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Cotton Warburton


Irvine Eugene Warburton

Inducted 1975

Date of Birth



San Diego, CA


University of Southern California (1932-1934)


At 5-7 and 145-pounds, Irvine "Cotton" Warburton might have been overlooked as a collegiate back. The Southern Cal quarterback spent most of his Saturdays eluding enemy tacklers. Obviously, his mastery of elusion led to a mastery of illusion in later life. "Cotton" became a successful Hollywood film editor and won an Oscar for his work on the box office hit "Mary Poppins." Small but mighty, Warburton became the most publicized open-field runner of the 1930s, leading USC through a pair of smash gridiron hits in 1932 and 1933, earning unanimous All-America laurels in the latter year. During those two campaigns, the Trojans won 20 games, lost but one (13-7 to Stanford) and tied one (0-0 against Oregon State). Warburton's contribution to those triumphs included team leadership in rushing and scoring. His career average gain was over four yards per carry. There was a good reason for his ground-gaining accomplishments. The San Diego, California, native brought state championship speed to USC after winning the California schoolboy quarter-mile in 1930.


Height 5'7

Weight 145

Career Highlights

  • 1933 All-West Coast
  • 1933 Unanimous All-America
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