|G / LB|
|Date of birth:May 10, 1915|
|Place of birth: Wisner, Nebraska|
|Date of death: June 4, 2001(aged 86)|
|NFL Draft: 1941 / Round: 16 / Pick: 149|
|Debuted in 1941|
|Last played in 1941|
Career NFL statistics
After graduating from high school, Alfson worked and farmed for several years until earning enough money to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Class of 1941, where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity. When he attended school, he decided to try out for the Cornhusker football team (at the urging of fellow Wisner native Jerry LaNoue, a Cornhusker quarterback), but as a lineman. After one year on the freshman squad, he asked the school's permission to continue practicing, but to not play, so that he could get himself into proper condition as well as to wait for the upperclassmen ahead of him to graduate. This made Alfson the first recorded redshirt in Cornhusker history, and likely the first in collegiate history - the inventor of "redshirting" - the Nebraska color without a number.
Alfson's year of conditioning would pay off well, as he returned to become a three-year starter for Nebraska. In the era of single platoon football, he was a guard on offense, and a linebacker on defense, and he wore jersey number #22 throughout his Cornhusker career. He would ultimately become recognized as first team All Big Six Conference in 1939 and 1940, second team All-America in 1939, and he would earn first team All-America status in 1940, the year the Nebraska Cornhuskers went 8-2 and played Stanford in the 1941 Rose Bowl under coach Biff Jones.
Alfson would play one year with the NFL's Brooklyn Dodgers, and earned NFL All-Rookie status, despite being drafted in the sixteenth round due to his age (Alfson was twenty-five in 1940, and was nicknamed "Pops" and "Dad" by his younger teammates). However, World War II cut his career short, and Alfson (who had enlisted in the Navy in a special ceremony at the College All-Star Game) married and served in the war.
After the war he returned to Wisner and farmed, and he also served on the Wisner school board as well as other organizations, and also briefly served as Wisner's mayor. He also took great pride in his Cornhusker connections, and attended many Nebraska games. In 1975 he was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame. In 2005, Alfson was recognized with 'honorable mention' recognition for the state of Nebraska's "Our Top 100" athletes of all time, as selected by the Omaha World-Herald.
Alfson died in 2001. He had two daughters and one granddaughter.
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- Babcock, Mike. Go Big Red--The Ultimate Fan's Guide to Nebraska Cornhusker Football (1998). New York; St. Martin's Griffin.