead ISU to a 10-7 victory, the first homecoming win in Cyclone history.


Wallace was chosen as the greatest center in Cyclone history in John Prall’s Iowa State’s All-Time Football team written in 1928. Pratt wrote, “ He did everything that his position required and more. Remarkably accurate in passing the ball to the backs, he also did more than his share in clearing a way for a plunger through the line by the man with the ball. He played the roving type of center better, probably, than it has ever been played in the west. If all the men ever tackled by him were laid end to end, they would probably reach for the tonic bottle.”


The Cyclone lettered three times in wrestling, finishing his career with a 13-0-1 mark with six pins. Wallace captained the Cyclone wrestlers in 1921 and won the title of intercollegiate heavyweight with a mark of 7-0-1. He later became the wrestling coach at the University of Oklahoma.

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