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Finalists Announced for Black College Football Hall of Fame

Press Release


Contact:      Jeff McKenzie


                     [email protected]


Finalists Announced for Black College Football Hall of Fame


Inaugural Class of Inductees Expanded to 11;

Priority Payment Systems Inaugural Enshrinement Ceremony 
to be Held February 20 in Atlanta, Georgia


December 10, 2009 (Atlanta, GA) – Thirty-five finalists were announced today for The Black College Football Hall of Fame. The inaugural class of inductees has been expanded to 11 members and will be honored on February 20, 2010 at thePriority Payment Systems Inaugural Enshrinement Ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia, in conjunction with Black History Month.


The Black College Football Hall of Fame was established in October by football pioneer quarterbacks Pro Bowl MVP James "Shack" Harris and Super Bowl MVP 
Doug Williams to honor the greatest football players and coaches from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).


ESPN Monday Night Football Analyst Jon Gruden will serve as Master of Ceremonies and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Statesman Andrew Young will serve as an Honorary Chairman for the Enshrinement Ceremony. The event will be held from 6:00 – 9:30 p.m. at The Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta, Ga. (75 Fourteenth St. NE). Priority Payment Systems is Title Sponsor and The Four Seasons Hotel and King and Spalding LLC have joined as Platinum Sponsors of the Enshrinement Ceremony. For more information visit


The inaugural class of inductees will include eight playerstwo coaches and one contributor. A Selection Committee comprised of prominent journalists and football executives chose the finalists from a field of more than 260 nominees, and will vote again to select inductees. The 35 finalists are:


Player Finalists


Lem Barney (DB, Jackson State University, 1963-1966)

Mel Blount (DB, Southern University, 1966-1970)

Robert Brazile (LB, Jackson State University, 1971-1975)

Rosevelt Brown (OL, Morgan State University, 1949-1952)

Willie Brown (DB, Grambling State University, 1959-1963)

Junious “Buck” Buchanan (DE, Grambling State University, 1959-1963)

Harry Carson (DE, South Carolina State University, 1972-1975)

Willie Davis (DL, Grambling State University, 1952-1956)

Eldridge Dickey (Tennessee State University, 1964-1967)

Willie “Gallopin’ Gal” Galimore (RB, Florida A&M University, 1953-1956)

Joe Gilliam, Jr. (QB, Tennessee State University, 1966-1969)

“Bullet” Bob Hayes (WR/RB/KR, Florida A&M University, 1960-1964)

David “Deacon” Jones (DE, South Carolina State and Mississippi Valley State, 1958-1960)

Ed “Too Tall” Jones (DL, Tennessee State University, 1970-1973)

Leroy Kelly (RB, Morgan State University, 1960-1963)

Willie “Honey Bear” Lanier (LB, Morgan State University, 1963-1967)

Steve McNair (QB, Alcorn State University, 1991-1994)

Marion Motley (RB/LB, South Carolina State University, 1939-1942)

Walter “Sweetness” Payton (RB, Jackson State University, 1971-1974)

Jerry Rice (WR, Mississippi Valley State University, 1981-1984)

Willie “Wonderful Willie” Richardson (WR, Jackson State University, 1959-1962)

Art Shell (OL, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, 1964-1967)

Ben “Big Ben” Stevenson (RB, Tuskegee University, 1923-1930)

Willie “Satellite” Totten (Mississippi Valley State University, 1982-1985)

Paul "Tank" Younger (RB/DB, Grambling State University, 1945-1948)


Coach Finalists


Earl Banks (Head Coach, Morgan State University, 1960-1973)

Marino “The Godfather” Casem (Head Coach, Alcorn State University, 1963-1992)

Alonzo “Jake” Gaither (Head Coach, Florida A&M University, 1945-1969)

Willie Jeffries (Head Coach, South Carolina State University, 1973-2001)

John “Big John” Merritt (Head Coach, Tennessee State University, 1953-1983)

Ace Mumford (Head Coach, 1927-1961)

Eddie G. Robinson (Head Coach, Grambling State University)


Contributor Finalists


Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones (President, Grambling State University)

Collie J. Nicholson (Sports Information Director, Grambling State University)

Bill Nunn, Jr. (Pittsburgh Courier Reporter and Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Scout)


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