Eric Dickerson from SMU, Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch from Nebraska and the late Steve McNair from Alcorn State are among 17 players selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
The other inductees announced today by the National Football Foundation include Florida offensive lineman Lomas Brown, Ohio State running back Keith Byars, LSU defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey, Michigan offensive lineman Jumbo Elliott, Washington State kicker Jason Hanson, Maryland linebacker E.J. Henderson, Alabama linebacker E.J. Junior, UCLA quarterback Cade McNown, Oklahoma State defensive lineman Leslie O’Neal, Virginia defensive back Anthony Poindexter, Minnesota defensive end Bob Stein, Colorado receiver Michael Westbrook, Houston receiver Elmo Wright and Georgia defensive end David Pollack, who is now a prominent college football analyst on ESPN.
The two coaches selected for induction are Dick Sheridan, who coached at Furman and North Carolina State, and longtime Villanova coach Andy Tally.
The latest class for the Atlanta-based hall will be inducted Dec. 8 at the NFF’s awards dinner in New York.
Dickerson goes into the Hall of Fame after a long wait. The star running back was part of SMU’s famed Pony Express backfield with Craig James in the early 1980s. Dickerson ran for 4,450 yards and 47 touchdowns from 1979-82, including 1,617 yards in his senior season.
SMU was hit with NCAA sanctions not long after Dickerson moved on to the NFL, receiving the death penalty in 1986 that shut down the football program for two seasons. While Dickerson was never directly implicated in the pay-for-play scheme that brought down the program, his association with that era of SMU football made it hard for him to gain entry into the College Hall of Fame.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999 after running for 13,259 yards and 90 touchdowns in a 12-year career mostly spent with the Rams and Colts.
“Praise God for His perfect timing,” Dickerson tweeted.
McNair, who was fatally shot in 2009 at age 36, finished third in the Heisman voting in 1994 while becoming a national phenom at Alcorn State, a historically black university in rural southwest Mississippi.
“Air” McNair passed for 14,496 yards and had 16,823 total yards, both Division I-AA records when he left college. In 1994, he accounted for 6,281 yards and and 56 touchdowns at Alcorn State. He was drafted third overall in 1995 by the then-Houston Oilers and led the franchise to the Super Bowl in 1999 after it moved to Tennessee.
Crouch won the Heisman for Nebraska in 2001 and was the Cornhuskers’ last great option quarterback. He ran for 1,115 yards and 18 touchdowns for the ‘Huskers in ‘01, leading them to the BCS national title game against Miami.