Former @LATechFB OT Willie Roaf to be Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame
May 22, 2014
IRVING, Texas - The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced Thursday that former Louisiana Tech offensive tackle Willie Roaf will be enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame 2014 Induction Class.
The 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class includes defensive back Dre Bly (North Carolina), offensive tackle Tony Boselli (Southern Cal), defensive tackle Dave Butz (Purdue), linebacker Shane Conlan (Penn State), quarterback Joe Hamilton (Georgia Tech), linebacker John Huard (Maine), halfback Darrin Helson (Stanford), quarterback John Sciarra (UCLA), wide receiver Sterling Sharpe (South Carolina), cornerback Leonard Smith (McNeese State), linebacker Derrick Thomas (Alabama), tailback LaDanian Tomlinson (TCU), tight end Wesley Walls (Ole Miss), coach Mike Bellotti (Chico State, Oregon) and coach Jerry Moore (North Texas, Texas Tech, Appalachian State).
Roaf will become the fifth Louisiana Tech coach or player to be inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame and the third since 2009 when the induction ceremony is held on Dec. 9 in New York City. LA Tech is tied for second among Conference USA’s 14 football programs and third among Louisiana’s FBS schools in number of College Football Hall of Famers produced. Tech also has as many or more College Football Hall of Famers than Houston, Kansas State, Memphis, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Tulsa.
“We are extremely proud to announce the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said Archie Manning, NFF Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Ole Miss. “Each of these men has established himself among the absolute best to have ever played the game, and we look forward to immortalizing their incredible accomplishments at the new Hall of Fame in Atlanta as an inspiration to future generations.”
A four-year letterman at Tech from 1989-1992, Roaf was selected as one of 14 players and two coaches in this year’s induction class among a list of nominees on the ballot totaling 75 All-America players and six elite coaches.
A native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Roaf became the program’s first consensus All-American in his senior year (1992) while also being named a finalist for the Outland Trophy that season, an award given to the best offensive lineman in college. During his career, Roaf was named All-South Independent and All-Louisiana in 1991 and 1992. Following his senior season with the Bulldogs, he was selected in the first round with the No. 8 overall pick by the New Orleans Saints in the 1993 NFL Draft, the second-highest Bulldog even selected.
His first season wearing the ole Red and Blue marked the University’s first year as a member of Division I-A (now FBS). During his four-year career at Tech, Roaf guided the Bulldogs to a 25-16-3 record (.602 winning percentage) and he never lost a game at home in the friendly confines of Joe Aillet Stadium.
During his time in Ruston, Roaf blocked for two fo the top five career rushers in Louisiana Tech history (Jason Cooper, Jason Davis) and he was key to the longest rushing play in school history, an 88-yard run by Gerald Lawrence against Southern Illinois on Nov. 9, 1991.
He also guided Tech to the 1990 Independence Bowl against Maryland – a game that resulted in a 34-34 tie – and helped Tech to a 12-12 tie at South Carolina in 1991. During his senior year as a team captain in 1992, Roaf helped the Bulldogs to a 10-9 win over Baylor in Waco, Texas.
“I am very excited about being inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame,” Roaf said. “I just tried to improve myself while we as a team wanted to play with the big boys. We worked hard with the coaching staff and it shows how far our program has come and how hard we worked and played. I couldn’t accept this without recognizing the guys I played with and the coaches that coached me – I wouldn’t be there without them.”
Roaf’s No. 71 jersey is one of only two numbers retired by Louisiana Tech, along with Terry Bradshaw’s No. 12. He went on to an illustrious career in the National Football League with the New Orleans Saints (1993-2001) and Kansas City Chiefs (2002-05), becoming an 11-time Pro Bowler and a 10-time All-Pro (a six-time first team All-Pro selection).
He is already a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2012), Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame (2003), Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame (2007) and Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame (2009).
In order to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, a player must have received first team All-America recognition by one of the recognized organizations selecting All-America teams. That list includes the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News and the Walter Camp Football Foundation (a player must receive first team honors by three of the five institutions to be deemed a consensus All-American and by all five to be deemed a unanimous All-American).
After being named a consensus All-American, a player then becomes eligible for consideration by the NFF’s Honors Court 10 years after his last year of intercollegiate football was played. The committee takes a nominee’s post-football record as a citizen in strong regard and, in accordance with the 50-year rule, players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years.
Of the 5.06 million individuals who have played college football since Princeton first battled Rutgers on Nov. 6, 1989, only 1,155 champions of the gridiron (948 players and 207 coaches) have been immortalized in the Hall. In other words, only two ten-thousandths of one percent (.0002) of those who have played the game have been deemed of the honor.
For the first time in the history of the organization, the NFF has combined the inductees from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II, Division III and the NAIA into one class. In 1996, the NFF started formally inducting players from the divisional ranks. College Football Hall of Fame coach Eddie Robinson called the change one of the best things to ever happen in college football at the time, and the change has proven to be extremely successful during the past 18 years with the 144 divisional inductees.
“Combining the inductees into one class allows us to create a unified platform for honoring the game’s greatest legends,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The change completes the process that we began in 1996, creating a cohesive process for what it means to be a Hall of Famer. We are grateful for the guidance, knowledge and vision of honors court chairmen Gene Corrigan (FBS) and Jack Lengyel (divisional) for making the change possible and the essential role that they play each in selecting the inductees.”
The 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be inducted together at the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 9, 2014, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The inductees will also be honored at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 1, 2015, and they will be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with on-campus salutes during the fall. Their accomplishments will be forever immortalized in the new $66.5 million College Football Hall of Fame, currently under construction in Atlanta and scheduled to open in August of 2014.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from Gen. Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, the National Football Foundation (NFF) is a not-for-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 121 chapters and more than 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl and the William V. Campbell Trophy endowed by HealthSouth.
For more information, please visit www.footballfoundation.org.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Football, please follow @LATechFB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.
2014 COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS
Louisiana Tech’s first All-American offensive lineman since 1946, Willie Roaf earned consensus honors in 1992 en route to becoming one of the most dominant blockers in the nation. He becomes the third Bulldog to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.
A finalist for the 1992 Outland Trophy, Roaf led the Bulldogs to a berth in the 1990 Independence Bowl, the school’s first postseason appearance since 1978. The senior team captain twice earned First-Team All-South Independent and All-Louisiana recognition. During his time in Ruston, Roaf blocked for two of the top five career rushers in Louisiana Tech history, and he was key to the longest rushing play in school history, an 88-yard run by Gerald Lawrence against Southern Illinois in 1991.
The eighth overall pick by the New Orleans Saints in the 1993 NFL Draft, Roaf enjoyed a highly-decorated 13-year career with the Saints and Kansas City Chiefs, culminating with his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012. An 11-time Pro Bowl selection, he is a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team as well as the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor.
The Pine Bluff, Ark., native currently resides in Georgia and owns numerous rental properties in Kansas City, Mo. Roaf is enshrined in the Arkansas Sports, Louisiana Sports and Louisiana Tech Athletic Halls of Fame. His mother, Andree, also made history as the first black woman to serve on the Arkansas Supreme Court.
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