The National Football Foundation revealed the illustrious 2021 class of the College Football Hall of Fame on Monday afternoon, which features 11 All-Americans and two coaches.
One inductee, Tony Romo, heard the news from his NFL on CBS broadcast partner, Jim Nantz, during their call of the Saints-Bears NFC Playoff game on Sunday evening.
"I was just thrilled to give Tony and his distinguished college career its just due on national television," Nantz told Brooklyn Digest. "He was really excited by the recognition. I know he didn't want a big fuss made over it but if your friends can't salute you, then who can?! Overall, a fun 'break in the action' for those of us who think the world of Tony."
The 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class:
Harris Barton - OT, North Carolina (1983-86)
David Fulcher - DB, Arizona State (1983-85)
Dan Morgan - LB, Miami [FL] (1997-2000)
Carson Palmer - QB, Southern California (1998-2002)
Tony Romo - QB, Eastern Illinois (1999-2002)
Kenneth Sims - DT, Texas (1978-81)
C.J. Spiller - RB/KR, Clemson (2006-09)
Darren Sproles - RB, Kansas State (2001-04)
Aaron Taylor - OT, Notre Dame (1990-93)
Andre Tippett - DE, Iowa (1979-81)
Al Wilson - LB, Tennessee (1995-98)
Rudy Hubbard - 83-48-3 (63.1%); Florida A&M (1974-85)
Bob Stoops - 190-48-0 (79.8%); Oklahoma (1999-2016)
Archie Manning, the NFF Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, said in a statement, "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 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class will officially be inducted during the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 7, alongside the 2020 Hall of Fame Class, since this year's event was cancelled because of the pandemic. The honorees will also be recognized at their collegiate institutions with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes during the fall. They will also be immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, and each inductee will receive a ring from Jostens.
NFF President Steve Hatchell said of the 2020 and '21 classes in a statement, "With two College Football Hall of Fame classes, the NFF Annual Awards Dinner will prove to be one of the biggest events in the NFF's history when it returns this December. We are beyond excited to announced the 2021 electees and look forward to maing induction worth the wait for the 2020 class."
- 1 NFF National Scholar-Athlete (Barton)
- 1 Heisman Trophy winner (Palmer)
- 4 unanimous First Team All-Americans (Morgan, Sims, Spiller, Taylor)
- 6 consensus First Team All-Americans (Fulcher (2), Palmer, Sims, Taylor, Tippett, Wilson)
- 3 multi-year First Team All-Americans (Fulcher (2), Sims (2), Taylor (2))
- 5 winners of college football major awards (Morgan – Butkus, Bednarik, Nagurski; Palmer – Heisman; Romo – Walter Payton; Sims – Lombardi; Taylor – Lombardi)
- 1 member of a national championship team (Wilson)
- 5 conference players of the year (Barton, Morgan, Palmer, Romo (3), Spiller)
- 6 members of conference championship teams (Morgan, Palmer, Romo (2), Sproles, Tippett, Wilson (2))
- 8 players who still hold school records (Morgan, Palmer, Romo, Sims, Spiller, Sproles, Tippett, Wilson)
- 5 played for College Football Hall of Fame coaches (Fulcher – John Cooper, Sproles – Bill Snyder, Taylor – Lou Holtz, Tippett – Hayden Fry, Wilson – Phillip Fulmer)
- 7 first-round NFL draft picks (Barton, Morgan, Palmer, Sims, Spiller, Taylor, Wilson)
- 6 offensive players (Barton, Palmer, Romo, Spiller, Sproles, Taylor)
- 5 defensive players (Fulcher, Morgan, Sims, Tippett, Wilson)
- 3 decades represented: 1980s (4) – Barton, Fulcher, Sims, Tippett; 1990s (3) – Morgan, Taylor, Wilson; 2000s (4) – Palmer, Romo, Spiller, Sproles
- 1 school with its first-ever Hall of Fame player (Eastern Illinois – Romo)
- 2 national championships (Hubbard – 1, Stoops – 1)
- 2 Black national championships (Hubbard)
- 12 conference championships (Hubbard – 2, Stoops – 10)
- Most wins in school history (Stoops)
- 23 Bowl/postseason appearances (Hubbard – 5, Stoops – 18)
- 36 First Team All-Americans coached (Stoops)
- 8 national coach of the year honors (Stoops)
- 6 conference coach of the year honors (Stoops)
- Including the 2021 Hall of Fame class, only 1,038 players and 223 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.47 million who have played or coached the game during the past 151 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.
- 314 schools are represented with at least one College Football Hall of Famer.
- Induction for the 2021 Class will take place Dec. 7 during the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner. The event will also feature the induction of the 2020 Hall of Fame Class.