- Jeff Barlis, College Football
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The College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday announced its 16-member Class of 2014. It included the late, great Alabama linebacker Derrick Thomas (1985-88), Ole Miss tight end Wesley Walls (1985-88) and South Carolina wide receiver Sterling Sharpe (1983-87, although the Gamecocks were not yet part of the SEC when Sharpe played).
Here's a quick look at each inductee:
Thomas won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker in 1988 when he set a Crimson Tide record with 27 sacks as a senior. He was the fourth overall draft pick in the 1989 NFL draft. Thomas had an NFL Hall of Fame career that was cut short by a car accident that cost him his life at 33.
Walls played defensive end in his first three years for the Rebels. He moved to linebacker as a senior and then shifted to tight end full-time, earning first-team All-America honors after catching 36 passes for 426 yards and three touchdowns. He was drafted in the second round in 1989 and played 13 years in the NFL.
Sharpe was the Gamecocks' all-time leading receiver when he left school in 1987 as a first-team All-American, finishing with 169 catches for 2,497 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was picked seventh overall in the 1988 NFL draft and was a five-time All-Pro during a seven-year career that was shortened by a neck injury.
Ivan Maisel: Thomas' election to the college football Hall was long overdue. The reason is simple: Alabama didn't nominate him until 2011.
Podcast: Maisel and Matt Barrie reflect on the careers of the newest members to the College Football HOF.
Photo gallery: Hall of Fame Class of 2014
3hDerek Tyson and Tom VanHaaren
2dMark Schlabach and Sharon Katz