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Black College Football Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2016 Finalists

At a glance: 

  • Finalists have been selected from over 175 nominees.
  • Finalists represent 13 NFL & Super Bowl Championships, 53 Pro Bowl selections, three Pro Football Hall of Famers and 12 Black College Football National Championships.
  • The Class of 2016 Inductees will be announced on October 27, 2015.
  • Inductees will be honored during the Black College Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on February 27, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.

ATLANTA, GA (October 1, 2015) – The Black College Football Hall of Fame announced today the 25 Finalists for induction into the Black College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016. The list includes 20 players and five contributors.

The Finalists were selected from a field of over 175 nominees by a Selection Committee composed of prominent journalists, commentators, historians, former NFL General Managers and football executives. 

"Players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities have an indelible mark on football at all levels,” said Selection Committee Chairman Roscoe Nance. “There has been more talent to come from HBCUs than most people know; this Hall of Fame is about shedding light on that talent.”

“The Selection Committee spends hours on research and deliberation,” said former New York Giants General Manager Ernie Accorsi, a member of the Selection Committee. “Hundreds of former players, coaches and contributors belong in the Black College Football Hall of Fame, so our job becomes more challenging each year.”

This year’s inductees will be announced on October 27, 2015. They will be honored during the Black College Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, on February 27, 2016 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, please visit



  • Joe “747” Adams (QB, Tennessee State University, 1977-1980)
  • Coy Bacon (DL, Jackson State University, 1964-1967)
  • Emerson Boozer (RB, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 1962-1965)
  • Ken Burrough (WR, Texas Southern University, 1966-1969)
  • Harold Carmichael (WR, Southern University, 1967-1970)
  • Raymond Chester (TE, Morgan State University, 1966-1969)
  • Parnell “Paydirt” Dickinson (QB, Mississippi Valley State University, 1972-1975)
  • Len Ford (DL, Morgan State University, 1944-1945)
  • Earl “Air” Harvey (QB, North Carolina Central University, 1985-1988)
  • Harold Jackson (WR, Jackson State University, 1965-1968)
  • Gary “Big Hands” Johnson (DL, Grambling State University, 1971-1974)
  • Leo “Lincoln Locomotive” Lewis (RB, Lincoln University, 1951-1954)
  • Tyrone McGriff (OL, Florida A&M University, 1976-1979)
  • Timothy Newsome (RB/KR, Winston Salem State University, 1976-1979)
  • Jethro Pugh (DE, Elizabeth City State University, 1961-1964)
  • Isiah Robertson (DB, Southern University 1967-1970)
  • Otis Taylor (WR, Prairie View A&M University, 1961-1964)
  • Emmitt Thomas (QB/DB, Bishop College, 1962-1965)
  • Everson Walls (DB, Grambling State University, 1977-1980)
  • Aeneas Williams (CB, Southern University, 1987-1990)



  • Joe Gilliam, Sr. (Defensive Coordinator, Tennessee State University, 1963-1983)
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones (President, Grambling State University, 1936-1977)
  • James Frank (President, Lincoln University, President NCAA and Southwestern Athletic Conference Commissioner)
  • Lloyd C. A. "Judge" Wells (AFL/NFL scout for the Kansas City Chiefs)
  • Kenneth Free (Commissioner, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, 1978 -1996)