Jim Tressel, Bill Snyder get nod for College Football Hall of Fame along with 15 former players

Written by Darrell Wilkinson

Don Montague / The Skyboat
The College Football Hall of Fame inducted 15 new players and two head coaches this year, including Bill Snyder (far right)

Dallas, TX- The Hall of Fame is a grand honor that only the greatest of the greats even have the opportunity to be mentioned in the same breath as the men enshrined before them. The National Football Foundation announced the 15 players and two Coaches who have the honor of joining the great ones before them. Guys like Brian Bosworth, Ricky Williams, Trev Alberts and Zach Thomas along with several other big names highlighted the class while Bill Snyder and Jim Tressel rounded out the coaching class.

Current Kansas State Head Coach Bill Snyder and former Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel were the two coaches inducted this year and the honor seemed rightly due. Coach Snyder became the 4th Head Coach to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame while still currently Coaching, which is a testament to his coaching greatness and a little to his age(as he was eligible for turning 75 years old). Bill Snyder took a program in Kansas State that was arguably one of the poorer(performing) schools in the country and completely changed them around. Coach Snyder has done “one of the best if not the best pure coaching job ever” said Reese Davis before Snyder’s induction. Coach Snyder said he was a little surprised to hear the news of his induction.

“l really wasn’t thinking about it, you get to doing what you do and it doesn’t cross your mind…. I’m honored by it.” said Snyder.

Jim Tressel’s resume is nothing short of spectacular as well, having won 106 games in 10 seasons, one national Championship and three Championship Game appearances, both these Coaches deserved to be apart of the great Coaching names in College Football History.

The 2015 class was linebacker heavy, with Brian Bosworth highlighting those men. Bosworth said he “was brought to tears” by the news and it was “a dream come true for a young Oklahoma kid”. Bosworth is still the only Linebacker to win the Butkus award twice. Other great tacklers to join him were former Texas Tech and Miami Dolphin legend Zach Thomas, Nebraska’s Trev Alberts, and Arizona State’s Bob Breunig. Continuing on the defensive side of the ball was the former dominating defensive lineman from Milsaps (MISS) Sean Brewer and Art Still from Kentucky.

In the State of Texas it was nice to see former Texas running back Ricky Williams inducted. Williams had an amazing and controversial career in both college and the pros. Winner of the 1998 Heisman Trophy and two time Doak Walker award recipient Williams was a dominant force in College Football that no linebacker wanted to face. When Williams ran his last play at Texas he found himself atop the all time NCAA rushing list.

Former Yale running back and former Bears/Bills Coach Dick Jauron, Clinton Jones from Michigan State and back to back national title winner, and the late Rob Lytle of Michigan finish off the list of these great running backs to join the Hall.
In front of every great running back is an offensive line who can move men in front of them and open up lanes for these runners to burst through.

Tackle Lincoln Kennedy from Washington and Pittsburgh’s Ruben Brown were the only offensive lineman to be inducted this year, and while the stereotype is that offensive lineman never get the glory these two were very deserving of a great honor.

On the outside Wes Chandler, formerly of Florida (as a split end) and Notre Dame’s Thom Gatewood left their respective schools with huge records. Chandler left Florida as the schools All-Time leader in touchdown receptions and Gatewood held the Fighting Irish’s career receptions record for 30+ years. Surprisingly there was only one Quarterback in the class to round off the nine offensive players to make the Hall. The Honor went to Marshall’s Michael Payton who won the 1992 College Football Subdivision National Championship.

The landscape of College Football is an ever changing and growing entity of its own. In the midst of this extra week of the College Football season another change is in the form of the announcement date of the College Football Hall of Fame class which will now be held the weekend of the National Championship game. Next year the ceremony will be held in Glendale Arizona.

Full 2015 Hall of Fame Class:

– Nebraska LB Trev Alberts (1990-93)
– Oklahoma LB Brian Bosworth (1984-86)
– Arizona State LB Bob Breunig (1972-74)
– Millsaps(MISS) DL Sean Brewer (1989-92)
– Pittsburgh OT Ruben Brown (1991-94)
– Florida WR Wes Chandler (1974-77)
– Notre Dame WR Thom Gatewood (1969-71)
– Yale RB Dick Jauron (1970-72)
– Michigan State RB Clinton Jones (1964-66)
– Washington OT Lincoln Kennedy (1989-92)
– Michigan RB Rob Lytle (1974-76)
– Marshall QB Michael Payton (1989-92)
– Kentucky DE Art Still (1974-77)
– Texas Tech LB Zach Thomas (1992-95)
– Texas RB Ricky Williams (1995-98)
– Kansas State coach Bill Snyder (1989-2005, 2009-Present)
– Youngstown State and Ohio State coach Jim Tressel (1986-2010)

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