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Rudy Libertini

This inductee, who is thankful that he got a second chance, is one of last of a breed, the 60-minute man in football. Rudy Libertini, a product of Cleveland South High School, was a candidate on the Kent State football team in 1950 that got discouraged and dropped out of school. Six months later he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Fortunately, Rudy was sent to Germany, rather than Korea, where he honed his football and baseball skills. He returned to KSU where he started at center on offense and inside linebacker on defense on Coach Trevor Rees' 1955, '56 and '57 teams. The 5-11, 180-pound Libertini excelled on defense and earned second team honors on both the All-Mid American Conference and All-Ohio teams in 1955 and '56 as the Golden Flashes compiled records of 6-2-1 and 7-2, respectively. In Libertini's memory, a 7-0 victory at Louisville was the highlight of that '56 campaign. In addition, Rudy was selected to Bud Wilkinson's Academic All-America squad of 1956. Despite being setback with injuries as a senior and team captain, Libertini was voted the Merle Waggoner Award, emblematic of KSU's Most Valuable Player, and was selected second team All-Ohio. Libertini also lettered three years in baseball where he played third base and earned MAC honorable mention honors in 1956 as well as a second team accolade in '57. A resident of Hudson, Libertini was voted into the KSU Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.

Inducted 1999 | Football