John Stallworth tops Class of 2014
Four-time Super Bowl champion John Stallworth and seven-time Pro Bowler Michael Strahan were among the seven players and coaches to be chosen for the Black College Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Stallworth, who starred at Alabama A&M, and Strahan (Texas Southern) will be enshrined in Atlanta on March 1, 2014. Joining them in the Class of 2014 will be Robert Brazile (Jackson State), Leroy Kelly (Morgan State), Willie Totten (Mississippi Valley State), Doug Wilkerson (NC Central) and Marino Casem (Alcorn State).
About the inductees:
• Stallworth was an All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference receiver in 1972 and 1973. After being selected in the fourth round of the 1974 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, he went on to catch 537 passes for 8,723 yards and 63 touchdowns in his 14-year NFL career -- all with the Steelers.
• Strahan was the two-time Southwest Athletic Conference player of the year, recording 41.5 career sacks -- including a school-record 19 during his senior season. He spent his entire 15-year career with the New York Giants after being selected in the second round of the 1993 draft. The 2001 NFL defensive player of the year (22.5 sacks), Strahan played in two Super Bowls, winning a title in Super Bowl XLII.
• Brazile (seven Pro Bowls, five All-Pro designations) played his entire 10-year career with the Houston Oilers and was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1970s.
• Totten, a four-year starter at Mississippi Valley State, had the pleasure of throwing passes to Jerry Rice, setting more than 50 Division I-AA passing records, including 58 TD passes during the 1984 season. He played five seasons in the CFL, NFL and the arena league before eventually returning to MVSU as head coach in 2001.
• During his 10-year NFL career with the Cleveland Browns, Kelly twice led the NFL in rushing (1967-68) and was a six-time Pro Bowl selection while being named to five All-Pro teams. He was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1960s.
• Wilkerson, an offensive lineman, is the highest-drafted player to ever come out of NC Central after being taken in the first round by the Oilers in 1970. A season later, he joined the San Diego Chargers, where he played until 1984 and is a member of the team's Hall of Fame.
• The lone inductee as a coach in the class, Casem, nicknamed "The Godfather," led Alcorn State for 22 seasons and won seven SWAC championships and four Black College National Championships. He also had head coaching stints at Alabama State and Southern University.
An 11-person selection committee led by chairman Roscoe Nance and including former NFL general managers Ernie Accorsi and Gil Brandt picked the seven inductees out of a field of 25 finalists.
Each inductee's college or university will receive a $5,000 grant to support continuing academic and athletic opportunities at their respective institutions.