ATLANTA, Ga. — Florida A&M University’s storied football program is well represented among the 25 finalists for induction into the Black College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018, formally announced by the Black College Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee on Thursday.
The list which features 22 players and three coaches, included FAMU’scCollege Football Hall of Fame guard Tyrone McGriff, Sr. (1976-79) and All-America offensive tackle Henry “Killer” Lawrence (1970-73).
@ The late McGriff was one of the mainstays for the FAMU Football Program during its’ scintillating stretch from 1977 to 1979, when the Rattlers posted a sparkling 30-5 record under coach Rudy Hubbard, capturing Black College National titles in 1977 and 1978; the first-ever NCAA Division I FCS championship in 1978; and scoring a 16-13 upset of the University of Miami in 1979.
McGriff, who was inducted into the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame in 1996, was inducted into the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame in 1989. He played four seasons (1980-83) with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and played several seasons in the United States Football League (USFL), most notably with Memphis.
@ Lawrence, a two-time All-America, who went on to an All-Pro career with the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders (1974-86), was enshrined into the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.
Recognized by then Raiders coach John Madden during the 1974 Senior Bowl workouts for his ability to neutralize Tennessee State’s great end Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Lawrence was a first round pick of the Raiders, helping them to three Super Bowl victories.
The Palmetto, Florida native was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
@ Also among the 25 finalists with a FAMU connection is coach Joe Taylor (2008-12), who led the Rattlers to a share of the 2010 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title.
Taylor, who is now Director of Athletics at Virginia Union University, fashioned a career featuring over 200 victories, working stints at Howard University, Virginia Union, Hampton and FAMU.
The finalists were selected from a field of over 150 nominees by a 12-member Selection Committee composed of prominent journalists, commentators, historians, former NFL General Managers and football executives.
“The talent that has come from Black College Football programs is incredible,” said Committee Chairman Roscoe Nance, “and that makes selecting the honorees incredibly difficult. Thanks to our Selection Committee for its dedication and commitment and for the tremendous amount of time and effort that the members put into making these decisions.”
The committee will meet again in the coming weeks to select the six members (five players and one coach) who will be inducted as the Black College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
“We congratulate the finalists for the Class of 2018,” said James “Shack” Harris, Black College Football Co-Founder and 2012 Inductee. “Each of these finalists made a significant impact on the game of football, both in college and the professional ranks.”
This year’s inductees will be announced on Oct. 25. They will be honored during the Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, on February 10, 2018, in Atlanta.
PLAYER FINALISTS (22 Players)
Joe “747” Adams (QB, Tennessee State University, 1977-1980)
Coy Bacon (DL, Jackson State University, 1964-1967)
Dwaine Board (DE, North Carolina A&T State University, 1975-1978)
Emerson Boozer (RB, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 1962-1965)
Harold Carmichael (WR, Southern University, 1967-1970)
Raymond Chester (TE, Morgan State University, 1966-1969)
Hugh Douglas (DE, Central State University, 1991-1994)
Earl “Air” Harvey (QB, North Carolina Central University, 1985-1988)
Thomas Henderson (LB, Langston University, 1971-1974)
James Hunter (DB, Grambling State University, 1972-1975)
Henry Lawrence (OL, Florida A&M University, 1970-1973)
Greg Lloyd (LB, Fort Valley State University, 1983-1986)
Leo “Lincoln Locomotive” Lewis (RB, Lincoln University, 1951-1954)
Frank Lewis (WR, Grambling State University, 1967-1970)
Robert Mathis (OL, Alabama A&M University, 1999-2002)
Tyrone McGriff (OL, Florida A&M University, 1976-1979)
Timothy Newsome (RB/KR, Winston Salem State University, 1976-1979)
John Taylor (WR, Delaware State University, 1982-1985)
Everson Walls (DB, Grambling State University, 1977-1980)
Johnny Walton (QB, Elizabeth City State University, 1965-1968)
Erik Williams (OL, Central State University, 1987-1990)
Roynell Young (DB, Alcorn State University, 1976-1979)
COACHING FINALISTS (3 Coaches)
Bill Hayes (Head Football Coach, Winston Salem State 1976-1987, North Carolina A&T 1988-2003)
Arnett “Ace” Mumford (Head Football Coach, Jarvis Christian 1924-1926, Bishop College 1927-1929, Texas College 1931-1935, Southern University 1936-1961)
Joe Taylor (Howard University 1983, Virginia Union 1984-1991, Hampton University 1992-2007, Florida A&M University 2008-2012)