Leo Joseph Nomellini (June 19, 1924 – October 17, 2000) was a Hall of Fame American football player with the San Francisco 49ers. He was born at Lucca in Italy and immigrated to the United States as an infant. However Nomellini didn’t play football until 1942, when he served in World War II, with the Marine Corps.
After the war, Leo received a football scholarship to the University of Minnesota, where be became a two-time All-American and the 49ers' first-ever NFL draft choice in 1950.
Nomellini played in every 49ers game for 14 seasons, 174 regular-season and 266 pro games in all. During his career he played both defensive and offensive tackle, winning all pro honors at both positions. He was selected to the All-NFL team six times, two years on offense, four years on defense. Nomellini was named to the NFL's all-time team as a defensive tackle.
During the off-season Nomellini often wrestled professionally as Leo "The Lion" Nomellini.
By Dean Hanley
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