Two players from the ACC were among the 16-man College Football Hall of Fame class announced Thursday, as North Carolina's Dre' Bly and Georgia Tech's Joe Hamilton became the group's newest inductees.
Bly carved his path to the Hall by earning first-team All-America status three times while with the Tar Heels, the only player in school history to have that distinction. The cornerback terrorized opposing quarterbacks throughout his time in college, leading the nation and setting an ACC single-season record with 11 interceptions during his redshirt freshman season of 1996. His average of 1.0 interceptions per game remain a league record. Bly made 20 interceptions in all during his time in Chapel Hill, setting the league record, a total that currently ranks second in ACC history behind Wake Forest's Alphonso Smith (21, 2005-08). North Carolina went 28-8 during Bly's career, which spanned the Mack Brown and Carl Torbush eras.
Hamilton, meanwhile, can now boast about one more thing when working his current day job in Georgia Tech's recruiting office. The former Yellow Jackets quarterback became the 13th player in school history to be inducted to the College Hall, and the first quarterback in school history. Hamilton was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 1999 behind Wisconsin's Ron Dayne, and won the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's top quarterback. The school record-holder for total offense (10,640), Hamilton helped Georgia Tech earn a share of the ACC title in 1998.
"Joe Hamilton and Dre' Bly join a long list of ACC players and coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame, and we are extremely proud of these members,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statment. “Joe Hamilton was one of the great quarterbacks in this league, and he was a joy to watch play. Dre' Bly was one of the elite defensive backs in the ACC and college football who led the nation in interceptions as a freshman. Both players are woven into the history and tradition of ACC Football, and we are pleased that they are being recognized by the National Football Foundation."