He was only 6' tall, 155 pounds in college, but what he lacked in size he made up in skill and aggressiveness. He became one of the top stars in football, basketball and baseball on the Norfolk campus of the College of William and Mary in 1939 and 1940.
A tailback on Tommy Scott's football team, he was one of the top passers the two-year school ever had. Recruited by the University of Miami, he played there one year, then enlisted in the Marine Corps in the early days of World War II.
He was the second-leading scorer on the basketball team, a crafty ballhandler and a two-handed shooter who averaged in double figures.
A standout second baseman with good speed, he averaged over .300 with more than his share of doubles and triples.
He played single-wing and double-wing football in an era when the "Papooses," the freshman team at the parent College of William and Mary, were drawing raves. It was in the 1940 football game between the Norfolk division and W&M's "Fabulous Freshmen" at Foreman Field that Tolson gave one of his greatest performances. He shocked the Papooses by passing for two touchdowns to give Norfolk William and Mary a 13-0 halftime lead. But superior manpower finally wore the "Braves" down in the second half and the Papooses won 19-13.
"Tolson passes like a professional," Virginia-Pilot sports writer Fergusson wrote in his story of the game.
Tolson, described as a team player in everything he did, coached the Norfolk William and Mary baseball team in 1943.
He also assisted Bud Metheny in coaching the Maury High School basketball team and served there as an assistant football coach.
When inducted into the hall in 1987, he was credited with providing support for ODU's athletic program that included helping bring the first 7-11/Eastern Airlines baseball tournament, featuring Miami University, to the Bud Metheny baseball complex. He also was serving as president of Tolson & Associates, real estate brokers.