The Black College Football Hall of Fame has recently announced its 2015 class. Seven inductees were chosen from a list of 25 finalists who had been determined earlier by the BCFHOF selection committee.
The class includes some great people such as Roger Brown (University of Maryland Eastern Shore), Richard Dent (Tennessee State), L.C. Greenwood (University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff), Ernie “Big Cat” Ladd (Grambling State), Ken Riley (Florida A&M), Donnie Shell (South Carolina State) and W.C. Gorden (Jackson State).
Votes were tallied from the 13-member selection committee, comprised of prominent journalists, commentators and historians, as well as former NFL general managers and executives, and from previous BCFHOF inductees to determine this latest class.
Inductees will be honored at the sixth annual Black College Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony presented by the Atlanta Falcons. The event will be held at the recently opened College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 28, 2015.
Brown, a defensive tackle for UMES, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. The 1958 and ‘59 NAIA All-American played 10 seasons in the NFL. He played for the Detroit Lions (1960-66), Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams (1967-69).
Dent, a defensive end, had a great career at Tennessee State. In 1983, he was a first round draft pick of the Chicago Bears. He played 15 seasons in the NFL for Chicago Bears (1983-1993), San Francisco 49ers (1994), Chicago Bears (1995), Indianapolis Colts (1996) and Philadelphia Eagles (1997). He was named to All-Pro five times and elected to four Pro Bowls. In 2011, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Greenwood, a defensive end from UAPB, was a 1968 Ebony All-American defensive lineman in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. He played 13 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1969-1981). He was named All-Pro twice and chosen to six Pro Bowls. He was a four-time Super Bowl champion (IX, X, XIII, XIV).
Ladd, a defensive tackle from Grambling State, came to the school on a basketball scholarship prior to playing football. He played for the San Diego Chargers (1961-65), Houston Oilers (1966-67), Kansas City Chiefs (1967-68). He was a four-time AFL all-star. He was named All-Pro three times.
Riley, a defensive back from Florida A&M, played quarterback for the Rattlers. He played 14 seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals. In 1969, he was selected in the sixth round by the Bengals. He was converted to defensive back. He was named All-Pro four times. He retired with fourth most career interceptions (65). His 65 interceptions and five TD returns are Bengals team records.
Shell, a strong safety from South Carolina State, was an All-American as a member of the Bulldogs. In 1968, he was inducted into College Football Hall of Fame. He was elected to five Pro Bowls and named All-Pro four times. He was a four-time Super Bowl champion (IX, X, XII, XIV). He retired with most interceptions by a strong safety.
Gorden was the head coach at Jackson State from 1977-1991. He won eight SWAC championships (1980-82, 1985-88, 1990). He played college football at Tennessee State from 1948-52. In 2008, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach. His career coaching record is 118 wins, against 47 losses with five ties.