The funeral service for Gage will be held at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville on Friday at 10:30 AM. Gage wore number 77 during his Clemson career and that was his age at the time of his death.
A senior All-American on Clemson's 11-0 1948 team that
defeated Missouri in the Gator Bowl, 24-23, Gage was as a unanimous
choice as the Most Valuable Player of that game. He was named an
All-American that year as the quarterback of Frank Howard's offense.
For his career, Gage threw for 2,448 yards and 24
touchdowns. He still ranks in the top 10 in Clemson history in
passing efficiency and total offense (3757).
A triple threat
player of the 1940s, he also had 10 interceptions as a defensive back
and was an outstanding kick returner.
His 90-yard punt return for a touchdown against NC State in 1948 was
the key play in Clemson's 6-0 victory, a triumph that allowed the
Tigers to continue an undefeated season. It is still the longest
punt return for a touchdown in the history of Clemson Memorial
Stadium. Gage and 2004 Clemson player Justin Miller are the only
players in Clemson history to return a punt and a kickoff for a
touchdown over the course of their careers.
Gage was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 1976, the
state of South Carolina Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Gator Bowl Hall
of Fame in 1990. He was named to Clemson's All-Century One Platoon
team and was ranked as the fifth best football player at Clemson for
he 20th century.
Gage was a first round draft choice of the Pittsburgh
Steelers in 1949 and was the sixth selection of the entire draft.
He played two seasons with the Steelers.
Several players from the Tigers football team will likely be selected this weekend in the 2005 NFL…