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2012 Black College Football Hall of Fame Finalists Announced


Contact: Marques Fitch
[email protected]

2012 Black College Football Hall of Fame Finalists Announced
Priority Payment Systems Third Annual Enshrinement Ceremony
to be held February 18, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia



October 7, 2011 (Atlanta, GA) – Today thirty-five finalists were announced for induction into the Black College Football Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame’s third annual class of inductees will include 11 members to be honored on February 18, 2012 at the Priority Payment Systems Third Annual Enshrinement Ceremony, taking place in conjunction with Black History Month. The event will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

The Black College Football Hall of Fame was established in October 2009 to honor the greatest football players and coaches from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The first two induction classes are listed below. Some of the 2011 inductees are pictured below as well. Pictured from left to right are: Willie Jeffries, Willie Davis, Lem Barney, Doug Williams, and Mel Blount.

Black College Football Hall of Fame - Class of 2011

  • Lem Barney (DB, Jackson State University, 1963-1966)
  • Mel Blount (DB, Southern University, 1966-1970)
  • Roosevelt Brown (OL, Morgan State University, 1949-1952)
  • Willie Davis (DL, Grambling State University, 1952-1956)
  • "Bullet” Bob Hayes (WR/RB/KR, Florida A&M University, 1960-1964)
  • Joe Kendall (QB, Kentucky State, 1934-1936)
  • Art Shell (OL, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, 1964-1967)
  • Doug Williams (QB, Grambling State University, 1974-1977)
  • Earl Banks (Head Coach, Morgan State University, 1960-1973)
  • Willie Jeffries (Head Coach, South Carolina State University, 1973-2001)
  • Collie J. Nicholson (Sports Information Director, Grambling State University)

Black College Football Hall of Fame – Class of 2010

  • Buck Buchanan (DE, Grambling State University, 1959-1963)
  • Willie “Gallopin’ Gal” Galimore (RB, Florida A&M University, 1953-1956)
  • David “Deacon” Jones (DE, S.C. State & Mississippi Valley State, 1958-1960)
  • Willie “Honey Bear” Lanier (LB, Morgan State University, 1963-1967)
  • Walter “Sweetness” Payton (RB, Jackson State University, 1971-1974)
  • Jerry Rice (WR, Mississippi Valley State University, 1981-1984)
  • Ben “Big Ben” Stevenson (RB, Tuskegee University, 1923-1930)
  • Paul "Tank" Younger (RB/DB, Grambling State University, 1945-1948)
  • Alonzo “Jake” Gaither (Head Coach, Florida A&M University, 1945-1969)
  • Eddie G. Robinson (Head Coach, Grambling State University, 1941-1997)
  • Bill Nunn, Jr. (Pittsburgh Courier Journalist and NFL Scout)

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The class of 2012 will include 11 inductees: nine players, one coach and one contributor. A
Selection Committee comprised of prominent journalists and football executives chose the
finalists from a field of more than 230 nominees, and will vote again in the middle of October to
select the inductees for the class of 2011. All living inductees from the previous Hall of Fame
classes will have an opportunity to submit their vote on the class of 2012 as well.

The 35 finalists for 2012 are:

Player Finalists

1) Elvin Bethea (OLB, NC A&T, 1959-1962)
2) Charles Brackins (QB, Prairie View A&M, 1951-1954)
3) Robert Brazile (LB, Jackson State University, 1971-1975)
4) Willie Brown (DB, Grambling State University, 1959-1963)
5) Harry Carson (DE, South Carolina State University, 1972-1975)
6) Richard Dent (DE, Tennessee State University, 1989-1992)
7) Eldridge Dickey (QB, Tennessee State University, 1964-1967)
8) Joe “Jefferson Street” Gilliam, Jr. (QB, Tennessee State University, 1966-1969)
9) LC Greenwood (DE, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 1965-1968)
10) James “Shack” Harris (QB, Grambling State University, 1965-1968)
11) Claude Humphrey (DE, Tennessee State University, 1964-1967)
12) Charlie Joiner (WR, Grambling State University, 1965-1968)
13) Ed “Too Tall” Jones (DL, Tennessee State University, 1970-1973)
14) Leroy Kelly (RB, Morgan State University, 1960-1963)
15) Tyrone McGriff (OL, Florida A&M, 1976-1979)
16) Steve McNair (QB, Alcorn State University, 1991-1994)
17) Jethro Pugh (DE, Elizabeth City State University, 1961-1964)
18) Willie Richardson (WR, Jackson State University, 1959-1962)
19) Johnny Sample (DB/RB, Maryland Eastern Shore, 1954-1958)
20) Shannon Sharpe (TE, Savannah State, 1986-1989)
21) Donnie Shell (DB, South Carolina State, 1970-1973)
22) Michael Strahan (DE, Texas Southern, 1989-1992)
23) Willie “Satellite” Totten (QB, Mississippi Valley State University, 1982-1985)
24) Doug Wilkerson (OL, North Carolina Central, 1966-1969)
25) Rayfield Wright (OL, Fort Valley State, 1963-1966)

Coach Finalists

1) Cleve Abbot (Head Coach, Tuskegee, 1923-1954)
2) Marino “The Godfather” Casem (Head Coach, Alcorn State University, 1963-
3) W.C. Gorden (Head Coach, Jackson State University, 1976-1991)
4) John “Big John” Merritt (Head Coach, Jackson State University & Tennessee
State University, 1953-1983)
5) Ace Mumford (Head Coach, Southern University, 1927-1961)

Contributor Finalists

1) Joe Gilliam, Sr. (Defensive Coordinator, Tennessee State University
2) Jackie Graves (NFL Scout, former director of personnel for the Philadelphia
3) Hornsby Howell (Football Operations, NC A&T University)
4) Ralph Waldo Emerson “Prez” Jones (President, Grambling State University,
5) Lloyd Wells (NFL Scout, Kansas City Chiefs)

The Black College Football Hall of Fame is sponsored by The Shack Harris & Doug Williams
Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization. For more information, visit