NEW YORK, May 9, 2007 - From the national ballot of 75 candidates and a pool of hundreds of eligible nominees, Ron Johnson, chairman of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, announced the 2007 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) Class, which includes the names of 12 All-America players and two legendary coaches.
2007 COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS
TOM BRAHANEY- C, Oklahoma, 1970- 72
DAVE BROWN* - DB, Michigan, 1972- 74
JEFF DAVIS- LB, Clemson, 1978-81
DOUG FLUTIE- QB, Boston College, 1981- 84
JOHNNIE JOHNSON- DB, Texas, 1976- 79
REX KERN- QB, Ohio State, 1968-70
AHMAD RASHAD- RB / WR, Oregon, 1969- 71
ANTHONY THOMPSON- RB, Indiana, 1986- 89
WILSON WHITLEY* - DT, Houston, 1973- 76
REGGIE WILLIAMS- LB, Dartmouth, 1973- 75
RICHARD WOOD- LB, Southern California, 1972- 74
CHRIS ZORICH- DT, Notre Dame, 1988- 90
HERB DEROMEDI- Central Michigan (1978- 93), 110- 55-10
JOE PATERNO- Penn State (1966- present), 363-121-3
"We couldn't be happier with this year's exceptional class of hall of famers," said Chairman Ron Johnson. "Gene Corrigan and the Honors Court have selected an incomparable group that undoubtedly makes the NFF's 60th Anniversary even more special."
The 2007 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Class will be inducted at the 50th Annual Awards Dinner on December 4, 2007, at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. They will be officially enshrined at the Hall in South Bend, Ind., during ceremonies in the summer of 2008.
2007 COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
FOOTBALL BOWL SUBDIVISION CLASS NOTES
One Heisman Trophy winner (Flutie)
Three players who placed in the Top Three in Heisman Trophy voting
(Flutie-1st, Kern-3rd, Thompson-2nd)
Four unanimous First Team All-Americas (Brown, Flutie, Thompson, Zorich)
Eight consensus First Team All-Americas
(Brahaney, Brown, Davis, Johnson, Thompson, Whitley, Wood, Zorich)
Six multiple First Team All-America honorees
(Brahaney-2, Brown-2, Johnson-2, Thompson-2, Wood-3, Zorich-2)
Two Maxwell Award winners (Flutie, Thompson)
Two Walter Camp Players of the Year (Flutie, Thompson)
Two Lombardi Award winners (Whitley, Zorich)
One Davey O'Brien Award winner (Flutie)
Four members of National Championship teams (Davis, Kern, Wood-2, Zorich)
Two conference Players of the Year (Davis, Thompson-2)
Eight multiple First Team All-Conference selections
(Brahaney-2, Brown-3, Davis-2, Johnson-3, Rashad-3, Thompson-2, Williams-3, Wood-3)
Four first round NFL Draft picks (Brown, Johnson, Rashad, Whitley)
Five offensive players (Brahaney, Flutie, Kern, Rashad, Thompson)
Seven defensive players (Brown, Davis, Johnson, Whitley, Williams, Wood, Zorich)
One inductee played in the 1990s (Zorich)
Four played in the 1980s (Davis, Flutie, Thompson, Zorich)
Nine played in the 1970s
(Brahaney, Brown, Davis, Johnson, Kern, Rashad, Whitley, Williams, Wood)
Two played in the 1960s (Kern, Rashad)
Four Conference Coach of the Year Awards (Deromedi-2, Paterno-2)
Five Conference Championships (Deromedi-3, Paterno-2)
19 NFF National Scholar-Athletes (Deromedi-4, Paterno-15)
First and Foremost, a player must have received First Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams.
A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation's Honors Courts ten years after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
While each nominee's football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man with love of his country. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.
Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years*. For example, to be eligible for the 2007 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1957 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.
A coach becomes eligible three years after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage*.
(*Those players that do not comply with the 50-year rule and coaches that have not won 60% of their games may still be eligible for consideration by the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) and Divisional Honors Review Committees, which examine unique cases.)
COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME SOUTH BEND, INDIANA
Did You Know?
Only 813 players and 174 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the more than 4.7 million who have played the game over the past 139 years.
Founded in 1947, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame inducted its first class of inductees in 1951. The first class included 32 players and 19 coaches, including Illinois' Red Grange, Notre Dame's Knute Rockne, Amos Alonzo Stagg and Carlisle's Jim Thorpe.
268 schools are represented with at least one College Football Hall of Famer.
In South Bend, Ind., the current building was built in 1995 as a $17 million state-of-the-art interactive facility for fans of all ages. It attracts over 60,000 people each year to more than 200 events.
Induction for this class of Hall of Famers will take place December 4, 2007 in New York City.
University of Oklahoma
>From one of the most storied football programs in history, Tom Brahaney continues the legacy of outstanding Oklahoma players in the College Football Hall of Fame.
A two-time consensus First Team All-America ('71, '72), Brahaney was the hub of an offensive line that allowed the Sooners to lead the nation in rushing, scoring and total offense in 1971. The Midland, Texas, native was also a two-time All-Big-8 selection and a Lombardi Award finalist in 1972.
Serving as team captain during his senior campaign, Brahaney's snap precision and unsurpassed one-on- one blocking earned him high acclaim - even from archrivals. Following the 1971 "Game of the Century," Nebraska's Rich Glover, a 1995 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, called Brahaney the best center he played against all year.
Brahaney was drafted in the fifth round of the 1973 NFL Draft and played nine seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. He currently owns and operates a drilling company and resides in Midland.
University of Michigan
Defensive Back, 1972-74
A defensive phoenom, Dave Brown led one of the stingiest Michigan defenses in school history en route to three Big Ten Championships and a 30-2-1 record during his playing years for the Wolverines.
A two-time First Team All-America selection (consensus-'73, unanimous-'74), Brown commanded the UM secondary that recorded 11 shutouts in 33 career games, allowed no touchdowns in 14 games and just one touchdown in 16 contests. He recorded 212 career tackles and held the school record for career pass break-ups (18) at the end of his career.
Brown, a three-time All-Conference selection, was a first round NFL Draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1975 and played on the team's 1976 Super Bowl Championship team. He played 16 years in the pros, mostly with the Seattle Seahawks, and garnered All- Pro recognition in 1984. He was also enshrined in the Seahawks Ring of Honor.
Following his professional career, the Akron, Ohio, native served as an assistant coach for the Seahawks and then with Texas Tech until he passed away in 2006. He is survived by his wife, Rhonda, and his two sons. His wife resides in Lubbock, Texas.
University of Clemson
Captain of Clemson's only National Championship team, Jeff Davis becomes the third Tiger inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
The first linebacker in school history to be named consensus First Team All-America (1981), Davis led a Tiger defense that forced a school-record 41 turnovers. He accumulated 175 tackles in 1981, a Clemson record at the time, en route to being named the ACC Player of the Year. He finished his collegiate career with 469 tackles and was also named MVP of the 1982 Orange Bowl.
Drafted in the fifth round of the 1982 Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Greensboro, N.C., native started in 72 games between 1982-87 and led the Bucs in tackles three of his six years with the franchise. Davis was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2001 and was also named to the ACC's 50th Anniversary Team.
He received the "Use Your Life Award" from Oprah Winfrey's Angel Network for his work with "Call Me MISTER," an innovative program designed to train African-American male role models as teachers in South Carolina elementary schools. Davis currently works as an assistant athletics director for his alma mater.
A consummate leader on and off the football field, few can match the unparalleled collegiate success of Boston College's unanimous All-America Doug Flutie.
Remembered forever for his "Hail Mary" touchdown pass to beat Miami (Fla.), Flutie's record-setting career was highlighted by a senior campaign that won him the 1984 Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award and the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award. The three-time ECAC Player of the Year still holds nine BC records, including career passing yards (10,579), season passing yards (3,454) and game touchdown passes (6) and led the BC to a 10-2 record and a 1985 Cotton Bowl victory.
Originally from Manchester, Md., Flutie was known for conquering academia as well, having been named an NFF National Scholar-Athlete and a Rhodes Scholarship nominee in 1984. Drafted in the 11th round of the 1985 NFL Draft, he split his 21-year professional career between the NFL and the Canadian Football League. He was a six-time CFL Player of the Year and three-time Grey Cup MVP prior to earning NFL Comeback Player of the Year laurels in 1998.
He and his wife established the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism in 2000, assisting disadvantaged families in the care of their autistic children. He has since raised over $7 million for the cause. Currently a studio analyst for ABC/ESPN, he resides in Natick, Mass.
University of Texas
Defensive Back, 1976-79
A versatile threat as a fierce tackler and punt returner, Texas' Johnnie Johnson set numerous school records and was twice named a consensus All- America ('78, '79) during his prolific career.
Hailing from LaGrange, Texas, Johnson earned recognition from the Downtown Athletic Club as the nation's top defensive back in 1978. He finished his career with 13 interceptions returned for 150 yards, 282 tackles and led a defense that surrendered an average of only nine points per game.
Equally as impressive as his defensive accomplishments, Johnson accumulated over 1,000 career punt return yards and still owns the UT records for single season punt returns (44) and career punt returns (114). The three-time All-Southwest Conference pick currently ranks second all-time in school season return yards (538) and fourth in career return yards (1,004).
Selected as the 17th overall pick in the 1980 NFL Draft, he spent 10 of his 11 years in the professional ranks with the Los Angeles Rams. Named to the SWC All-Decade Team for the 1970s and to the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1990, Johnson currently resides in Santa Clara, Calif.
Ohio State University
Considered one of the most prolific quarterbacks in Ohio State history as well as a quintessential performer in the classroom, Rex Kern was the true definition of a scholar-athlete during his Buckeye career.
The first All-America (1969) quarterback to play for legendary coach Woody Hayes, Kern led OSU to three consecutive Big Ten titles and the 1968 National Championship. During his junior campaign, he set a school record for total offense in a single season (1,585) and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting. He was also named Rose Bowl MVP. In three years as a starter, "Ramblin' Rex" completed 188 of 364 passes for 2,444 yards and 19 touchdowns.
A recipient of the NFF's National Scholar-Athlete Award, Kern earned All-Big Ten Academic Team accolades in 1970 and an NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship the following year. After receiving his bachelor's degree, the Lancaster, Ohio native twice returned to his alma mater to further his education, ultimately earning his Ph.D. in Health, Physical Education and Recreation.
Kern was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the 1971 and played four seasons in the NFL, receiving numerous humanitarian awards from the league. He established the Anne and Woody Hayes Endowment for the prevention of child abuse at Columbus Children's Hospital in 2001 and resides in Camarillo, Calif.
University of Oregon
Running Back / Wide Receiver, 1969- 71
A two-position standout at the University of Oregon, Ahmad Rashad's versatility confirmed his status as a premier player in the Pac-10 as well as one of the Ducks' most record-breaking athletes in history.
A three-time All-Conference selection, Rashad (then Bobby Moore) set 14 school records and was the only player ever to lead the Pac-10 in scoring at two different positions. He established single-game (249), season (1,211) and career (2,306) rushing records for the Ducks in addition to season (54) and career (131) records in receiving. During his senior season, the Portland native rushed for more than 100 yards in seven of Oregon's eleven games, despite playing one of the country's toughest schedules.
By career's end, the 1971 First Team All-America tallied 226 points and earned team MVP honors twice. He was the first offensive player chosen in the 1972 NFL Draft and enjoyed 14 years in the pros. He made four Pro Bowl appearances, one Super Bowl appearance and ranked tenth all-time in receiving upon retirement.
Extremely active in the community, he dedicates his time to various youth projects, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the NBA Read to Achieve program and the Robin Hood Foundation. An Emmy Award-winning sportscaster, Rashad is executive producer and host for NBA Entertainment series and specials. He resides in Greenwich, Conn.
Running Back, 1986-89
Arguably one of the greatest running backs in college football history, Indiana's Anthony Thompson shattered a multitude of school, conference and national records during his storied rushing career.
Thompson pummeled rival defenses, becoming a two-time First Team All-America (consensus-'88, unanimous-'89) and Big Ten Player of the Year twice. In his prolific senior season, he captured the NCAA rushing and scoring title, received Walter Camp Player of the Year and Maxwell Award honors and finished second in the 1989 Heisman Trophy voting.
A native of Terre Haute, Ind., he finished his career with 5,299 rushing yards and led Indiana to three bowl appearances. Thompson also held the Division I record for career touchdowns (65) until 1998 and the Big Ten record for points scored (412) until 1999. Still holding six Hoosier records, including single-game rushing yards (377) and most 100-yard rushing games (28), IU's most valuable player award was renamed in his honor.
He was selected in the second round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Phoenix Cardinals, spending three seasons with the club and two with the Los Angeles Rams. Thompson currently works an assistant director for the Hoosier Varsity Club.
University of Houston
Defensive Tackle, 1973-76
The heart and soul of a Houston squad that silenced some of the college football's greatest teams, Wilson Whitley left an indelible mark on school and conference history.
The 1976 consensus All-America led UH to a share of the 1976 Southwest Conference title in its first year in the league and a Cotton Bowl berth, where the Cougars defeated Maryland. In one of his most memorable games, Whitley and the Houston defense blanked perennial powerhouse Texas 30-0, holding Earl Campbell to only 24 yards rushing.
The Plantersville, Texas native was named the Rotary Lombardi Award winner as Division I's top lineman in 1976, and perhaps even more impressive, Whitley was named Southwest Conference Player of the Decade for the 1970s despite only playing one year of his career in the conference.
Drafted eighth overall in the first round of the 1977 NFL Draft by Cincinnati, he played seven seasons in the NFL with the Bengals and the Houston Oilers. Whitley served as the National Director of Sports Marketing with Holiday Inn, Inc., until his passing in 1992.
Arguably Dartmouth's greatest linebacker ever, Reggie Williams cultivated one of the most highly decorated defensive careers in Ivy League history.
A First Team All-America selection in 1975, he won virtually every Dartmouth football award in existence, including the Jake Crouthamel Award for an outstanding underclassman and the Bob Blackman Award as the Big Green MVP. Williams was also a three-time All-Ivy pick and was named to the All-East Region and All-New England teams for two consecutive seasons. He still holds the school record for the career unassisted tackles (243) and ranks second in the school's all-time career tackles ranks (370).
The Flint, Mich., native attended Dartmouth on an academic scholarship and was also crowned the Ivy League's Heavyweight Wrestling Champion in 1975. Drafted in the third round of the 1976 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, he enjoyed 14 seasons in pros and twice appeared in the Super Bowl.
Extremely active in community affairs, Williams has volunteered for the United Way and earned numerous humanitarian awards while in the NFL. Named to Sports Illustrated's "Most Influential Minorities in Sports," he is the Vice President of Disney Sports Attractions in Orlando.
University of Southern California
A fierce tackler and team leader, USC's Richard "Batman" Wood joins 26 other Trojans in the College Football Hall of Fame.
The only three-time All-America selection (consensus- '73,'74) in Southern California's rich football history, the Elizabeth, N.J., native was a member of two USC National Championship teams, captaining the 1974 squad and leading the Trojans to an impressive 31-3- 2 record during his career.
Wood twice led the Trojans in tackles en route to garnering First Team All-Conference laurels every season of his career. Selected in the third round of the 1975 NFL Draft by the Jets, he spent the majority of his time in the pros with Tampa Bay. He amassed 855 career tackles for the Buccaneers, the third-most in franchise history.
Since retiring from the NFL, Wood has coached on the high school and professional levels, serving as an assistant football coach for the Bucs and for the NFL Europa's Frankfurt Galaxy. He also spent time as head coach for the Munich Cowboys of the German Football League. He resides in Tampa, Fla.
University of Notre Dame
Defensive Tackle, 1988-90
Among Notre Dame's most elite defensive tacklers, Chris Zorich enjoyed success after success while playing for one of college football's most storied programs.
Elected captain of the Fighting Irish during his senior year, Zorich won numerous individual accolades, including consensus All-America honors in 1989 and unanimous All-America laurels the following season. He was also the 1990 recipient of the Rotary Lombardi Award and named the CBS Sports/Chevrolet Defensive Player of the Year.
Instrumental in helping the Irish to the 1988 National Championship, the Chicago native amassed 219 career tackles and led ND to four bowl game appearances. He also received Orange Bowl MVP recognition in 1990. Drafted in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft by his hometown team, Zorich enjoyed seven years in the league with the Bears and the Washington Redskins.
Following his NFL career, he returned to his alma mater to pursue a law degree in order to further assist those in need. Zorich established the Chris Zorich Foundation in 1993, which provides assistance and opportunities to disadvantaged Chicagoans.
COACH HERB DEROMEDI
Central Michigan (1978-93)
Head Coach, 110-55-10
A fixture at Central Michigan for 16 years, Herb Deromedi led the Chippewas to 14 winning seasons and becomes the first CMU coach or player inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
The all-time winningest coach in Mid-American (MAC) Conference history, Deromedi ranked 15th among all active NCAA Division I head coaches in winning percentage upon retirement. His 90 MAC wins are also a league record. He finished his prolific career with a 110-55-10 record (.657), highlighted by consecutive victories over Michigan State in 1991 and '92.
Under Deromedi's tutelage, the Chippewas garnered back-to-back conference championships in 1979 and '80. CMU added another league title in 1990, sparking a berth in the California Raisin Bowl. He was also twice named MAC Coach of the Year and has coached 71 First-Team All-Conference picks, including seven future NFL players, and four NFF National Scholar-Athletes.
Deromedi served as Roy Kramer's defensive coordinator at CMU prior to becoming head coach and was instrumental in leading the Chippewas to the Division II National Championship in 1974. He is a member of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and became the CMU's athletics director in 1994. He retired as an administrator just last year and resides in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
COACH JOE PATERNO
Pennsylvania State University (1966-present)
Head Coach, 363-121-3
No one in Football Bowl Subdivision football history has coached longer or won more games at one school than Joe Paterno has at Penn State. Although his legacy is not yet complete, his coaching influence has spanned parts of six decades and his impact will be felt forever.
For 57 years and 643 games, Paterno has coached Nittany Lion football - the last 41 as head coach. A five-time National Coach of the Year honoree, he currently ranks second, only to Bobby Bowden (366), with 363 career victories on the major college level. Paterno's teams have recorded five undefeated seasons, 21 finishes in the AP Top 10 and two National Championships. With a record of 22-10-1, he is the all-time leader among coaches in bowl appearances and victories.
Since 1966, Paterno has coached 73 First Team All- Americas, 15 NFF National Scholar-Athletes, more than 300 future NFL players and seven members of the College Football Hall of Fame.
PSU's remarkable 11-1 record in 2005 marked the fifth different decade and 19th time overall that the Nittany Lions have won at least 10 games in a season with Paterno at the helm. The NFF honored him with its Distinguished American Award in 1992 and recognized him again in 2006 with its highest honor, the prestigious Gold Medal. Originally slated as a member of last year's College Football Hall of Fame class, his induction was deferred due to injury.