The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announcedthe 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class during “Championship Drive Presented by Mercedes-Benz” on ESPN.
2023 COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS
- Monte Cater – 275-117-2 (70.1%); Lakeland [WI] (1981-86), Shepherd [WV] (1987-2017)
- Paul Johnson – 189-99-0 (65.6%); Georgia Southern (1997-2001), Navy (2002-07), Georgia Tech (2008-18)
- Roy Kramer – 83-32-2 (71.8%); Central Michigan (1967-77)
- Mark Richt – 171-64-0 (72.8%); Georgia (2001-15), Miami [FL] (2016-18)
- Eric Berry – DB, Tennessee (2007-09)
- Michael Bishop – QB, Kansas State (1997-98)
- Reggie Bush – RB, Southern California (2003-05)
- Dwight Freeney – DE, Syracuse (1998-2001)
- Robert Gallery – OT, Iowa (2000-03)
- LaMichael James – RB, Oregon (2009-11)
- Derrick Johnson – LB, Texas (2001-04)
- Bill Kollar – DT, Montana State (1971-73)
- Luke Kuechly – LB, Boston College (2009-11)
- Jeremy Maclin – WR/KR, Missouri (2007-08)
- Terance Mathis – WR, New Mexico (1985-87, 1989)
- Bryant McKinnie – OT, Miami [FL] (2000-01)
- Corey Moore – DL, Virginia Tech (1997-99)
- Michael Stonebreaker – LB, Notre Dame (1986, 1988, 1990)
- Tim Tebow – QB, Florida (2006-09)
- Troy Vincent – DB, Wisconsin (1988-91)
- Brian Westbrook – RB, Villanova (1997-98, 2000-01)
- DeAngelo Williams – RB, Memphis (2002-05)
The 18 First Team All-America players and four standout coaches in the 2023 Class were selected from the national ballot of 80 players and nine coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 96 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks.
Johnson is the 25th person that either played or coached at the Naval Academy to be selected and the fifth coach joining Gil Dobie (1917-19), William Ingram (1916-18), Wayne Hardin (1959-64) and George Welsh (1973-81).
“We are extremely proud to announce the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said Archie Manning, NFF Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Mississippi. “Each of these men has established himself among the absolute best to have ever played or coached the game, and we look forward to immortalizing their incredible accomplishments.”
The 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class will officially be inducted during the 65th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas on Dec. 5, 2023, at the ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas.
The inductees will also be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the fall. Their accomplishments will be forever immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, and each inductee will receive a custom ring created by Jostens, the official and exclusive supplier of NFF rings.
The announcement of the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class was made today during “Championship Drive Presented by Mercedes-Benz” leading up to tonight’s College Football Playoff National Championship.
“We want to thank ESPN for the opportunity to announce the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class during today’s lead up to the College Football Playoff National Championship,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “Today’s announcement shines a light on the accomplishments of some of college football’s greatest legends.”
2023 COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS NOTES
- 1 Heisman Trophy winner (Tebow)
- 1 NFF William V. Campbell Trophy® recipient (Tebow)
- 10 unanimous First Team All-Americans (Berry (2), Bush, Freeney, Gallery, James, Johnson, Kuechly, McKinnie, Moore, Stonebreaker)
- 8 consensus First Team All-Americans (Bishop, Bush, Johnson, Kuechly, Maclin, Mathis, Stonebreaker, Tebow)
- 10 multi-year First Team All-Americans (Berry (2), Bush (2), James (2), Johnson (2), Kuechly (2), Maclin (2), McKinnie (2), Moore (2), Stonebreaker (2), Westbrook (3))
- 11 winners of college football major awards (Berry – Thorpe; Bishop – Davey O’Brien; Bush – Doak Walker, Walter Camp; Gallery – Outland; James – Doak Walker; Johnson – Butkus, Nagurski; Kuechly – Butkus, Lombardi, Nagurski; McKinnie – Outland; Moore – Lombardi, Nagurski; Tebow – Campbell, Davey O’Brien, Heisman, Maxwell (2); Westbrook – Walter Payton)
- 4 members of national championship teams (Bush (2), McKinnie, Stonebreaker, Tebow (2))
- 13 conference players of the year (Berry, Bush (2), Freeney, Gallery, Johnson, Kollar, Kuechly, McKinnie, Moore (2), Tebow (3), Vincent, Westbrook (2), Williams (3))
- 9 members of conference championship teams (Bush (3), Freeney, Gallery, James (3), Kollar, McKinnie (2), Moore, Tebow (2), Westbrook (2))
- 12 players who still hold school records (Berry, Bishop, Bush, Freeney, James, Johnson, Kuechly, Maclin, Mathis, Tebow, Westbrook, Williams)
- 8 played for College Football Hall of Fame coaches (Berry – Phillip Fulmer; Bishop – Bill Snyder; Johnson – Mack Brown; Maclin – Gary Pinkel; Moore – Frank Beamer; Stonebreaker – Lou Holtz; Vincent – Barry Alvarez; Westbrook – Andy Talley)
- 12 first-round NFL draft picks (Berry, Bush, Freeney, Gallery, Johnson, Kollar, Kuechly, Maclin, McKinnie, Tebow, Vincent, Williams)
- 10 offensive players (Bishop, Bush, Gallery, James, Maclin, Mathis, McKinnie, Tebow, Westbrook, Williams)
- 8 defensive players (Berry, Freeney, Johnson, Kollar, Kuechly, Moore, Stonebreaker, Vincent)
- 5 decades represented: 1970s (1) – Kollar; 1980s (2) – Mathis, Stonebreaker; 1990s (3) – Bishop, Moore, Vincent; 2000s (10) – Berry, Bush, Freeney, Gallery, Johnson, Maclin, McKinnie, Tebow, Westbrook, Williams; 2010s (2) – James, Kuechly
- 3 schools with their first-ever Hall of Fame player (Montana State – Kollar; Villanova – Westbrook; Memphis – Williams)
- 28 conference championships (Cater – 19, Johnson – 5, Kramer – 2, Richt – 2)
- 1 coach with the most wins in school history (Cater – Shepherd [WV])
- 50 bowl/postseason appearances (Cater – 13, Johnson – 18, Kramer – 1, Richt – 18)
- 3 national championships (Johnson – 2, Kramer – 1)
- 51 First Team All-Americans coached (Cater – 24, Johnson – 11, Kramer – 1, Richt – 15)
- 3 national coaches of the year (Johnson, Kramer, Richt)
- 21 conference coach of the year honors (Cater – 13, Johnson – 5, Richt – 3)
- 2 schools with their first-ever Hall of Fame coach or player inductee (Lakeland [WI] – Cater; Shepherd [WV] – Cater)
1. First and foremost, a player must have received First Team All-America recognition by a selector recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise its consensus All-America teams.
2. A player becomes eligible for consideration by the NFF’s Honors Court 10 full seasons after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
3. 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. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.
4. Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years*. For example, to be eligible for the 2023 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1973 or thereafter. In addition, current professional players and/or coaches are not eligible until retirement.
5. A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years old. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head football coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.
6. Nominations may only be submitted by the current athletics director, head coach or sports information director (SID) of a potential candidate’s collegiate institution. Nominations may also be submitted by the president/executive director of a dues-paying chapter of the National Football Foundation.
* Players that do not comply with the 50-year rule may still be eligible for consideration by the Football Bowl Subdivision and Divisional Veterans Committees. Veterans Committee candidates must still meet First Team All-America requirement.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME QUICK FACTS
- When the 2023 Hall of Fame Class is officially inducted in December, only 1,074 players and 230 coaches will have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.62 million who have played or coached the game during the past 153 years. In other words, less than two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of the individuals who have played the game have earned this distinction.
- 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 22 coaches, including Illinois’ Red Grange, Notre Dame’s Knute Rockne, Amos Alonzo Stagg and Carlisle (PA)’s Jim Thorpe.
- 320 schools are represented with at least one College Football Hall of Famer.
- Induction for the 2023 Class will take place Dec. 5, 2023, during the 65th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas.
2023 College Football Hall of Fame Class Bios
Georgia Southern University (1997-2001), United States Naval Academy (2002-2007), Georgia Tech (2008-2018)
Head Coach, 189-99-0 (65.6%)
Capitalizing on his patented spread option offense – one of the most innovative offensive schemes in all of college football – Paul Johnson took three programs to the top of their respective conferences and the national rankings, winning two national titles, five conference championships and making 18 bowl appearances. The Newland, North Carolina, native now becomes the first coach from Georgia Southern, the fourth coach from Georgia Tech, and the fifth coach from Navy to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
In his last stop at Georgia Tech, Johnson went 82-60 during 11 seasons, and the Yellow Jackets appeared in the final national rankings in 2008 (No. 22), 2009 (No. 13), and 2014 (No. 8). He led Georgia Tech to nine bowl games, including two New Year’s Six bowls (Orange 2009, 2014). The Yellow Jackets appeared in three ACC Championship games during his tenure and won the ACC Coastal Division four times. His Georgia Tech teams led the ACC in rushing offense every year, and he was named ACC Coach of the Year three times (2008, 2009, 2014). He is the fourth-winningest coach at Georgia Tech behind John Heisman, William Alexander, and Bobby Dodd, who are all in College Football Hall of Fame. He coached two of nine total 10-win seasons and one of five 11-win seasons in Georgia Tech history.
At Navy, he inherited a program that had gone 1-20 in the previous two seasons. Johnson transformed the program, and during his six seasons in Annapolis, the Midshipmen went 45-29, landing at No. 24 in the Associated Press poll in 2004. He coached Navy to five bowl berths. Johnson went 11-1 in Commander-In-Chief’s trophy games, winning five CIC trophies, which represents the annual winner of the Air Force-Army-Navy round-robin. He never lost to Army, going 6-0 against the Black Knights, and in 2007 he led Navy to a victory over Notre Dame for the first time in 43 years.
In his five seasons at Georgia Southern, the Eagles notched a 62-10 record, making five FCS playoff appearances and winning the FCS championship twice (1999 and 2000). He won the Southern Conference with Georgia Southern every year. He was twice named Southern Conference Coach of the Year (1997 and 1998) while heading the Eagles program. The 1999 team led the nation in scoring, rushing and total offense, and set the NCAA single-season record for average rushing yards per game (419.0) while breaking 197 schools records. Johnson was inducted into the Georgia Southern Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.
Johnson coached 11 First Team All-Americans and one First Team Academic All-American. He coached 1999 Walter Payton Award winner and 2017 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Adrian Peterson at Georgia Southern and 2010 Burlsworth Trophy recipient Sean Bedford at Georgia Tech.
Johnson was recognized as the CBS National Coach of the Year in 2008, the Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year in 2004, and the Eddie Robinson Award winner as the I-AA National Coach of the Year in 1998. He was twice named the AFCA NCAA Division I-AA National Coach of the Year (1999, 2000).
Before becoming a head coach, Johnson served as offensive coordinator at Navy (1995-96), Hawaii (1987-94), Georgia Southern (1985-86) and as defensive line coach at Georgia Southern (1983-84). During his first stint at Georgia Southern, he was part of the coaching team that won consecutive FCS National Championships (1985-86) with the Eagles, and as the offensive coordinator at Georgia Southern, he mentored College Football Hall of Fame inductee Tracy Ham. His coaching career began with roles as an offensive coordinator at Avery County (N.C.) High School from 1979-80 and at nearby Lees-McRae College from 1981-82.
He has participated in a wide variety of charitable endeavors at each of his schools over the years, including his annual participation in the Bobby Dodd and Chick-fil-A charity golf tournaments, which raise money for the Bobby Dodd Foundation, WinShape Homes and the schools’ scholarship funds. Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Western Carolina in 1979 and his master’s in health and physical education from Appalachian State in 1982.
Lakeland [WI] (1981-1986), Shepherd [WV] (1987-2017)
Head Coach, 275-117-2 (70.1%)
After 37 years as a head coach, Monte Cater retired following the 2017 season as the nation’s winningest active football coach among all NCAA levels, earning wins in more than 70 percent of his games and notching a total of 275 victories. The Shelbyville, Illinois, native now becomes the first person from either Lakeland University (WI) or Shepherd University (WV) to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
Cater’s teams made 13 postseason appearances (NAIA – 2, Division II – 11) during his career, and his teams appeared 16 times in the final national rankings. In 2015, he led Shepherd to the Division II championship game, finishing as the national runner-up. His teams claimed three Super Region One titles, and Shepherd led the nation in rush defense from 2011-2014. He coached 24 First Team All-America players, including 2007 Division II Rimington Award winner Ryan Pope, and he was named the Vince Lombardi Foundation Coach of the Year in 2015.
Named conference coach of the year 13 times during his career, he won at least a share of 17 conference titles (13 WVIAC and 4 MEC), giving him the most victories and coaching titles in West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) history. His teams went undefeated in conference play 11 times, and he coached 182 First Team All-Conference players.
Cater had only four losing seasons in his 31 years at Shepherd, and he posted winning records during each of his final 14 years with the Rams. He posted six undefeated regular seasons, including his last three from 2015-17, and his 245-93-1 (.724) record in 31 seasons at Shepherd makes him the winningest coach in school history.
Prior to coming to Shepherd, Cater was the primary architect in reviving the Lakeland College program in Plymouth, Wisconsin. He led the Muskies to a 30-24-1 record in six seasons, winning three conference titles in his last four seasons while garnering Coach of the Year honors twice.
Cater began his collegiate coaching career as an offensive line coach at his alma mater, Millikin University (IL), where he would also serve as co-offensive coordinator. During his coaching stint at Millikin, the Big Blue posted a record of 28-8.
Cater has been inducted to the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame (2020), Shepherd Hall of Fame (2007) and the Millikin Athletics Hall of Fame (1999). He served as Shepherd’s athletics director from 1993-2004, and he served as a member of the NCAA Division II Football Committee and the AFCA Board of Coaches. In addition to graduating with a degree in physical education from Millikin in 1971, Cater earned his Master’s in physical education from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
Central Michigan University (1967-77)
Head Coach, 83-32-2 (71.8%)
During his 11 seasons heading the Central Michigan program, Roy Kramer won an impressive 71.8 percent of his games, including the 1974 Division II National Championship. The Maryville, Tennessee, native now becomes just the second person from Central Michigan to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
In his 11 seasons leading the Chippewas, Kramer compiled an 83-32-2 (.718) record. In 1974 Kramer was named NCAA National Coach of the Year after guiding the Chippewas to a 12-1 record and the Division II National Championship. In addition to the 1974 national title, Kramer twice led the Chippewas to IIAC titles in 1967 and 1968.
At CMU, Kramer produced one First Team All-American, defensive lineman Rick Newsome, and three First Team Academic All-Americans. He coached 38 First Team All-Conference selections, and he played an integral role in Central Michigan’s move in 1975 to Division I-A as a member of the Mid-American Conference.
Kramer began his coaching career as a high school coach in Michigan, and during a decade in the high school ranks his teams won three state championships. In 1965, Kramer joined the staff at Central Michigan University as an assistant, coaching the freshman team to a 7-1 mark before being bumped up to head coach.
Kramer had hired Herb Deromedi as an assistant coach in 1967, promoting him to defensive coordinator in 1969. When Kramer left in 1977, Deromedi took over from his mentor as the CMU head coach, going on a run that would also land the protégé in the College Football Hall of Fame. In 2022, Central Michigan recognized the close connection between the two coaches and their outstanding contributions to the Chippewa program by officially naming its football venue as the Kramer/Deromedi Field at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.
After his coaching career, Kramer served as the athletics director at Vanderbilt University from 1978-1990 and as commissioner of the Southeastern Conference from 1990-2002. He expanded the SEC from 10 to 12 members with the additions of South Carolina and Arkansas, and he created the SEC Football Championship Game, making the SEC the first conference to have a title game. During his time at the SEC, he also led the creation of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), the precursor to today’s College Football Playoff system, pitting the two top-ranked teams in the country in a national title game.
Kramer graduated from Maryville College (TN), and he was a standout lineman on the football team as well as a wrestler. He played in the inaugural Tangerine Bowl (now the Citrus Bowl) on January 1, 1947, as a freshman for Maryville and losing to Catawba (NC) 31-6. During his senior year at Maryville, he was called to serve during the Korean War, delaying his graduation. After his service and graduating from Maryville in 1953, Kramer earned his master’s degree with a double major in history and education from the University of Michigan in 1954.
Kramer has been inducted into the Central Michigan Athletics Hall of Fame (1987); Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame (2008 as an inaugural member); Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame (1989); Alabama Sports Hall of Fame (2003). He has been awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (2008), NCFAA Contribution to College Football Award (2011); Duffy Daugherty Award (2013). The Men’s and Women’s SEC Athlete of the Year Award is presented annually as the Roy F. Kramer Award in his honor, and the NFF presented him its Distinguished American Award in 1998.
University of Georgia (2001-15), University of Miami, FL (2016-18)
Head Coach, 171-64 (72.8%)
During his 18 years as a head coach, Mark Richt established himself as one of the top coaches in the history of college football, winning nearly 72 percent of his games at Georgia and Miami (FL) and never failing to make the postseason. The Omaha, Nebraska, native, and Boca Raton (FL) High School product, becomes the fifth coach from Georgia and the fifth Hurricanes coach to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
Richt is one of only five coaches in FBS history to record 145 or more wins in their first 15 seasons, including Hall of Famers Bob Stoops, Barry Switzer and Tom Osborne. At the time of his retirement, he ranked No. 48 in the NCAA record books on the FBS all-time win list, behind only five coaches who had coached within five years of his retirement.
Richt headed the Georgia program for 15 years, winning 74 percent of his games, which ranks first all-time among Bulldog coaches, and amassing an overall record of 145-51. His UGA win total is second to only Hall of Fame coach Vince Dooley. He led Georgia to 15 consecutive bowl appearances (10-5), including three New Year’s Six bowls (Sugar Bowl 2002, 2005, 2007). His Georgia teams appeared 11 times in the Top 25 rankings, including seven Top 10 finishes (No. 3 in 2002, No. 7 in 2003, No. 7 in 2004, No. 10 in 2005, No. 2 in 2007, No. 5 in 2012, No. 9 in 2014). He led Georgia to two SEC titles, including the Bulldogs’ first in 20 years in 2002 and then again in 2005. The Dawgs appeared in a total of five SEC championship games (2002, 2003, 2005, 2011, and 2012) during his tenure. He was named the 2002 and 2005 SEC Coach of the Year, and he is currently the 10th winningest coach in SEC history.
Returning to his alma mater (where he played quarterback from 1979-82), Richt led Miami to a 26-13 record for the final three seasons of his head coaching career, securing three more bowl appearances, including one more New Year’s Six Bowl, the Orange in 2017. Two of his three Miami teams posted top 20 finishes, the 2016 team at No. 20 and the 2017 team at No. 13. He led Miami to the 2017 ACC Coastal Division title, the school’s first division title since joining the ACC, and he was named both the ACC Coach of the Year and the Walter Camp Coach of the Year in 2017.
Richt coached 15 First Team All-Americans, including 2020 College Football Hall of Fame inductee David Pollack. He coached 52 First Team All-Conference players, and he also coached four NFF National Scholar-Athletes at UGA and one at Miami.
Richt began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Florida State from 1985-86 after being hired by College Football Hall of Fame Coach Bobby Bowden. Richt spent 15 seasons in Tallahassee, with a one-year break in 1989 as the offensive coordinator at East Carolina. During his time at Florida State, serving as a quarterback coach and offensive coordinator, he mentored Heisman Trophy winners Charlie Ward (a 2006 College Football Hall of Fame inductee) and Chris Weinke, and the Seminoles won two national titles and played for another.
Prolific in the community, Richt is active with H.E.R.O. for children, Eagle Ranch orphanage facility and led two mission trips to Honduras. He has been a celebrity spokesperson for the National Guard Youth Foundation and a key supporter of The Healing Place of Athens for men with addictions. While at UGA, he founded the Paul Oliver Network, a program that supports lettermen in their transition to life after football. In 2016, Richt was named the first-ever honorary head coach of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his commitment to giving back to others. In 2013, Richt received the Stallings Award given for commitment to humanitarian and community service efforts, and in 2010, he was named to the AFCA Board of Trustees. Since retiring as a coach, Richt has worked as an analyst on the ACC Network.
University of Tennessee
Defensive Back, 2007-09
A two-time unanimous First Team All-American, Eric Berry quickly etched his name among the all-time greats in Tennessee history with his acrobatic interceptions and defensive prowess. The Fairburn, Georgia, native now becomes the 22nd Vols player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
Berry earned unanimous First Team All-America honors in 2008, and he repeated the feat in 2009. He claimed the Jim Thorpe Award in 2009 as the nation’s top defensive back after being a finalist in 2008.
A finalist for the 2009 Nagurski Trophy, he also twice claimed the Jack Tatum Award from the Touchdown Club of Columbus as the nation’s top defensive back. Berry helped Tennessee to two bowl berths, including a 21-17 win over Wisconsin in the 2008 Outback Bowl, which gave the Vols a final No. 12 ranking. A Freshman All-American, Berry helped the Vols bring home the SEC East title in 2007.
A three-time All-SEC selection, including First Team honors in 2008 and 2009, Berry was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 after leading the conference with seven interceptions. Playing for Hall of Fame Coach Phillip Fulmer and one year under Lane Kiffin, Berry’s tenure in Rocky Top established him as the SEC’s all-time leader in career interception return yards (494) and single-season interception return yards (265 in 2008). He also holds the Vol record for career yards (35.3) per interception.
The two-year team captain twice led the Vols in interceptions, collecting five in 2007 and seven in 2008. He finished his career with 245 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, 14 interceptions, 31 passes defended, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
Drafted in the first round (fifth overall) during the 2010 NFL Draft by Kansas City, Berry played with the Chiefs until 2018, making five Pro Bowl appearances and earning First Team All-Pro honors three times. After being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014, Berry was named the 2015 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Following his NFL career, Berry returned home to Fairburn, and he currently works as an entrepreneur. He established the Eric Berry Foundation in 2011, which provides safe environments for children to participate in sports, and he hosts annual youth football clinics in Atlanta, Kansas City and throughout Tennessee. He has donated more than $100k to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and he installed field turf in Duncan Park (GA) where he learned to play football.
Kansas State University
Widely regarded as the best all-around quarterback in Kansas State history, Michael Bishop helped College Football Hall of Fame Coach Bill Snyder turn the Wildcats into a national powerhouse with an overall 22-3 record during his two-year tenure in Manhattan. The Willis, Texas, native now becomes the fourth K-State player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
A 1998 consensus First Team All-American, Bishop claimed the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback. He was also named the Heisman Trophy runner-up and a finalist for Maxwell and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm awards. Complementing the efforts of fellow College Football Hall of Fame inductee Mark Simoneau, who led the defense in 1998, Bishop helped guide the Wildcats to the school’s first-ever No. 1 national ranking late into the season, culminating in a Big 12 North title and K-State’s first berth in a conference championship game. The season ended with an appearance in the Alamo Bowl; an 11-2 record; and a No. 10 ranking in the final AP Poll. The previous season, Bishop and the Wildcats claimed a Big 12 North title and went 11-1, capped by a 35-18 win over Syracuse in the Fiesta Bowl and a No. 8 ranking in the final AP Poll.
A two-time All-Big 12 performer, Bishop set 34 school records and 14 Big 12 records. He rushed for 1,314 yards and 23 touchdowns while throwing for 4,401 yards and 36 touchdowns in two seasons. Bishop still holds eight K-State records, including single-season passing efficiency (159.6), single-season interception percentage (1.36), and single-season yards per game (299.3). He was inducted into the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016, and he was added to the school’s Ring of Honor in 2015.
Drafted in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft by New England, Bishop spent two years with the Patriots before moving to the CFL and helping the Toronto Argonauts win the 2004 Grey Cup. He also claimed an Arena Bowl Championship with the AFL’s Chicago Rush.
Bishop is the head football coach at Legacy School of Sport Sciences in the Houston area and the CEO of 4th Quarter Fitness. He has participated in activities with the Boys and Girls Club, Toys for Tots and Habitat for Humanity. He is a regular volunteer with football and basketball youth teams.
University of Southern California
Running Back, 2003-05
One of the most dynamic players in the history of college football, Reggie Bush helped Southern California claim two national championships and a 37-2 record during his three years playing in the Coliseum. The Spring Valley, California, native now becomes the 34th Trojan to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
A consensus First Team All-American in 2004 and a unanimous selection in 2005 as an all-purpose player, Bush claimed the Doak Walker Award and was the Walter Camp Player of the Year, the AP Player of the Year and the Sporting News Player of the Year in 2005. He finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2004, the year Matt Leinart, his teammate and now fellow College Football Hall of Fame inductee, claimed the award. In 2003, Bush was named a Freshman All-American.
During his three seasons in Los Angeles, Bush helped guide the Trojans to three-consecutive national championship games, winning national titles at the 2004 Rose Bowl with a 28-14 win over Michigan and 2005 Orange Bowl with a 55-19 victory over Oklahoma. The Trojans finished No. 1 in the final AP poll in 2003 and 2004 and No. 2 in 2005 with only two losses during the three-year span, including a 41-38 Rose Bowl loss to Texas in one of the most iconic games in college football history.
Bush set an NCAA record with an astounding 7.3 yards per carry during his career, and he led the NCAA with 222.3 all-purpose yards per game, finishing fourth nationally with 133.9 rushing yards per game in 2005. His 513 all-purpose yards vs. Fresno State in 2005, ranks second in NCAA annals.
As a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year, Bush was a member of three consecutive Pac-10 championship teams. Bush ranks second in league history with 2,890 all-purpose yards in 2005 and ranks fourth all-time with 6,552 career all-purpose yards, having led the league in all-purpose yards in 2004 and 2005.
A two-time Team MVP and the 2005 team captain, Bush ranks fourth on USC’s career kickoff return yardage list (1,523), sixth in career punt return yardage (559) and eighth in career rushing (3,169). He set the USC freshman record with 1,331 all-purpose yards in 2003. He finished his career with 433 rushes for 3,169 yards and 25 touchdowns and 95 receptions for 1,301 yards and 13 touchdowns. He returned 67 kickoffs for 1,523 yards and one touchdown, and he fielded 44 punts for 559 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw one touchdown for 52 yards in his career.
Drafted second overall in the 2006 NFL Draft by New Orleans, Bush played for the Saints (2006-10), Dolphins (2011-12), Lions (2013-14), 49ers (2015) and Bills (2016). He was a First Team All-Pro in 2008, and he won Super Bowl XLIV with the Saints in 2010. He was inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame in 2019.
Bush works as an on-air college football analyst for FOX Sports during the Big Noon Kickoff show alongside his former teammate Matt Leinart. Bush founded the 619 Charitable Fund, supporting youth in San Diego, and he hosts the “Bush Family Charitable Weekend” with proceeds going to The Birthday Party Project. He is an ambassador for Wings for Life World Run, and he serves as a St. Jude Legends for Charity Los Angeles host committee member.
Defensive End, 1998-2001
Holding the NCAA record for career pass sacks per game, Dwight Freeney unnerved opposing quarterbacks while leading the Orange to three bowl berths and authoring one of the best defensive careers in Syracuse football history. The Hartford, Connecticut, native now becomes the 10th Cuse player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
A 2001 unanimous First Team All-American, Freeney was a finalist for the Bednarik, Lombardi and Nagurski awards, and he finished ninth in 2001 Heisman Trophy voting. He holds the NCAA record for career pass sacks per game (1.61), and he finished his career as the NCAA leader in single-season sacks with 17.5 in 2001. He had eight forced fumbles in 2001, which currently places him third in the NCAA record books, and he averaged .67 forced fumbles per game in 2001. His 4.5 sacks against Virginia Tech on Oct. 21, 2000, set a conference record.
The 2001 team captain and MVP, Freeney currently holds school records for career (50.5) and single season tackle for loss (25.5 in 2001) and forced fumbles in a career (14). He finished his career with 104 tackles and 34 sacks, second only to College Football Hall of Famer Tim Green on Syracuse’s all-time list.
Freeney led the Orange to three bowl berths, including a 20-13 win over Kentucky in the 1999 Music City Bowl and a 26-3 victory over Kansas State in the 2001 Insight.com Bowl. During his four seasons in upstate New York, he helped guide the Cuse to a 31-17 record and a No. 25 final national ranking in 1998 and the No. 14 spot in 2001. His efforts landed him an invitation to participate in the 2002 Senior Bowl.
A two-time unanimous First Team All-Big East performer and a two-time First Team All-ECAC selection, Freeney helped Syracuse claim the 1998 Big East title, and he shared Defensive Player of the Year honors with College Football Hall of Famer Ed Reed (Miami, FL) in 2001.
Drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft (11th overall) by the Colts, Freeney played in Indianapolis from 2002-12, San Diego (2013-14), Arizona (2015), Atlanta (2016) and Seattle/Detroit (2017). He was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, and he was named First Team All-Pro three times (2004-05, 2009) and Second Team All-Pro in 2003. He helped the Colts win Super Bowl XLI in 2007.
Freeney founded the Dwight Freeney Foundation, which gives back to underserved communities. He is a supporter of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, and his charitable donations have also included the West Indian Foundation, Blue Hills New Testament Church of God and Bloomfield High School.
University of Iowa
Offensive Tackle, 2000-03
A mountain of a man at 6-foot-7, 325-lbs, who also possessed speed and agility, Robert Gallery dominated at left tackle and helped transform the Hawkeye offense during his time at Iowa. The Masonville, Iowa, native now becomes the 11th Iowa player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
Gallery started his career as a redshirt freshman tight end on a team that had gone 1-10 the previous season during Kirk Ferentz’s first year at Iowa. Gallery played the final six games at right tackle and the Hawkeyes finished the season 3-9. The Iowa-Ferentz transformation began in earnest his sophomore season, and Gallery started all 12 games at left tackle, contributing to an offense that led the Big Ten Conference in scoring with 32.6 points per game. The team finished 7-5 with a 19-16 win over Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl.
During his junior campaign, Gallery started all 13 games at left tackle and was named a First Team All-Big Ten selection. He protected the blind side for quarterback Brad Banks, who passed for an impressive 2,573 yards and 26 touchdowns as the Davey O’Brien winner and Heisman Trophy runner-up. Gallery also opened holes for running backs Fred Russell and Jermelle Lewis, who combined for 1,937 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. The team’s point total ranked seventh in the nation, averaging 37.2 points per game and leading the Big Ten for a second straight season. The team went 11-2, winning the most games in program history and claimed Iowa’s first Big Ten title in 12 years. The Hawkeyes appeared in the Orange Bowl and notched a No. 8 final AP ranking.
His senior season, Gallery again earned First Team Big Ten laurels, adding the Outland Trophy and unanimous First Team All-America honors to his résumé. He led Iowa to another double-digit-win season (10-3) and was named co-captain and co-MVP for the season while also claiming Big Ten Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year honors. Iowa concluded the season with a 37-17 victory against Florida in the Outback Bowl and again finished No. 8 in the final AP Poll, the first back-to-back top 10 finishes for Iowa since the 1950s.
A three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection, Gallery also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for three consecutive seasons. He was inducted into the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017, and he was added to Iowa’s America Needs Farmers Wall of Honor at Kinnick Stadium in 2015, recognizing student-athletes for their tenacity, work ethic and exemplifying the character of American farmers.
Drafted second overall by Oakland in the 2004 NFL Draft, Gallery played 104 career games with the Raiders (2004-10) and Seahawks (2011), starting all but one game.
Gallery currently owns Vintage Trucker LLT, a company that supplies classic American-made cars to pro athletes. He resides in California, returning to his family’s farm in Masonville, Iowa, every fall to help his parents harvest corn and soybeans.
University of Oregon
Running Back, 2009-11
LaMichael James established himself as one of the most thrilling and electrifying players of his era, rushing for more than 5,000 yards and leading the Ducks to the top of the national rankings during his three seasons in Eugene. The Texarkana, Texas, native now becomes the sixth Oregon player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
A two-time First Team All-American, including unanimous accolades in 2010, James claimed the Doak Walker Award in 2010 as the nation’s best running back after leading the nation in rushing yards (1,731), yards from scrimmage (1,939) and touchdowns (24). His stellar 2010 performance also landed him third in Heisman Trophy voting. Having launched his Ducks career as a an FWAA Freshman All-American in 2009, he bookended his time in Eugene as a finalist for the 2011 Doak Walker and Paul Hornung awards.
James’ efforts helped the Ducks amass a 34-6 record and three consecutive BCS bowls, including an appearance in the 2011 Tostitos BCS National Championship against Auburn and a 45-38 win over Wisconsin in the 2012 Rose Bowl. With James in the backfield, the Ducks finished in the national rankings at No. 11 in 2009, No. 3 in 2010 and No. 4 in 2011 while claiming three Pac-10/12 championships.
A two-time First Team All-Conference selection (2010, 2011), James became just the third non-kicker since 1980 to lead the Pac-12 in scoring in back-to-back years. He is tied for second all-time with three 1,000-yard seasons in a career, and he is one of three players in conference history to rush for 1,700 yards in consecutive seasons. Recognized as a Second Team All-Conference performer as a freshman, he was named the 2009 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year while setting the Pac-12 record for yards by a freshman (1,546).
A two-time Team MVP, James led Oregon to its first 12-win season in school history in 2010, repeating the feat in 2011. He holds school records for career 200-yard games (7), single-season yards per rush (7.31 in 2011), rushing touchdowns in a season (21 in 2010), rushes in a season (294 in 2010), points scored in a season (144 in 2010), and 100-yard games by a freshman (9). He ranks second in program history in career rushing yards (5,082), career rushing touchdowns (53), career 100-yard games (26), career points (348), rushing yards in a season (1,805 in 2010), and rushing yards in a game (288 vs. Arizona, 2011). He led the Ducks in rushing all three seasons and in scoring his last two seasons. He finished his career with 771 rushes for 5,082 yards and 53 touchdowns, adding 51 receptions for 586 yards and four touchdowns.
Drafted in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, James played for San Francisco (2012-14) and Miami (2014-15).
He currently owns and operates Killer Burger franchises in Lake Oswego and Beaverton with a third location opening in Eugene later this month.
University of Texas
One of an elite group of Longhorns to earn consensus First Team All-America honors multiple times, Derrick Johnson was a versatile, big-play making linebacker who was a key fixture in helping build the foundation for College Football Hall of Fame Coach Mack Brown’s legacy in Austin. The Waco, Texas, native now becomes the 21st Texas player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
A two-time First Team All-American, consensus in 2003 and unanimous in 2004, Johnson put together a career for the ages, claiming the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as nation’s top defender in 2004. He finished 12th in Heisman Trophy voting and as a finalist for the Bednarik, Lombardi and Lott IMPACT awards in 2004. His nine forced fumbles that season place him in a tie for No. 1 in NCAA history for a single season. He was also named the 2004 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and 2004 Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year. In 2003, he became the Longhorns’ first consensus First Team All-America linebacker since 1983; was one of three finalists for the Butkus Award; and was named the team MVP. In 2001, he was tabbed the Sporting News National Freshman of the Year, a First-Team Freshman All-American and Big 12 Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year.
Texas posted a 43-8 record during his tenure in Austin, and the Longhorns earned four bowl appearances, including a 47-43 win over Washington in the 2001 Holiday Bowl (with Johnson named the Defensive MVP), a 35-20 victory over LSU in the 2003 Cotton Bowl, and a 38-37 victory in the 2005 Rose Bowl against Michigan with future College Football Hall of Fame teammate Vince Young under center. A three-time First Team All-Big 12 performer, Johnson’s efforts helped the Longhorns notch three 11-win seasons, while earning impressive final national rankings each of his four years: No. 5 in 2001, No. 6 in 2002, No. 12 in 2003 and No. 5 in 2004.
The two-time UT Defensive MVP tallied 458 career tackles, placing him at No. 3 in the school record books, and his 280 solo tackles rank him at No. 4 on the UT career list. His 65 tackles for loss land him at No. 1 in school annals, and he had 10.5 sacks, 30 pass breakups and nine interceptions, with both the breakups and interceptions being the most by a UT linebacker. He added 11 forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries during his time in Austin.
Drafted in the first round (15th overall) in the 2005 NFL Draft by Kansas City, he played with the Chiefs until 2017, becoming the team’s all-time leading tackler (1,262). He was selected to the Pro Bowl four times, and he finished his career in 2018 with the Raiders.
His accolades include the Texas Athletics Hall of Honor, Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, and Texas High School Football Hall of Fame.
He founded and currently serves as the director of the Defend the Dream Foundation in Austin, Texas, which provides low-income and inner-city youth the opportunities and resources to reach their full potential in school and in life. The foundation has helped transform multiple libraries and elementary schools into reading areas called DJ’s Discovery Dens, and he has donated more than 25,000 children’s books.
Montana State University
Defensive Tackle, 1971-73
An amazing combination of quickness and size, Bill Kollar dominated in the Big Sky Conference in the early 1970s, disrupting offenses, blowing past linemen and helping Montana State claim the 1972 conference title. The Warren, Ohio, native now becomes the first Montana State player to ever enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
A First Team All-American in 1973 and a Second Team All-American in 1972, Kollar led the Bobcats to the 1972 Big Sky Championship and an 8-3 record for head coach Sonny Holland. The following season, the team finished in second place at 7-4. College Football Hall of Fame Coach Dennis Erickson, who was an assistant on Holland’s staff at the time, described Kollar and his athleticism as creating havoc for opponents, either by penetrating all along the line or by making plays all over the field, reminding him of Warren Sapp whom he later coached at Miami (FL).
In 1973, the first season Montana State recorded defensive stats, Kollar registered 107 tackles, one sack, three pass break ups and three fumble recoveries. Kollar was named the 1972 Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year, and he was a three-time First Team All-Big Sky performer, becoming the first lineman and second defensive player in Big Sky annals to earn all-conference honors three times.
Kollar, who weighed 267 pounds and was clocked at 4.63 seconds in the 40-yard dash, earned an invite to the 1974 Senior Bowl, claiming MVP honors in the game to become the first defensive player to earn the recognition. He also played in the East-West Shrine Game and was selected to play in the Blue-Gray Game and All-America Bowl.
Kollar’s No. 77 is one of four retired at Montana State, and he has been inducted into the Bobcat Athletics Hall of Fame, Montana Football Hall of Fame, Senior Bowl Hall of Fame (commemorating his 1974 MVP performance), and Warren Sports Hall of Fame in his hometown.
Drafted in the first round (24th overall) of the 1974 NFL Draft by Cincinnati, Kollar played for the Bengals from 1974-77 and the Buccaneers from 1977-82. In 1974, he earned a spot on the NFL All-Rookie Team.
Kollar currently serves as a defensive/special projects coach for the Denver Broncos. His NFL coaching career, which began in 1984, also includes stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons, St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills and the Houston Texans. He appeared on the sidelines as a coach in Super Bowl XXXIII (Atlanta), Super Bowl XXXVI (St. Louis) and helped Denver win Super Bowl 50. He also coached in the college ranks at Illinois and Purdue in the 1980s. Kollar has volunteered with the Montana Special Olympics and served as the Crusade Chairman of the Clermont County (OH) Unit of the American Cancer Society.
Possessing a powerful combination of size, speed and football intellect, Luke Kuechly “looked like Clark Kent and played like Superman.” He amassed the second-most career tackles in the NCAA record books, becoming the most decorated defensive player in Boston College history. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native now becomes the eighth Eagles player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
A two-time First Team All-American, unanimous in 2010 and consensus in 2011, Kuechly made a “clean sweep” of national defensive honors in 2011, including the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, the Butkus Award, the Rotary Lombardi Award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy after leading all collegiate football players in tackles (191) and solo tackles (102). In 2010, Kuechly also led the nation in tackles with 183, including 110 solo tackles. In 2009, he was named a Freshman All-American by the FWAA and registered 158 tackles, including 87 solo tackles. His combined three-year total gave him 532 career total tackles, which ranks second in NCAA history. His 14.0 total tackles per game places him No. 1 in NCAA history, and his 7.87 solo tackles per game rank second in NCAA annals.
Kuechly’s efforts helped the Eagles secure two bowl appearances, the 2009 Emerald Bowl against Southern California and the 2010 Fight Hunger Bowl against Nevada. Despite losses in both games, Kuechly earned Defensive MVP honors in each.
The 2011 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Kuechly was a three-time First Team All-ACC selection and the 2009 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year. He led the conference in tackles per game in each of his three seasons. The 2011 team captain and MVP finished his career as BC’s all-time leader in career tackles (532), career solo tackles (299) and single-season tackles (191 in 2011). He recorded at least 10 tackles in 34-of-38 career games, including a streak of 33-straight games. He ranks third all-time at BC with 44 career tackles for loss. He finished his career with three sacks, seven interceptions, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and 10 pass breakups.
Drafted No. 9 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft by Carolina, Kuechly played for the Panthers his entire career from 2012-19, earning five Pro Bowl selections and starting in Super Bowl 50 for the franchise. He was named the 2012 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and 2013 AP and TSN Defensive Player of the Year.
Kuechly was selected as a member of the FWAA’s 75th Anniversary Team in 2015, and Boston College retired his jersey in 2016.
He currently works as a commentator on the Carolina Panthers radio broadcast team, and he assists with the D.J. Moore Pro Camp. A brand ambassador for Q-Collar, a medical device designed to reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury, Kuechly participated in the NFF’s Future for Football campaign in 2022, highlighting the cutting-edge technology that is making the sport safer.
University of Missouri
Wide Receiver/Kick Returner, 2007-08
Cited by many as the most electrifying player to ever don a Mizzou uniform, Jeremy Maclin dazzled fans in Columbia, impacting the game on offense and special teams during one of the most successful runs in school history. He is the only Tiger ever to be named a two-time First Team All-American, and the Kirkwood, Missouri, native now becomes the eighth Mizzou player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
The only freshman in Missouri history to be named a First Team All-American, Maclin claimed consensus honors in 2007 as an all-purpose/return specialist. In 2008, he earned First Team status again, making him the only player in Missouri history to be a two-time First Team All-American. Maclin holds the NCAA record for all-purpose yards as a freshman (198.3 ypg in 2007), and he led the FBS in all-purpose ypg (202.4) in 2008, competing as a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award that season.
Playing for College Football Hall of Fame Coach Gary Pinkel, Maclin and the Tigers amassed a 22-6 record during his run in Columbia. The team notched consecutive bowl victories, claiming a 37-8 win in the Cotton Bowl over Arkansas after the 2007 season. The following year, the Tigers beat Northwestern, 30-23, in the 2008 Alamo Bowl, and Maclin earned Offensive MVP honors after catching an overtime game-winning touchdown pass from quarterback and NFF National Scholar-Athlete Chase Daniel. Mizzou finished with a No. 4 national ranking in 2007 and a No. 16 national ranking in 2008.
A two-time First Team All-Big 12 performer, Maclin earned conference Freshman of the Year honors in 2007. He set Big 12 records for all-purpose yards as a freshman (2,776 in 2007) and as a sophomore (2,833 in 2008), and the Tigers claimed back-to-back Big 12 North titles.
In just two years at Mizzou and after missing the 2006 season due to an injury, Maclin broke school records for all-purpose yards in a career (5,609), single season (2,833 in 2008) and single game (260 vs. K-State in 2007). He boasts the top two single-season all-purpose-yard performances in school history, and he holds nine of the top 20 single-game all-purpose-yard performances in Mizzou annals. His average combined kick return yards in a career (19.7) and single-season combined kick return yards (1,346 in 2007) stand as school records, and he ranks second all-time in 100-yard receiving games (10) and single-season receiving (102 receptions for 1,260 yards in 2008). He ranks fifth all-time at Missouri in career receiving yards (2,315) despite only playing two seasons.
He finished his career with 182 receptions for 2,315 yards and 22 touchdowns, adding 91 career rushes for 668 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He tallied 48 career punt returns for 577 yards and three touchdowns and 85 kickoff returns for 2,049 yards and two touchdowns.
Drafted in the first round (19th overall) by Philadelphia in 2009, he played for the Eagles until 2014, Kansas City from 2015-16 and Baltimore in 2017. He was a 2014 Pro Bowl selection. Maclin was inducted into the Mizzou Athletics Intercollegiate Hall of Fame in 2014, and he was named an SEC Legend in 2019.
After retiring, he became a high school football coach at his alma mater, Kirkwood High School in the St. Louis area. He founded the J-Mac Gives Back charitable foundation, which provides donations and opportunities to underprivileged children, and he has hosted numerous football camps, backpack giveaways and surprise Mother’s Day events.
University of New Mexico
Wide Receiver, 1985-87, 1989
Terance Mathis arrived at the University of New Mexico as an unrecruited player, but he seized the opportunity and finished his career as the school’s first-ever consensus First Team All-American. The Detroit, Michigan, native also set the NCAA record for career receiving yards and career receptions and now becomes just the second player in Lobos history to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
A 1989 consensus First Team All-American and a Third Team All-American in 1987 (making him both the Lobos’ first consensus and first two-time All-American), Mathis finished his career as the NCAA’s all-time leader in career receptions (263) and receiving yards (4,254). He left New Mexico as the first player in NCAA history with 200 receptions, 4,000 receiving yards and 6,000 all-purpose yards in a career, and he set NCAA records for most games with a touchdown reception (26) and kickoff returns for a touchdown (3). His accomplishments earned him the national spotlight and invitations to the 1990 Hula and Senior bowls.
A three-time First Team All-WAC selection (1986-87, 1989), Mathis held the WAC record for all-purpose yards in a career (6,691) until 2012. A two-time team MVP and recipient of the Reese Hill Award as the team’s top offensive player, Mathis set 24 UNM records by career’s end, still holding numerous career records, including receptions (263) receiving yards (4,254) TD receptions (36), kickoff returns (91) and all-purpose yards (6,691). The 1989 team captain, Mathis led the Lobos in receiving and all-purpose yards in all four years of his career, and he led the team in scoring in 1987 (50) and 1989 (98). He boasts six of the top 10 single-game-receiving performances in school annals.
He finished his career with 263 receptions for 4,254 yards and 36 touchdowns, adding 80 rushes for 393 yards on the ground, and he returned 91 kickoffs for 1,993 yards and three touchdowns and 23 punts for 115 yards during his career.
Drafted in the sixth round by the New York Jets, he played for the Jets (1990-93), Falcons (1994-01) and Steelers (2002). He was named a 1994 Second Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection. He played for the Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII, and he was Atlanta Falcons “Man of the Year” in 1998.
He was inducted into the UNM Athletic Hall of Honor inductee in 2013 and UMN Ring of Honor in 2017. He was named to UNM’s “100 Seasons of Football” All-Time Team and the WAC All-Decade Team of the 1980s.
After his playing career, he worked in NASCAR, forming Victory Motorsports in 2005 and then serving as a vice president of Marketing for Leavine Family Racing, a part-time Sprint Cup Series team. He then became a football coach, serving as the offensive coordinator at Savannah State University and now as the head coach at Pinecrest Academy outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1996, he founded the Terance Mathis Foundation, focusing on serving the Atlanta community by adopting Christmas families, distributing Easter baskets, and supporting other charities in their efforts to assist those in need.
University of Miami, FL
Offensive Tackle, 2000-01
At 6-foot-8 and more than 350 pounds, Bryant McKinnie overpowered and dominated his opponents, never allowing a single sack during his entire college career and helping the 2001 Miami Hurricanes claim the national title. The Woodbury, New Jersey, native becomes the ninth Hurricane player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame, joining his teammates Dan Morgan and Ed Reed who have previously been inducted.
A unanimous First Team All-American in 2001, McKinnie claimed the 2001 Outland Trophy as the best interior lineman in the nation, and he was named the National Player of the Year by CNNSI.com while finishing eighth in 2001 Heisman Trophy voting.
The Canes went to 23-1 during his time in Coral Gables, and the team notched back-to-back postseason wins, beating Florida, 37-20, in the 2001 Sugar Bowl and claiming the national title with a 37-14 victory over Nebraska in the 2002 BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl. Miami finished no lower than No. 2 nationally in his two seasons with the Canes, and McKinnie played a key role on an offensive unit that ranked No. 2 in 2000 and No. 3 in 2001 nationally in total offense. In 2001, McKinnie anchored an offensive line that averaged 5.3 yards per rushing attempt and 43.2 points per game on the way to an undefeated season and the national title.
McKinnie blocked for back-to-back 1,000-yard rushers and protected his Maxwell Award-winning QB Ken Dorsey, who threw for 2,737 yards in 2000 and 2,652 yards in 2001. His hallmark performance came when he dominated in Miami’s 59-0 victory against Syracuse in 2001, never allowing a QB sack during 52 plays. In 2000, he had another signature game versus archrival Florida State, shutting down FSU’s highly acclaimed defense in the Canes’ 27-24 victory.
A two-time First Team All-Big East selection, McKinnie led the Canes to two Big East titles (2000, 2001) and a perfect 14-0 conference record during his career. He was named 2001 Big East Player of the Year by The Football News, and he helped the Canes lead the conference in passing yards and total offense both years.
Selected seventh overall by Minnesota in the 2002 NFL Draft, McKinnie played for the Vikings (2002-10), Ravens (2011-13) and Dolphins (2013). He was a 2009 Pro Bowl selection, and he helped Baltimore win Super Bowl XLVII.
Bryant graduated summa cum laude from Miami with a degree in psychology in 2002, and he was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. He is small business owner and local media contributor. He established the B Major Foundation to provide financial, educational and social resources to single-parent households and to promote AIDS awareness among youths.
Defensive Lineman, 1997-99
Corey Moore brought an extreme intensity and physicality to every single play, relentlessly disrupting opposing offenses en route to becoming the most decorated defensive player to wear a Hokie uniform. The Brownsville, Tennessee, native now becomes only the fifth Virginia Tech player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
A two-time First Team All-American, and just the second Hokie ever to earn unanimous honors (1999), Moore became the first player in history to claim both Lombardi Award and Bronko Nagurski Trophy in the same season. As the leader of Virginia Tech’s famed “Lunch Pail Defense,” Moore anchored the effort, which saw the Hokies led the nation in rushing defense (85.0 ypg) and first downs allowed (352) during the 1998 and 1999 seasons and the nation in scoring defense (10.5 ppg) in 1999. The Football News named him the Defensive Player of the Year in 1999.
The team went 27-9 during his three seasons in Blacksburg, including three bowl berths. The team posted a 7-5 record in 1997, appearing in the 1998 Gator Bowl. The following year, the Hokies improved to 9-3 on the season, defeating Alabama, 38-7, in the Music City Bowl with Moore claiming game MVP honors. In 1999, the Hokies and Hall of Fame coach Frank Beamer crafted the best performance in school history, finishing 11-1 and ranking No. 2 in the final AP Poll after playing in the BCS National Championship Game against Florida State in the 2000 Sugar Bowl, the school’s first ever appearance in a national title game.
The two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year, Moore helped the Hokies claim the 1999 Big East title, and he twice led the conference in sacks, posting 17.5 in 1999 and 13.5 in 1998. He was named the recipient of the Dudley Award by the Richmond Times Dispatch as the top player in the State of Virginia in 1999.
He finished his career with 166 tackles, 58 tackles for loss, 35 sacks, four pass breakups, three fumble recoveries (including one returned for a touchdown), six forced fumbles and three blocked kicks. Moore is the only player in Virginia Tech history who longtime defensive coordinator Bud Foster has bestowed lifetime possession of “The Pail,” the iconic object among Hokie defensive players, signifying blue-collar hard work. The Hokies retired Moore’s jersey in 2010.
Drafted in the third round of the 2000 NFL by Buffalo, he played for the Bills for a single season then later signed a two-year contract with Miami.
Moore currently works in real estate development. He earned a master’s degree in student affairs from Michigan State, and he is working towards a doctorate in higher education administration. He previously worked as an academic advisor and recruiter of minority and first-generation college students at Michigan State.
University of Notre Dame
Linebacker, 1986, 1988, 1990
Using his exceptional football instincts and pass-coverage abilities, Michael Stonebreaker stood in the center of a Notre Dame defense that helped the undefeated Irish team capture the national title in 1988. The River Ridge, Louisiana, native now becomes the 49th Notre Dame player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame, joining his head coach Lou Holtz and teammates Tim Brown, Raghib “Rocket” Ismail, Aaron Taylor and Chris Zorich as inductees.
A two-time First Team All-American, earning consensus honors in 1988 and unanimous laurels in 1990, Stonebreaker finished third in the Butkus Award voting in both 1988 and 1990. During his three seasons playing in South Bend, the Irish went 26-9, including the undefeated 1988 season, which culminated with a 34-21 victory over West Virginia in the 1989 Fiesta Bowl and Notre Dame claiming the national title. Stonebreaker registered 104 tackles in 1988, second most on the team, playing for Holtz and defensive coordinator Barry Alvarez, who would later enter the College Football Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a head coach at Wisconsin.
Stonebreaker led Notre Dame with 95 tackles in 1990 after missing entire 1989 season. During his senior campaign, Stonebreaker was responsible for three of the biggest late-game defensive plays of the season. Against Michigan in the first game of the season, he made a game-deciding interception in the fourth quarter for a 28-24 win. The following week, Stonebreaker made another fourth quarter pick to secure a 20-19 victory over Michigan State. Midway through the season against the No. 2 ranked Miami Hurricanes, he sealed a 29-20 upset with a fourth-quarter fumble recovery at the Irish two-yard line.
The team went 9-3, earning a trip to the 1991 Orange Bowl to play Colorado who claimed a 10-9 win and a share of the national title. The Irish finished No. 6 in the final polls, and Stonebreaker received invitations to the Japan and Hula bowls.
During his three seasons in South Bend, he tallied 220 career tackles, eight pass breakups and five interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.
Selected in the ninth round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, Stonebreaker played three seasons in the league with Chicago, Atlanta, and New Orleans. He played one season in the World League for the Frankfurt Galaxy in 1995.
He currently resides in New Orleans, and he is the owner and operating partner of N.O. Brew Coffee, a cold-drip, handcrafted coffee product. He donates coffee grounds from N.O. Brew to The School at Blair Grocery. Stonebreaker has worked with Saveourlake.com to raise awareness for coastal erosion since 2005, and he is a member of Notre Dame NCSA Advisory Board.
University of Florida
Ranking among the most decorated athletes in college football history, Tim Tebow played with passion and leadership skills equaled by few, inspiring his Gator teammates to a pair of national championships while becoming the first sophomore in history to win the Heisman Trophy. The Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, product now becomes the 10th Gator player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
A consensus First Team All-American in 2007, Tebow claimed the 2007 Heisman Trophy, repeating as a Heisman finalist in 2008 and 2009. He became only the second player in college football annals to repeat as the Maxwell Award winner (2007 and 2008), and he was awarded the 2007 Davey O’Brien Award.
Tebow led Florida to two BCS National Championships, earning MVP honors following the 2009 title game, and he set five NCAA records during his career, helping the Gators rank in the top three in the final AP Polls in three of his four years. Florida went 48-7 during Tebow’s time in Gainesville, and the Gators became the first FBS team to record back-to-back 13-win seasons (2008-09).
The Gators appeared in four consecutive bowl games during Tebow’s time in Gainesville, including victories at the 2007 Tostitos BCS National Championship Game, the 2009 FedEx BCS National Championship Game, and the 2010 Allstate Sugar Bowl.
A three-time SEC Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-SEC selection (2007-09), Tebow led the Gators to the SEC title in 2006 and 2008 (MVP of 2008 game) and three SEC East titles (2006, 2008-09). He made the All-SEC Freshman Team in 2006, and he was named the 2007 Roy Kramer SEC Male Athlete of the Year. He set 14 conference records during his career and his 48-7 career record made him part of the winningest senior class in SEC history.
The two-time team captain set 28 school records during his career and led UF during a school-record 22-game winning streak (2007-09). He threw for 9,285 yards and 88 touchdowns while also rushing for 2,947 yards and 55 touchdowns in his career. He was the first player in NCAA history to rush and pass for at least 20 touchdowns in a season.
A member of the 2009 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, Tebow claimed NFF William V. Campbell Trophy, and he becomes the fourth Campbell honoree to enter the Hall. The first player to be named Academic All-America of the Year for University Division Football in two consecutive years, he won an NCAA Top VIII Award and was a three-time Academic All-American and SEC Academic Honor Roll selection. For his community work in college, he was awarded the 2008 Wuerffel Trophy and the 2008 Disney Wide World of Sports Spirit Award.
He was added to the Florida Football Ring of Honor in 2018 and inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame in 2020. He is included in the University of Florida Hall of Fame Bronze Statues on the west side of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium along with College Football Hall of Fame inductees Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel.
Drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft by Denver, he helped the Broncos to a playoff win during the 2011 season, and he played for the Jets in 2012. He played minor league baseball for the New York Mets from 2016-21.
Currently residing in Jacksonville, Florida, Tebow works as a philanthropist, motivational speaker, author, film producer and broadcaster with ESPN and SEC Network. His charitable work and the Tim Tebow Foundation focuses on special needs ministries, orphan care and prevention, children with profound medical needs and anti-human trafficking.
TROY VINCENT, Sr.
University of Wisconsin
Defensive Back, 1988-91
The first player to earn First Team All-America honors under future College Football Hall of Fame Coach Barry Alvarez, Troy Vincent, Sr., established himself as one of the most dominant players in the Big Ten during his time in Madison. The Trenton, New Jersey, native becomes the 11th Wisconsin player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
Playing on teams that only won four games during his first three seasons and went 9-35 during his career, Vincent helped lay the groundwork for Alvarez who took over the head job in 1990 and would turn the Badgers into perennial contenders.
A First Team All-American in 1991, Vincent was named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Year and a runner-up for the 1991 Thorpe Award. A two-time All-Big Ten selection, he earned First Team honors as a senior and Second Team honors as a junior. He led the league in punt returns (17 for 235 yards) in 1989, and he is tied for ninth all-time in punts returned for touchdowns with three in the Big Ten. In 1990, he set the UW season record for pass breakups with 13.
The team captain and team MVP as a senior, Vincent finished his college career as school leader in punt return yards (773, now third all-time) and passes defended (31, now tied for eighth all-time). He amassed 192 tackles, 31 passes defended and four interceptions during his time in Madison. He recorded 66 punt returns for 773 yards and three touchdowns, and he returned 22 kickoffs for 485 yards.
A 1992 nominee for Jesse Owens Big Ten Athlete of the Year Award, Vincent played in the Japan Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game in 1992.
Taken in the first round (seventh overall) of the 1992 NFL Draft by Miami, he played with the Dolphins (1992-95), Eagles (1996-03), Bills (2004-06) and Washington (2006). He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro pick. Vincent is the only player in history to have received the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award, the NFL Players Association Byron Whizzer White Award and the Sporting News Good Guy Award.
Vincent received the NCAA 2017 Silver Anniversary Award; 2017 Big Ten Ford-Kinnick Leadership Award; 2022 Black College Football Hall of Fame Founders Award. He was inducted into the to the, Pennsbury HS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003, the UW Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008, the State of Pennsylvania Football Hall of Fame in 2011, and Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame in 2012. He received the Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award from the Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Football Foundation in 2000, and he has also been honored by the New Jersey General Assembly with “Troy Vincent Day.”
Vincent serves as the Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the National Football League. He is the recipient of the 2012 Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service for outstanding public service by an athlete, and the 2022 Council of Urban Professionals Breakthrough Leadership Award.
Vincent is an advocate against domestic violence and sexual assault. Being directly affected by domestic violence, both Vincent and his wife, Tommi, share a passion and commitment to promoting the message of “Leadership Over Violence”. They serve their community through developing and advancing policies and initiatives aimed at ending domestic violence and sexual assault.
Additionally, through their foundation, Love Thy Neighbor, the Vincent family is dedicated to humanitarian efforts defined by giving back to those in need throughout communities across America, beginning with their hometown of Trenton, NJ. Vincent serves on the board of directors for the Love Thy Neighbor Foundation, the Roundabout Theatre Company, the Ross Initiative for Sports Equality (RISE) and the Brian Dawkins Impact Foundation.
Running Back, 1997-98, 2000-01
One of the most versatile and tenacious players to ever set foot on the gridiron, Brian Westbrook did it all at Villanova, becoming the first player in college history to finish with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a season. The Fort Washington, Maryland, native now becomes the first Villanova player to ever enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
Westbrook became the first player in Villanova history to earn First Team All-America honors in three different seasons, spending time as a running back, wide receiver and as an all-purpose player. In 2001, he claimed the Walter Payton Award as the best Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) player in the nation after being a finalist the preceding season.
Playing for Hall of Fame Coach Andy Talley, Westbrook finished his Wildcat career holding 41 school records, 19 conference marks and five NCAA records. As a sophomore in 1998, the 5-9, 190-pound Westbrook became the only player in the history of college football at any level to rush for 1,000 yards and receive for 1,000 yards in the same season (1,046 rushing, 1,144 receiving).
A two-time Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year and a three-time First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection, Westbrook rushed for 4,298 yards and 54 touchdowns in his career, averaging 6.2 yards per carry. He also amassed 2,582 receiving yards (averaging 11.7 yards per catch) and 30 receiving scores while adding 2,289 yards and five touchdowns on kickoff and punt returns. In the final game of his collegiate career, Westbrook broke the NCAA All-Divisions record with 9,512 career all-purpose yards. A two-time ECAC Player of the Year, the team went 31-15 during Westbrook’s career, including an undefeated regular season in 1997 and conference titles in 1997 and 2001.
The school’s all-time leading rusher and scorer, Westbrook was one of just five FCS players selected to play in the 2002 Senior Bowl. A 2005 Villanova Wall of Fame honoree, his jersey has been retired, and he was inducted into the Villanova Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 2016.
A third-round pick (91st overall) in the 2002 NFL Draft by Philadelphia, Westbrook played for the Eagles from 2002-09, appearing in Super Bowl XXXIX. He played for San Francisco in 2010. Westbrook was a Pro Bowl selection twice (2004, 2007) and a First Team All-Pro pick in 2007. He was elected to the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Eagles 75th Anniversary Team.
Westbrook works as an NFL analyst for FS1, the Bleacher Report and 97.5 The Fanatic. He established the Brian Westbrook Foundation, which serves underprivileged youth by enriching their financial knowledge, leadership and life skills, and vocational training.
University of Memphis
Running Back, 2002-05
An elusive running back who rewrote the record books, DeAngelo Williams transformed the Memphis program, leading the Tigers to three-straight bowl games for the first time in school history. The Wynne, Arkansas, native now becomes the first Memphis player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
A First Team All-American in 2005, Williams finished seventh in Heisman Trophy voting and was named a finalist for the Doak Walker Award. An AP Third Team All-American in 2004, Williams set an NCAA record with 34 games of 100-plus yards rushing, and he finished his career as the FBS record holder in all-purpose yards (7,573), now ranking fourth. By career’s end, he ranked fourth (now sixth) in FBS history with 6,026 career rushing yards. He ended his senior campaign ranked No. 1 nationally in rushing, with an average of 178.55 yards per game.
The Tigers averaged eight wins per season from 2003 to 2005 behind Williams, and the team earned three-consecutive bowl appearances, the first time in school history. The Tigers won the 2003 New Orleans Bowl, and Williams claimed MVP honors in the Tigers’ victory in the 2005 Motor City Bowl.
A three-time Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year and a three-time First Team All-C-USA performer (2003-05), he remains C-USA’s all-time leading rusher (6,026 yards – more than 700 yards more than the player in second place). He finished his career as the conference’s all-time leader in career rushing touchdowns (55), total touchdowns (60), carries (969), yards per carry (6.2), and 100-yard games (34). He was named to the 2002 C-USA All-Freshman Team.
Williams also holds virtually every career, single-season and single-game rushing record in Memphis history, including career rushing yards (6,026 – nearly 2,500 more yards than the player in second), career carries (969), career touchdowns (60), career rushing touchdowns (55) and 100-yard games (34). He boasts the top two single-season rushing performances in school history with 1,964 yards in 2005 and 1,948 yards in 2004.
He ranks fourth all-time in scoring at Memphis (362 points), the most points ever by a non-kicker, and he led the Tigers in scoring his final two seasons. He finished career with 969 rushes for 6,026 yards and 55 touchdowns, adding 70 receptions for 723 receiving yards and five touchdowns in career. He also returned 60 kickoffs (22.3 avg.) in his career.
He won the inaugural ARA Sportsmanship Award in 2005, and he was the MVP of the 2006 Senior Bowl. In 2012, the school renamed the team MVP award as the “DeAngelo Williams MVP Award” in his honor. Memphis retired his jersey in 2006, and he was selected to the M Club Hall of Fame in 2014. He was an inaugural member of the C-USA Hall of Fame in 2019.
Drafted in the first round (27th overall) by Carolina in 2006, he played with the Panthers until 2014 and then for the Steelers from 2015-16. He twice led the NFL in rushing touchdowns (2008, 2015). He earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2009 and was named a Second Team All-Pro in 2008.
After retiring from football, Williams made a brief tour as a professional wrestler in 2017, and he participated in season 32 of the Amazing Race on CBS in 2020, finishing fourth. His charitable activities include the DeAngelo Williams Foundation, which he founded in 2006 in honor of his mother, Sandra, and four aunts who passed away from breast cancer. The Foundation’s “53 Strong for Sandra” program, has assisted nearly 1,000 low-income women with mammogram and cancer treatments.