John Friesz & Jerry Rice Join 2006 College Football Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame Divisional Class for 2006, which considers players and coaches from NCAA Divisions I-AA, II, III, and the NAIA for induction, has announced two Seahawks alumni amongst four players being inducted. John Friesz and Jerry Rice will be in this year’s class, which will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame during Enshrinement Ceremonies at the Hall, August 11-12, in South Bend, Indiana. The class includes:
Kevin Dent – DB, Jackson State, 1985-88
John Friesz – QB, Idaho, 1986-89
Ronnie Mallett – E, Central Arkansas, 1978-81
Jerry Rice – WR, Mississippi Valley State, 1981-84
Dick Farley – Williams (Mass.) (1983-2003), 114-19-3
John Gagliardi – Carroll College (Mont.) (1949-52), Saint John’s Univ. (Minn.) (1952-present), 432-118-11
Vernon “Skip” McCain – Maryland State (1948-63), 102-21-5
“We are very pleased to announce the 2006 College Football Hall of Fame Divisional Class,” said Johnson. “Often overlooked by the enormous accomplishments by those on the Division I-A level, it is very important for us to recognize those who have been gridiron legends on all levels of college football.”
With 119 chapters and over 12,000 members nationwide, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in America’s young people. NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., Play It Smart, The NFF Center for Youth Development Through Sport at Springfield College (Mass.), the NFL-NFF Coaching Academy, and annual scholarships of nearly $1 million for college and high school scholar-athletes.
University of Idaho
Arguably the greatest player in the 109-year history of the University of Idaho, quarterback John Friesz will become the school’s first-ever inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame. A two-time First Team All-America selection, Friesz twice led the nation in passing and received the 1989 Walter Payton Award as Division I-AA’s National Player of the Year. With over 10,000 career passing yards, he ranks among the Top 20 in Division I-AA history. A Big Sky Conference legend, Friesz was named conference Player of the Year and First Team All-Conference three times while leading the Vandals to three straight conference championships. An eight-time conference Player of the Week mention, he broke virtually every school single-season and career passing record. For all of his prowess, the team’s Most Valuable Player Award was renamed the John Friesz Award. Drafted in the sixth round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, Friesz went on to enjoy a 10-year professional career with four teams. An active member in his community, he has hosted a golf tournament benefiting the American Diabetes Association. A member of Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Friesz also participates in numerous charity events for the Specials Olympics.
Mississippi Valley State University
Wide Receiver, 1981-84
Widely regarded as one of the greatest wide receivers in football history on any level, Mississippi Valley State’s Jerry Rice will join his teammate Willie Totten as both ends of the famed Delta Devil “Satellite Express” will now be members of the College Football Hall of Fame. A two-time First Team All-America selection, Rice finished ninth in the 1984 Heisman Trophy voting as he set numerous Division I-AA records including single-season receptions (103) and receiving yards (1,450). A three-time First Team All-Conference pick, Rice was named the 1984 SWAC Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year for the State of Mississippi. A member of the Super South 11, he shattered school records with 310 career receptions, 4,856 receiving yards and 51 touchdowns. Drafted in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, Rice became arguably the greatest player in NFL history. In 20 seasons, he was named to the Pro Bowl 13 times, won three Super Bowls and broke virtually every receiving record. His NFL totals exceed 1,500 receptions, 22,000 receiving yards and 200 touchdowns. In the community, Rice volunteers with the March of the Dimes, Packard Children’s Hospital, Nike PLAY program, Team Up for Healthy Kids, United Way and The Jerry Rice “127” Foundation.