May 9, 2007
Former Big Ten standouts Anthony Thompson of Indiana, Dave Brown of Michigan and Rex Kern of Ohio State as well as Penn State head coach Joe Paterno have been elected into the College Hall of Fame as announced today by The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame. The 2007 class, which includes 12 players and two coaches, will be inducted during the 50th Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 4 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. They will be officially enshrined at the Hall in South Bend, Ind., during ceremonies in the summer of 2008.
Thompson was a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year and earned first-team All-America laurels in 1988 and 1989. As a senior, he led the NCAA in rushing and scoring and received the Walter Camp Player of the Year and Maxwell Awards while placing second in voting for the Heisman Trophy. Thompson ended his career with 5,299 yards on the ground and led Indiana to three bowl appearances. He still holds six Hoosier records as the program renamed its Most Valuable Player award in his honor.
Brown played defensive back for a Michigan team that produced a 30-2-1 record and claimed three Big Ten Championships from 1972-74. The two-time first-team All-American recorded 212 career tackles and helped the Wolverines record 11 shutouts in 33 career games. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors all three seasons and was an Academic All-Big Ten selection in 1973.
Kern became the first All-America quarterback to play for legendary coach Woody Hayes and led Ohio State to three straight Big Ten titles from 1968-70 and the 1968 national championship. As a junior, he finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting and was named Rose Bowl MVP. In three years as a starter, Kern passed for 2,444 yards and 19 touchdowns. The recipient of the NFF's National Scholar-Athlete Award earned Academic All-Big Ten accolades in 1970 and an NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship the following year.
Paterno ranks second in all-time victories among major college coaches with 363 career triumphs entering his 42nd year this fall. A member of the Penn State coaching staff since 1950, he has been selected the AFCA Coach of the Year an unprecedented five times. Paterno has led Penn State to national championships in 1982 and '86 and five unbeaten and untied seasons (1968, '69, '73, '86, '94). He is also the all-time leader in bowl appearances (33) and victories (22). Since 1966, Paterno has coached 73 first-team All-Americans, 15 NFF National Scholar-Athletes and seven members of the College Football Hall of Fame. Originally slated as a member of last year's College Football Hall of Fame class, his induction was deferred due to injury.
Founded in 1947, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 1951, which included 32 players and 19 coaches. Overall, more than 800 former players and 170 coaches have been selected to the Hall of Fame from more than 4.4 million who have played the game over the past 139 years.