Judy Harlan

Judy Harlan

Harlan running interference for Red Barron.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Position Fullback
Class 1921
Career history
  • Georgia Tech (1917, 19191921)
  • Cleveland Naval Reserve (1918)
High school Technical
Personal information
Date of birth (1896-11-06)November 6, 1896
Place of birth Ottumwa, Iowa
Date of death May 20, 1978(1978-05-20) (aged 81)
Place of death Springfield, Missouri
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 182 lb (83 kg)
Career highlights and awards

Julian Washington "Judy" Harlan, Jr. (November 6, 1896 May 20, 1978) was an American college football player for the Georgia Tech Golden Tornado football of the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was the fullback in Georgia Tech's famous backfield of 1917, and was also a Georgia Tech track athlete.

Georgia Tech

Harlan was a prominent running back for John Heisman's and William Alexander's Georgia Tech Golden Tornado football team of the Georgia Institute of Technology, called by some the school's greatest back.[1] Playing in the days before two platoons, Harlan was also one of the best defensive backs in the country.[2]


Coming from old Tech High, Harlan was a fullback on the school's famous backfield of 1917, alongside halfbacks Everett Strupper and Joe Guyon, and quarterback Albert Hill.[3][4] Harlan often blocked for Strupper or Guyon, performing notably as a freshman having to fill the void left by Tommy Spence.[5] The 1917 team won Georgia Tech's first national championship and outscored opponents 491 to 17. Harlan was a member of the school's ANAK Society.

Harlan once spoke of Joe Guyon, a full blooded Indian, and his antics: "Once in a while the Indian would come out in Joe, such as the nights Heisman gave us a white football and had us working out under the lights. That's when Guyon would give out the blood curdling war whoops."[6]

Harlan punting c. 1921


Due to the First World War, Harlan was also a teammate of Auburn great Moon Ducote on the 1918 Cleveland Naval Reserves which upset national champion Pittsburgh by a 10 to 9 score.[7] Pittsburgh had beaten Georgia Tech 32 to 0 after declining an offer to play the year before. Ducote kicked the winning field goal. Harlan stated: "I intercepted a pass and returned it to midfield in the fourth quarter. I felt I at least had evened up some of the losses we had at Tech."[6]


Harlan came into his own upon returning to Tech for the 1919 season,[5] "the line plunger almost unfailingly good for "must" yardage to keep a drive rolling."[5]


Harlan was captain of the Tech team in 1921.[8][9] Former Tech fullback Sam Murray, who played behind Doug Wycoff, was asked about a certain strong runner in the 1930s, "He's good. But if I were playing again, I would have one wish never to see bearing down upon me a more fearsome picture of power than Judy Harlan blocking for Red Barron."[5] Harlan was inducted into the Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame in 1960.[10]


  1. "Another Judy Harlan". Ironwod Daily Globe. October 19, 1927. p. 7. Retrieved May 14, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  2. "Eight Stars of Constitution's All-Southern". Atlanta Constitution. November 28, 1920. p. 3. Retrieved May 14, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  3. Adam Van Brimmer. Stadium Stories: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. p. 7.
  4. "Everett Strupper, Tech Immortal, Passes Suddenly". Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. 28 (4). 1950.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Lynn Hogan (1973). "They Walked Away Into Legend...". Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. 51 (4): 15–19.
  6. 1 2 Wiley Lee Umphlett (1992). Creating the Big Game: John W. Heisman and the Invention of American Football. pp. 141–142, 144, 148, 151–152.
  7. Morgan Blake (1918). "Foot Ball in the South". Spalding's Official Foot Ball Guide. p. 55.
  8. "To Judy Harlan, Leader of Tech". Atlanta Constitution. November 27, 1921. p. 19. Retrieved May 14, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  9. "Judy Harlan". Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. 54. 1973.
  10. "Georgia Tech Honors" (PDF).
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