Peyton Manning, Steve Spurrier head College Hall of Fame inductees

By The Sports Xchange   |   Jan. 9, 2017 at 1:11 PM
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Former Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning and head coach Steve Spurrier headline the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame class announced Monday.

Manning and Spurrier, who waged battles as part of the Florida-Tennessee rivalry in the 1990s, are among 10 players and three coaches who will be inducted at the ceremony on Dec. 5.

Manning threw for 11,201 yards and 89 touchdowns during his four years with the Volunteers. He compiled a 39-6 record as a starter and was the Heisman Trophy runner-up as a senior in 1997. Manning was the No. 1 pick of the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL Draft and retired at the end of the 2015 season, winning five MVP awards and two Super Bowl titles -- one with the Colts and last year with the Denver Broncos.

"It's a tremendous honor to represent Tennessee and join the distinguished list of University of Tennessee alumni in the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame," Manning said in a statement. "I've always had great appreciation for the unbelievable history of Tennessee football, coaches and players. I'm extremely appreciative and humbled by this incredible honor."

Spurrier, already in the College Football Hall of Fame as a player at Florida after winning the Heisman Trophy in 1966, had a 228-89-2 coaching record in 26 seasons at Duke, Florida and South Carolina. He led the Gators to six SEC championships and a national title in 1996.

Manning never did beat Spurrier's Gators, going 0-3, and Spurrier was known for needling the Vols in those days but always respected Manning as a player.

"He, Tom Brady and Joe Montana are the three I would give the nod to as the best ever," Spurrier said.

Former Clemson and Arkansas coach Danny Ford was selected to the 2017 class. He led Clemson to the 1981 national championship -- the Tigers' only national title unless they can knock off Alabama on Monday night in the College Football Playoff title game.

Marshall Faulk, Kirk Gibson and Brian Urlacher are among the other players being inducted.

Faulk, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011, had 5,562 all-purpose yards and scored 62 touchdowns at San Diego State from 1991 to 1993.

Gibson, best known for his iconic home run with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1988 World Series over his 17-year baseball career, caught 24 career touchdowns with 2,347 yards as a star receiver at Michigan State from 1975 to 1978.

Urlacher, who went on to be selected to eight Pro Bowls at linebacker for the Chicago Bears, was an All-American defensive back at New Mexico from 1996 to 1999.

Notre Dame linebacker Bob Crable (1978-81), USC quarterback Matt Leinart (2003-05), Texas offensive tackle Bob McKay (1968-69), Texas A&M linebacker Dat Nguyen (1995-98), Georgia Southern running back Adrian Peterson (1998-2001), Boston College nose guard Mike Ruth (1982-85) and Mount Union coach Larry Kehres, who was 332-24-3 from 1986 to 2012, round out the rest of this year's Hall of Fame class.

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