ARLINGTON, Dec. 28, 2017 – Six individuals who helped shape the tradition of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and college football history will be inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame during enshrinement ceremonies this spring at AT&T Stadium.
The honorees in the 11th Hall of Fame Class include Texas A&M linebacker Quentin Coryatt, Arkansas/Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt, USC head coach John Robinson, Penn State running back/linebacker Wally Triplett, Texas running back Ricky Williams, and Oklahoma strong safety Roy Williams.
The induction ceremony for The Class of 2018 will be held on the west concourse of AT&T Stadium in Arlington the second week of May. The hour-long ceremony is free and open to the public. The exact date is still to be finalized.
“Those extraordinary individuals whose unique talents formed the pageantry and prestige of one of college football’s most historic postseason bowl games are showcased in the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame,” said Jay McAuley, Chairman of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association (CBAA). “The Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame allows fans to revisit the rich tradition of outstanding college football played annually here in North Texas.”
A judging committee comprised of media representatives and athletic administrators voted from a ballot consisting of 60 nominees that included former players, coaches, bowl administrators and others who have made special contributions to the Classic.
Selection criteria for the Hall of Fame include the following:
• Voting is based solely upon an individual’s performance in – or contribution to – the Classic rather than on the person’s overall college or professional career.
• An individual is eligible five years after their final Classic appearance.
Since its first game in 1937, the Classic has hosted:
• 139 College Football Hall of Famers
• 9 Heisman Trophy winners
• 7 Walter Camp Award winners
• 4 Davey O’Brien Award winners
• 4 Lombardi Award winners
• 27 Pro Football Hall of Famers
• 7 Maxwell Award winners
• 6 Outland Trophy Award winners
• 4 Johnny Unitas Award winners
• 3 Doak Walker Award winners
THE CLASS OF 2018
QUENTIN CORYATT, TEXAS A&M, LINEBACKER
1992 Classic: Florida State 10, Texas A&M 2
Defensive Statistics: 15 tackles, 10 unassisted
Tackles For Loss: 3 tackles for -12 yards
Safeties: 1 safety for -2 yards
Quentin Coryatt always arrived at the football in a hurry. The Texas A&M linebacker could pack a punch, too. Coryatt’s sack of Florida State quarterback Casey Weldon in the 1992 Classic has become legend. Following an Aggie turnover that gave the Seminoles the ball just outside of the goal line, Weldon rolled to his right. With jet speed, Coryatt closed swiftly and trapped the Seminole quarterback in the end zone, sacking the Heisman runner-up for a safety to give Texas A&M the first score of the game. It was a spectacular play and was one of 10 solo tackles for Coryatt. The Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year ended the day with 15 stops, three of them resulting in -12 yards in losses. In a word…Quentin Coryatt was sensational.
COACH HOUSTON NUTT, ARKANSAS / OLE MISS
2000 Classic: Arkansas 27, Texas 6
2002 Classic: Oklahoma 10, Arkansas 3
2009 Classic: Ole Miss 47, Texas Tech 34
2010 Classic: Ole Miss 21, Oklahoma State 7
Classic Record: 3-1-0
Coach Houston Nutt knew the route to the Cotton Bowl Classic better than almost anyone. He is one of five head coaches to guide more than one university to the bowl, and is one of only three to carry home a victory for both institutions. It all started in 2000, the Classic’s “Turn of the Century” game, when Arkansas defeated Texas 27-6. The Razorbacks held the Longhorns to -27 yards on the ground to become the first team ever to hold Texas to negative rushing yards in a game. More success followed as head coach at Ole Miss. His Rebels went toe-to-toe with Texas Tech in 2009 before pulling out a record-setting 47-34 victory. A year later, Ole Miss knocked off Oklahoma State 21-7 to win back-to-back Classics and the first in AT&T Stadium. In four appearances, his teams were 3-1.
COACH JOHN ROBINSON, USC
1995 Classic: USC 55, Texas Tech 14
Classic Record: 1-0-0
When John Robinson served as head coach at USC, the Trojans were in a class by themselves. His career record of 104-35-4 is an amazing resume. Under Robinson, USC won nearly 75 percent of its games. One memorable victory took place in the 1995 Cotton Bowl Classic when USC handed Texas Tech a decisive 55-14 defeat. The Trojans were simply unstoppable. USC set records for total offense, passing yards, total points, points in one quarter and points in one half. The Men of Troy rolled up 578 yards in offense. Defensively, they stymied Tech at every turn. It was a classic display of an explosive offense joining forces with a dominating defense. Robinson and his Trojans logged one of the most incredible performances ever in the Classic.
WALLY TRIPLETT, PENN STATE, TAILBACK / LINEBACKER
1948 Classic: Penn State 13, SMU 13
Receiving: 1-6, 1 TD (Additional Statistics Not Available)
Wally Triplett made history at Penn State. A heralded offensive threat at tailback and a hard-hitting linebacker on defense, he also was the Nittany Lions’ first African-American football star. In the 1948 Cotton Bowl, Triplett and fellow teammate Dennie Hoggard did more than play football. They broke down racial barriers in Texas. When asked to consider leaving the team’s two black players at home, their teammates’ quick response was one of solidarity…“We are Penn State, there will be no meetings.” Triplett played as advertised against SMU and reeled in the game-tying touchdown with a six-yard catch in the third quarter. The game ended in a 13-13 tie. The final score aside, Triplett, Hoggard and Penn State had taken a stand that New Year’s Day, one for a more just society.
RICKY WILLIAMS, TEXAS, RUNNING BACK
1999 Classic: Texas 38, Mississippi State 11
Rushing: 30 attempts, 203 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: 5 receptions, 45 yards
Ricky Williams was precision in motion. The explosive Texas running back with hydraulic thighs and blazing speed was the buzz of college football as the landslide winner of the Heisman Trophy as his senior season came to an end. All eyes turned toward Dallas for his career finale against Mississippi State in the 1999 Cotton Bowl Classic. Three plays into the second half, the decorated Longhorn running back broke loose up the middle and sailed 37 yards for his first score of the day. As he crossed the goal line, Williams pulled up and struck the classic Heisman pose and sparked a celebration of major proportions. Powered by Williams’ 203 rushing yards, Texas cruised to a 38-11 decision over the Bulldogs and its first New Year’s Day bowl victory in 17 years.
ROY WILLIAMS, OKLAHOMA, STRONG SAFETY
2002 Classic: Oklahoma 10, Arkansas 3
Defensive Statistics: 6 tackles, 5 unassisted
Tackles For Loss: 3 tackles for -17 yards
Quarterback Sacks: 2 sacks for -8 yards
They called him Superman, and it was easy to see why. Oklahoma safety Roy Williams dominated Arkansas in the 2002 Classic. No matter where the Hogs tried to run, Williams stood in their way. The Defensive MVP was equally as effective on deep pass routes as he was at the line of scrimmage. He was in on six tackles, five of them unassisted, including three tackles for -17 yards in losses and two sacks for minus-eight yards. A sure tackler, when Williams got his hands on a ball carrier, that player went down at the point of contact. His Sooners held Arkansas to 50 yards in offense, two pass completions, and collected nine sacks to win 10-3. No wonder he became the first player to win the Bronko Nagurski and Jim Thorpe awards in the same season. Versatile was his middle name.