Spurrier, P. Manning named to College Hall

Ex-Ga. Southern RB Adrian Peterson is among 13 elected.

By Tim Tucker

TAMPA, FLA. — Steve Spurrier and Peyton Manning, who were on opposite sides of the Florida-Tennessee rivalry in the 1990s, will be inducted into the Atlanta-based College Football Hall of Fame this year.

They are among 13 members of the Hall of Fame’s 2017 induction class, announced Monday at the site of the College Football Playoff championship game.

Also elected for induction this year is former Georgia Southern running back Adrian Peterson, who played for the Eagles from 1998-2001 and remains the all-time leading rusher in Division I (FBS and FCS) with 6,559 career yards in regular-season games.

The College Football Hall of Fame is in downtown Atlanta, but the induction ceremony will be held at a National Football Foundation awards dinner in New York in December.

For Spurrier, this will be his second induction into the college football shrine. Inducted in 1986 as a player, he will be enshrined this year for his success as a coach at Duke, Florida and South Carolina.

He will become the fourth person inducted as both player and coach, joining Bobby Dodd, Amos Alonzo Stagg and Bowden Wyatt.

Spurrier is the all-time winningest coach at both Florida, where he won six SEC championships and one national title, and South Carolina. He retired last year.

Manning,Tennessee’squarterback from 1994-97, was elected to the college hall in his first year of eligibility. He retired as an NFL player after last season.

He was 39-6 as Tennessee’s starting quarterback but 0-3 against his Hall of Fame classmate Spurrier’s Gators.

He joins his father, former Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning, in the Hall of Fame, making them the first father-son duo inducted as players. Archie Manning was inducted in 1989.

Other former players in the 2017 induction class are Bob Crable, Notre Dame linebacker from 1978-81; Marshall Faulk, San Diego State running back from 1991-93; Kirk Gibson, Michigan State wide receiver from 1975-78 who went on to a long career in major league baseball; Matt Leinart, USC quarterback from 2003-05 and winner of the 2004 Heisman Trophy; Bob McKay, offensive tackle at Texas in 1968-69; Dat Nguyen, Texas A&M linebacker in 1995-98; Mike Ruth, Boston College nose guard in 1982-85; and Brian Urlacher, New Mexico defensive back in 1996-99.

In addition to Spurrier, two other former coaches will be inducted this year: Danny Ford, who coached Clemson to the 1981 national championship at age 33, and Larry Kehres, who won 93 percent of his games and 11 Division III national championships at Mount Union (Ohio) from 1986-2012.

Peterson will become the second Georgia Southern player in the Hall of Fame, joining former quarterback Tracy Ham. Peterson called his election “an amazing honor” and thanked his hometown of Alachua, Fla., his parents and Georgia Southern.

“Lastly, sincere thanks to the committee for considering me worthy and allowing me to join such an elite class of men,” he said in a statement.