Bennie Blades & Carl Eller Join the 2006 College Football Hall of Fame

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Bennie Blades and Carl Eller

From the national ballot of 77 candidates and a pool of hundreds of eligible nominees, Ron Johnson, chairman of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, announced the 2006 College Football Hall of Fame Division I-A Class, which includes the names of 2 Seahawks alumni among 13 All-America players, and two legendary coaches.

The Class will be inducted at the 49th Annual Awards Dinner on December 5, 2006, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. They will be officially enshrined at the Hall in South Bend, Ind. during ceremonies on July 21, 2007.


Bobby Anderson – RB, University of Colorado, 1967-69
Bennie Blades – S, University of Miami, 1984-87
Carl Eller – DT, University of Minnesota, 1961-63
Steve Emtman – DT, University of Washington, 1989-91
Thomas Everett – S, Baylor University, 1983-86
Chad Hennings – DT, US Air Force Academy, 1984-87
Chip Kell – OG, University of Tennessee, 1968-70
Mike Phipps – QB, Purdue University, 1967-69
Mike Rozier – RB, University of Nebraska, 1981-83
Jeff Siemon – LB, Stanford University, 1969-71
Bruce Smith – DT, Virginia Tech, 1981-84
Emmitt Smith – RB, University of Florida, 1987-89
Charlie Ward – QB, Florida State University, 1989, 1991-93

Bobby Bowden – Samford University (1959-62), West Virginia University (1970-75), Florida State University (1976-present)
Joe Paterno – Penn State University (1966-present)


BennieBlades1104Bennie Blades
University of Miami Defensive Back, 1985-87
One of the most decorated defensive backs in college football history, Miami’s Bennie Blades led a ferocious Hurricanes’ defense that paced the school to a perfect 12-0 record in 1987 and its second National Championship.

The recipient of the 1987 Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back, Blades twice earned First Team All-America honors – unanimous recognition in 1987 and consensus honors in 1986. In addition to the national title, he guided the ‘Canes to a 33-3 overall record and three bowl game appearances.

In 1986, Blades led the nation in interceptions and set an NCAA record with .91 per game. By career’s end, he was Miami’s all-time career leader with 19 interceptions and 305 interception return yards. He also set UM records with five consecutive games with a pick and 286 career tackles by a safety. Head coach Jimmy Johnson described Blades as, “the best player at his position that I’ve ever coached.”

Drafted third overall in the first round of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, Blades played for 11 seasons in the NFL with the Lions and Seattle Seahawks and currently resides in Sunrise, Florida.

CarlEller1104Carl Eller 
University of Minnesota Tackle, 1961-63
A devastating defensive force, Carl Eller dominated Big Ten opponents as the undisputed leader of the Minnesota Golden Gophers and will become the third University of Minnesota player inducted in the last five years.

A looming presence at 6-foot-6 inches, 245 pounds, Eller earned consensus First Team All-America status in 1963. As a result of a dominating 1963 campaign, he was invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game, Coaches All-America Game, College All-Star Game and Hula Bowl. A First Team All-Big Ten selection in 1963, Eller was named Minnesota’s Most Valuable Player. In 1984, the University of Minnesota renamed their Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year Award: the “Carl Eller Award.”

Drafted in the first round of the 1964 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, he would become an NFL legend. After 15 seasons, six Pro Bowls, two Most Valuable Lineman Awards and 134 career sacks, Eller was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

A chemical dependency counselor and executive director of the Triumph Life Center, Eller remains active in the community, having also served as the president of the “M” Club, the University of Minnesota Letterman Alumni Society. Currently, Eller lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.