The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame announced the names of 21 new additions to the College Football Hall of Fame on Monday afternoon. Each of the 18 former players and three coaches will be officially inducted during the 64th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6, 2022.
“We are extremely proud to announce the 2022 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said Archie Manning, NFF Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer said in a press release. “Each of these men has established himself among the absolute best to have ever played or coached the game, and we look forward to immortalizing their incredible accomplishments.”
2022 COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS
- LaVar Arrington – LB, Penn State (1997-99)
- Champ Bailey – DB, Georgia (1996-98)
- Michael Crabtree – WR, Texas Tech (2007-08)
- Sylvester Croom – C, Alabama (1972-74)
- Mike Doss – S, Ohio State (1999-2002)
- Chuck Ealey – QB, Toledo (1969-71)
- Kevin Faulk – AP/RB, LSU (1995-98)
- Moe Gardner – DT, Illinois (1987-90)
- Boomer Grigsby – LB, Illinois State (2001-04)
- Mike Hass – WR, Oregon State (2002-05)
- Marvin Jones – LB, Florida State (1990-92)
- Andrew Luck – QB, Stanford (2009-11)
- Mark Messner – DT, Michigan (1985-88)
- Terry Miller – RB, Oklahoma State (1974-77)
- Rashaan Salaam – RB, Colorado (1992-94)
- Dennis Thomas – C, Alcorn State (1971-73)
- Zach Wiegert – OT, Nebraska (1991-94)
- Roy Williams – DB, Oklahoma (1999-2001)
- John Luckhardt – 225-70-2 (76.1%); Washington & Jefferson [PA] (1982-98), California [PA] (2002-11)
- Billy Jack Murphy – 91-44-1 (67.3%); Memphis (1958-71)
- Gary Pinkel – 191-110-3 (63.3%); Toledo (1991-2000), Missouri (2001-15)
From the coaching side, G5 and MAC fans in particular should recognize Gary Pinkel. Pinkel was the head coach of the University of Toledo’s program from 1991 to 2000. With the Rockets, Pinkel went 73-37-3 while guiding the Rockets to three West Division titles and a conference championship. In 1995, Toledo won the MAC and went on to win the Vegas Bowl in a 40-37 thriller over Nevada.
Pinkel was named MAC coach of the year twice (1995, 1997) in his tenure with Toledo.
Pinkel moved on to Missouri after a 10-win season with Toledo in 2000 that included a dominant 24-6 win at Penn State. Pinkel would eventually win the SEC East twice at Missouri and win SEC coach of the year in 2014.
Younger G5 fans may not know much of former Memphis Tigers head coach and, later, athletic director Billy Jack Murphy. However, Tiger fans owe a debt of gratitude to Murphy for helping grow the football program and athletic department as a whole into what it is today.
As coach of the Tigers from 1958 to 1971, Murphy compiled a 91-44-1 record. Murphy’s 1963 team was arguably his best, going 9-0-1 and earning Murphy Coach of the Year honors by the Detroit News. He also led the Tigers to a win in the 1971 Pasadena Bowl.
Murphy passed away in 2008 at the age of 87.
Former Toledo quarterback Chuck Ealey enjoyed an illustrious college career as well as a fruitful professional career in the Canadian Football League.
Under center for the Rockets, Ealey went an astonishing 35-0 and remains the only college football quarterback to go undefeated in his career as a starting quarterback. Ealey was named the MAC offensive player of the year in 1969, 1970, and 1971. He also finished eighth in the voting for the 1971 Heisman Trophy and had his number retired by Toledo in the 1980s.
Boomer Grigsby was a three-time FCS All-American linebacker at Illiniois State from 2002 to 2004.
In 44 games and 40 starts at Illinois State, Grigsby recorded a school record 580 tackles with 41.5 tackles for a loss, 13 sacks, six fumble recoveries, five forced fumbles and seven passes defended.
Grigsby was also named the Gateway Conference Player of the Year three times from 2002 to 2004 and was a finalist for the Buchanan Award (FCS Defensive Player of the Year) in each of those seasons.
Grigsby went on to play in the NFL with the Chiefs, Dolphins, and Texans from 2005 to 2009. Hard Knocks fans likely remember his time on the show when the Chiefs converted him to a fullback prior to the 2007 season.
Dr. Dennis Thomas is one of the most important individuals in the history of HBCU football.
Thomas’ Alcorn State Braves won the SWAC in 1970. He is still the only offensive lineman to be named the MEAC Offensive Player of the Year. During his playing days, Thomas was also a two-time Pittsburgh Courier First Team All-American (1972-73), First Team Black Mutual Sports Network All-American (1973) and the Outstanding College Athlete of America (1974).
After his playing days, Thomas served as an assistant coach for several programs and was the head coach of South Carolina State from 1986 to 1988. Thomas later served as the Athletic Director at Hampton University and was instrumental in the creation of the Celebration Bowl in 2004.
Thomas retired as Commissioner of the MEAC in December after serving in the position since 2002.