Even at age 77 when he was inducted into the UNM Hall of Honor, Rudy Krall had the urge to play football. Back in the late 1940s, Krall was described as a "punishing player" from his fullback position. Krall's unrestrained and lively recollections of his playing days conjure up images of the opposition trying to escape his clutches.
Born in Gary, Ind., Krall entered the Navy V-12 program in 1944. He played at Notre Dame for two semesters, transferred to Missouri Valley College for one semester then came to UNM in 1945. From 1945-48, Krall played in three bowl games for the Lobos. IN the 1946 Sun Bowl, Krall set a game record with a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Krall was a 60-minute man, which meant he played both offense and defense. He even played an entire game after suffering shoulder injury. "As long as I could lift my arm, I could still play," recalled the man who was nicknamed "The Big Horse." Krall was an All-Border Conference running back in 1947 and '48.
Following the 1948 season and graduation with a degree in Chemical Engineering, Krall signed a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles for $7,500. He did not make the team, but returned to Albuquerque where he worked as a salesman and a contractor estimator while officiating New Mexico high school football games for 35 years.
Krall retired in 1994, but still remained competitive. He and his wife, Merlene, traveled the Southwest, competing in double bridge tournaments. Rudy was one of five players in Albuquerque to attain the rank of Diamond Life Master.