Former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Sterling Sharpe has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, highlighting a class of 14 players that also includes late Alabama linebacker Derrick Thomas as well as LaDainian Tomlinson and Tony Boselli.
Sharpe held virtually every receiving record when he left South Carolina after the 1987 season. He had 169 career receptions, 2,497 career yards and 17 touchdowns.
He played seven seasons with the Packers, catching 595 passes for 8,134 yards and 65 touchdowns before a neck injury halted his NFL career. Sharpe retired after the 1994 season, two years before the Packers won a Super Bowl. He then went into broadcasting and currently works for the NFL Network.
Thomas was one of the Hall of Fame's most obvious omissions and Alabama fans had been growing increasingly annoyed by the wait in recent years. He played for the Tide from 1985-88, and won the Butkus Award as the nation's best linebacker as a senior when he had 27 sacks. He finished his career with 52 sacks, a school record.
He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs and made nine Pro Bowls.
Thomas died in 2000 after an automobile accident left him paralyzed. He was 33. He was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
The new Hall of Fame class announced Thursday by the National Football Foundation at a news conference in Dallas also included a couple of Heisman Trophy finalists and two of the best offensive linemen of the early 1990s.
Tomlinson led the nation in rushing in his final two seasons at TCU (1999 and 2000) and finished fourth in the Heisman voting in 2000. Georgia Tech quarterback Joe Hamilton was the Heisman runner-up to Ron Dayne in 1999.
Boselli played tackle at Southern California from 1991-94 and was the second overall draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995. Louisiana Tech tackle Willie Roaf was a finalist for the Outland Trophy as a senior in 1992.
The rest of the players who will be inducted during the National Football Foundation's awards banquet in December are: North Carolina cornerback Dre Bly; Purdue defensive tackle Dave Butz; Penn State linebacker Shane Conlan; Maine linebacker John Huard; Stanford running back Darrin Nelson; UCLA quarterback John Sciarra; McNeese State defensive back Leonard Smith; and Mississippi tight end Wesley Walls.
The two coaches who will join the Hall of Fame are Mike Bellotti, who led Oregon from 1995-2008, and Jerry Moore, who coached at North Texas, Texas Tech and Appalachian State.