Nearly 450 guests, the largest in history, attended the Fifth Annual Black College Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, which was held on March 1, 2014 at the Loews Atlanta Hotel.
The Class of 2014 included Robert Brazile (Jackson State University), Leroy Kelly (Morgan State University), John Stallworth (Alabama A&M University), Michael Strahan (Texas Southern University), Willie Totten (Mississippi Valley State University), Doug Wilkerson (North Carolina Central University) as player Inductees and Marino Casem (Alcorn State University, Southern University) as a coach Inductee.
The Atlanta Falcons serve as the Presenting Sponsor of the Enshrinement Ceremony, with several of their top executives, coaches and players attending including Owner & Chairman Arthur Blank, Head Coach Mike Smith and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff. Several past Black College Football Hall of Fame Inductees were also in attendance, such as James “Shack” Harris, Doug Williams, Larry Little, Mel Blount, Claude Humphrey, Willie Lanier, Charlie Neal and Coach Willie Jeffries.
Charles Davis and Steve Wyche of NFL Network served once again as the Masters of Ceremonies for the Enshrinement.
Ron Davenport, President of Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio Division, was presented with the Black College Football Hall of Fame Founders Award. The Founders Award was established to recognize individuals who have provided long standing support and a commitment to preserving the legacy and vision of the Black College Football Hall of Fame.
In honor each Inductees, a $5,000 scholarship was awarded to their alma mater. Inductees also received a custom Hall of Fame ring and jacket.
Inductee Michael Strahan pre-recorded his acceptance speech, which the guests were able to watch during the Ceremony (watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3-qqDeJEBM).
Four-time Super Bowl Champion and Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Football Hall of Famer John Stallworth on his induction into the Black College Football Hall of Fame: “I look at the list of guys already in that Hall of Fame, guys that are part of my class, and it’s the names of people I have a lot of respect for,” said Stallworth. “A lot of them are already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This is a special night.”
CLASS OF 2014 (Inductee videos below)
Linebacker … Jackson State University … Inducted into SWAC Hall of Fame (1995) … Inducted into Jackson State Hall of Fame (2003) … Houston Oilers (1975-1984) … 10 seasons … Selected by Oilers in 1st round 6th player overall (1975 NFL Draft) … 1975 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year … Elected to seven Pro Bowls … Named All-Pro six times … Named to 1970s NFL All-Decade Team … Retired with 1,281 tackles which ranks 2nd All-Time in Oilers/Titans record book … Nicknamed Dr. Doom … Born February 7, 1953 in Mobile, AL.
Running Back … Morgan State University … MSU Bears won the 1962 CIAA Championship with Kelly leading team in rushing, scoring and punting … Cleveland Browns (1964-1973) … 10 seasons … Selected by Browns in 8th round, 110th player overall (1964 NFL Draft) … 1964 NFL Champion with Browns … NFL Rushing Champ in 1967 and 1968 … Led NFL in touchdowns from 1966-1968 … Elected to six Pro Bowls … Named All-Pro five times … Named to 1960s NFL All-Decade Team … Won Burt Bell Award (1968) … Inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame (1994) … Born May 20, 1942 in Philadelphia, PA.
Wide Receiver … Alabama A&M University … Two-time All-SIAC performer (1972-1973) … Pittsburgh Steelers (1974-1987) … 14 seasons … Selected by Steelers in 4th round, 82nd player overall (1974 NFL Draft) … Played in six AFC Championships and won four Super Bowls (IX, X, XIII and XIV) … Elected to three Pro Bowls and was twice the Steelers MVP … Scored a touchdown in eight straight playoff games (NFL record) … NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1984) … Named to Steelers All-Time Team and 50th Season All-Time Team … Inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame (2002) … Born July 15, 1952 in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Defensive End … Texas Southern University … Two time 1st Team All-SWAC and SWAC Defensive Player of the Year … Black College Defensive Player of the Year (1992) … Holds TSU Record with 41.5 career sacks … New York Giants (1993-2007) … 15 seasons … Selected by Giants in 2nd round, 40th pick overall (1993 NFL Draft) … Elected to seven Pro Bowls … Named All-Pro six times … NFL record for sacks in a season (22.5) … NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2001) … Super Bowl XLII Champion … Named to 2000s NFL All-Decade Team … Retired with 141.5 career sacks … Named to Giants Ring of Honor … Born November 21, 1971 in Houston, TX.
Quarterback … Mississippi Valley State University … First Team All-American in 1984 … Set more than 50 Division I-AA passing records … Team averaged 59 points per game … Threw for a record 58 touchdowns in one year … Division I-AA’s all-time leader and ranks second in career passing yards (12,711) and single-season passing yards (4,557 in 1984) … Twice led the nation in passing efficiency … Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame (2005) … Buffalo Bills (1987) … One season … Played for Bills during Strike-shortened season … Played a season in CFL (Toronto Argonauts), and three seasons in Arena Football League (1988-1989, 1991) … Born July 4, 1962 in Leflore County, MS.
Guard … North Carolina Central University … Three time All-CIAA honoree … Kodiak All-American (1969) … #63 retired by North Carolina Central University (1970) … Inducted into North Carolina Central University Hall of Fame (1984) … One of fastest lineman to play the game (9.8sec 100yd dash) … Houston Oilers (1970), San Diego Chargers (1971-1984) … Selected by Oilers in 1st round, 14th pick overall (1970 NFL Draft) … Elected to three Pro Bowls (1981-1983) … Inducted into San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame (2000) … Named to Chargers 40th and 50th Anniversary Teams … Born March 27, 1947 in Fayetteville, NC.
Coach … Alabama State University (1963), Alcorn State University (1964-1985), Southern University (1987, 1988, 1992) … Won seven SWAC Championships at Alcorn State. Four time Black College National Champion (1968, 1969, 1974, 1984) … 1984 team finished as Number One team in all of Division I-AA football, the first ever for a Black College … Resigned from Alcorn to become Athletic Director at Southern … Nicknamed The Godfather ... Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (2003) … Career coaching record is 159 wins, against 93 losses with 8 ties … Born June 23, 1934 in Memphis, TN.