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The mid-1930s were not successful years for the Texas A&M football teams, yet lineman Joe Routt accomplished feats that established him as one of the Aggies' all-time great players. In describing Routt, famed sportswriter Grantland Rice once said, "He was a glutton for hard, all-afternoon play and was at his best when the going was toughest." In 1938 Routt appeared in the annual East-West Shrine Game in San Francisco and was the first Aggie to win All-America honors twice (1936, 1937). Routt went to war in 1940 as an U.S. Army Infantry captain and was killed in action in 1944. He was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1952.

Joe Routt