December 8, 2022 (Atlanta, GA) – The Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) announced its 14th Class today – the Class of 2023. Eight inductees were selected from a list of 25 Finalists who had been determined earlier by the BCFHOF Selection Committee.
The Black College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023 includes… Leslie Frazier (Alcorn State University), Henry “Killer” Lawrence (Florida A&M University), Albert Lewis (Grambling State University), Jim Marsalis (Tennessee State University), Tyrone McGriff (Florida A&M University), Elijah Pitts (Philander Smith College), Johnnie Walton (Elizabeth City State University), and Coach Pete Richardson (Southern University, Winston Salem State University).
“This Class is another representation of the immense football talent that has played at historically black colleges and universities,” said BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2011 Inductee Doug Williams. “Several of these players were college All-Americans, high NFL draft picks and Pro Bowlers.”
Votes were tallied from the 11-member Selection Committee, comprised of prominent journalists, commentators, and historians, as well as former NFL General Managers and executives, and from members of the BCFHOF to determine the Inductees.
The Class of 2023 will be honored at the 14th Annual Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Presented by the Atlanta Falcons on June 10, 2023. The Induction Ceremony takes place at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.
They will also be recognized at halftime of the Second Annual HBCU Legacy Bowl on February 25, 2023 at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans, LA, which will be broadcast live on NFL Network (3:00pm CT).
For more information please visit www.BlackCollegeFootballHOF.org.
CLASS OF 2023
LESLIE FRAZIER (Player)
Defensive Back … Alcorn State University (1978-1980) … Recruited to Alcorn State University by BCFHOF Inductee Marino Casem … All-SWAC 1st Team Defensive honors …NAIA All-District Team … 1979 SWAC Championship … Signed as free agent by the Chicago Bears (1981-1985) … Two-time Super Bowl Champion (Chicago Bears, Super Bowl XX, as a player; Indianapolis Colts, Super Bowl XLI, as a coach) … Played 65 career NFL games with 20 interceptions, two fumble recoveries, two touchdowns and one sack… Born April 3, 1959.
HENRY “KILLER” LAWRENCE (Player)
Offensive Lineman … Florida A&M University (1971-1973) … 1974 Senior Bowl participant … Selected in the first-round of the 1974 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders … Played with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders for 13 seasons (1974-1986) … Three-time Super Bowl Champion (XI, XV, XVIII) … Two-time Pro Bowler … FAMU Sports Hall of Fame … Born September 26, 1951.
ALBERT LEWIS (Player)
Defensive Back … Grambling State University (1979-1982) … All-Southwestern Athletic Conference … Selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third-round of the 1983 NFL Draft … Kansas City Chiefs (1983-1993) … Oakland Raiders (1994-1998) … Four-time Pro Bowler … Two-time First-team All-Pro… 482 career tackles, 42 interceptions, 12.5 sacks and one touchdown …Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame … Born October 6, 1960.
JIM MARSALIS (Player)
Defensive Back … Tennessee A&I (now Tennessee State University) … (1965-1968) … 1968 CFB All-American … Selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first-round of the 1969 AFL Draft … Kansas City Chiefs (1969-1975) … New Orleans Saints (1977) … 1969 AFL Defensive Rookie of the Year … Super Bowl IV Champion (1970) … Two-time Pro Bowler … For his career, Marsalis intercepted 15 passes for 116 yards, six fumble recoveries and one sack … Born October 10, 1945.
TYRONE MCGRIFF (Player)
Offensive Lineman … Florida A&M University (1976-1979) … Led Florida A&M to an 11-0 season and was named by the Pittsburgh Courier as Black College co-champion as a sophomore … Three-time All-America (1977, 1978, 1979) … Selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 12th round of the 1980 NFL Draft … Played three seasons in the NFL and three in the United States Football League … Born January 13, 1958.
ELIJAH PITTS (Player)
Halfback … Philander Smith College (1958-1961) … Selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 13th round of the 1961 NFL Draft … Green Bay Packers (1961–1969) … Los Angeles Rams (1970) … New Orleans Saints (1970) … Green Bay Packers (1971) … 11-year NFL veteran … Specialized in returning punts and kickoffs while playing both running back positions … Quickly became Captain of Special Teams under Coach Vince Lombardi … Born February 3, 1938.
JOHNNIE WALTON (Player)
Quarterback … Elizabeth City State University (1965-1968) … Four-year starting quarterback … All-CIAA Team his senior year with 114 of 204 passes for 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns … Led the Vikings to an 8–1 record. … Signed with the Los Angeles Rams as a free agent … Los Angeles Rams (1969–1972) … Philadelphia Eagles (1976-1979) … Inducted into the ECSU Hall of Fame on October 25, 1985 … Born October 4, 1947.
COACH PETE RICHARDSON (Coach)
Coach … Winston-Salem State University (1988-1992) Southern University (1993-2009) … Compiled a record of 169–76–1… Won three Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) conference championships … Richardson never had a losing season while at WSSU … During his 17 years as head coach at Southern, the Jaguars football teams won five Southwestern Atlantic Conference Championships, including a three-peat from 1997-99 … Four black college national titles (1993, 1995, 1997 and 2003) … Four Heritage Bowl titles … 12-5 in the Bayou Classic … Born October 17, 1946.
About the Black College Football Hall of Fame
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). Its trustees are football legends Mel Blount, James Harris, Willie Lanier, Art Shell and Doug Williams. 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.
About the HBCU Legacy Bowl
The HBCU Legacy Bowl, presented by the Black College Football Hall of Fame is a postseason all-star game that showcases the top 100 NFL draft-eligible football players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The game will be played on the Saturday, February 25, 2023 (Yulman Stadium at Tulane University), and broadcast live on NFL Network. More than a football game, the week-long celebration of Black culture and history will provide invaluable exposure for HBCU students. HBCU Legacy Bowl Founding Partners include the National Football League, adidas, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes and his 15 and the Mahomies Foundation, Coca-Cola, Coors Light, Home Depot, New Orleans Saints, Riddell, State Farm, Sugar Bowl, Tulane University, Zebra Technologies, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Follow the HBCU Legacy Bowl on social media via @HBCULegacyBowl or visit www.HBCULegacyBowl.com for more information.