Kerry Collins into Hall of Fame
Former Penn State quarterback Kerry Collins, who led the Nittany Lions’ 12-0 Rose Bowl champion team in 1994, is among the 13-member Class of 2018 in the College Football Hall of Fame.
He’ll be inducted with the rest on Dec. 4, 2-18 in New York City.
Collins is the 25th member (19 players, 6 coaches) of the Penn State football family elected. Linebacker Shane Conlan was the most recent player inductee in 2014. Former Nittany Lion player Bill Bowes, also of Lock Haven High School, was enshrined as the University of New Hampshire head coach in 2016.
Retired Lycoming coach Frank Girardi was also enshrined in 2016.
Collins helped Penn State post a 40-9 record from 1991-94 and was instrumental in the Nittany Lions earning a 22-2 overall mark (14-2 conference) during their first two years in the Big Ten Conference, posting records of 10-2 in 1993 and 12-0 in 1994. The recipient of the 1994 Maxwell Award, he helped coach Joe Paterno’s squad win three New Year’s Day bowl games: the 1992 Fiesta, 1994 Citrus and 1995 Rose Bowls.
A consensus first-team All-American, Collins directed one of most prolific and balanced offenses in NCAA and Big Ten history in 1994. The Nittany Lions led the nation in scoring (47.8 ppg) and total offense (520.2 ypg) and also led the Big Ten in rushing (250.9; 6th nationally) and passing offense (269.3 ypg; 12th nationally). The 1994 offense broke 14 school season records and seven Big Ten season marks for: points scored (526), touchdowns (71), points per game for all games (47.8), points per game for conference games (48.1), total offense (5,722 yards), total offense per game (520.2) and yards gained per play (7.64).
Collins went on to a 17-year NFL career that included starting Super Bowl XXXV for the New York Giants.
Elsewhere, coaches Frank Beamer and Mack Brown were selected, as were former players Ed Reed and Calvin Johnson.
Brown won 244 games in a 30-year head coaching career at four schools that featured 16 seasons and a national championship at Texas.
Beamer built Virginia Tech football into a national power, taking over the program in 1987 and leading the Hokies to a BCS championship game in 1999. His 280 victories rank sixth in FBS history.
Beamer’s son, Shane, is an assistant coach with Georgia, which is playing Alabama in the College Football Playoff championship game on Monday night in Atlanta.
The rest of the class includes Trevor Cobb of Rice; Dave Dickenson of Montana; Dana Howard of Illinois; Paul Palmer of Temple; Matt Stinchcomb of Georgia; Aaron Taylor of Nebraska; Matt Tjeerdsma, who coached Austin College and Northwest Missouri State; and Michigan’s Charles Woodson, whose selection was announced Sunday.
Reed played safety for Miami and was an integral part of the school’s last great teams, including a national title in 2001. He became an all-time great NFL player and Super Bowl winner with the Baltimore Ravens.
Johnson was a star receiver for Georgia Tech, winning the Biletnikoff Award as top receiver in 2006 before going on to a brilliant NFL career with the Detroit Lions.
Cobb won the Doak Walker as the country’s best running back and holds most of Rice’s school rushing records.
Dickenson passed for 11,080 yards in his career and was named the 1994 Division I-AA player of the year.
Howard was the Butkus Award win 1994 as best linebacker.
Palmer is considered maybe the greatest player in Temple history and finished second in the Heisman voting in 1986. He ran for 4,985 yards in his career.
Stinchcomb was one of the best offensive linemen to play for Georgia, named the SEC’s most outstanding blocker in 1998.
Taylor was an offensive lineman on three Nebraska national championship teams, playing center and guard.