Hometown: Steelton, PA
Transfer from Army
1953: Lettered, Starter.
If Hollywood was ever looking for a comeback kid story, they might consider putting the saga of Gil Reich on the big screen. Reich transferred to KU after a murky sophomore season at West Point, where he was nailed with other classmates for keeping mum about a cheating scandal.
After transferring to KU, Reich almost didn't play. But a Pennsylvania congressman from Reich's home district spoke up for him. And KU's chancellor relented. Reich earned all-conference and All-American honors as a defensive back. And he traded off as starting quarterback with Jerry Robertson. Reich piled up 428 yards in total offense and had five TD passes.
He also was a punt returner, averaging 17.2 yards on 19 returns. Oh, yeah - he also was a starting guard oon the 1953 Jayhawks basketball team and leading KU to the National Championship game against Indiana (a 69-68 loss). But that could be a Hollywood sequel.
Gil Reich, a starting guard who averaged eight points per game after transferring from Army, was a two-way back and kicking specialist for the Jayhawks’ football squad. Reich, selected by the Green Bay Packers in the second round of the 1953 NFL draft after being named an All-America defensive back by the football writers, did not play in the NFL.
Source: Source: Tourney Time, Dick Vitale, 1994. Page 72.
Gil Reich spent just one year at Kansas after transferring from West Point, but he made it a noteworthy one. Reich was an All-American selection as a defensive back during his senior campaign (the fall of ’52) and was an all-conference pick, too. In addition to his defensive talents, Reich split time at quarterback with Jerry Robertson. He broke in with a bang throwing two touchdown passes in his debut, a 13-0 win over TCU in what was the first televised game ever from Lawrence. He also lettered on the ’53 basketball team which was a 69-68 loser to Indiana in the NCAA finals.
Round drafted: 11