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By Loran Smith, an award-winning writer and a longtime staff member of the University of Georgia Athletic Association. He has been a prolific author, penning a regular column that still appears in the Athens Banner Herald as well as several newspapers around the state, and he has written more than a dozen books. A native of Wrightsville, Ga., Smith is a past chairman of the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and president of the NFF University of Georgia (Athens) Chapter. Cynics exist in every corner, and there were more than a few among the railbirds who observed 31-year-old Vincent Joseph Dooley hiring his coaching staff over the winter of 1963-64. Nobody knew a thing about the young head coach except that he came to Athens as the freshman coach at Auburn (Even President O. C. Aderhold couldn’t remember Vince’s name at the press conference and kept referring to him as “this bright, young coach from Auburn.”)   They sure didn’t have a clue about Erk Russell and ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 8/26/2016 1:17 PM By Alan Cox

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By Loran Smith, an award-winning writer and a longtime staff member of the University of Georgia Athletic Association. He has been a prolific author, penning a regular column that still appears in the Athens Banner Herald as well as several newspapers around the state, and he has written more than a dozen books. A native of Wrightsville, Ga., Smith is a past chairman of the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and president of the NFF University of Georgia (Athens) Chapter. College football has spawned some notable players who loved competition, but also appreciated the game for its inherent values, its heritage and the fact that winning with honor was the way football should be played. Nobody was more of a doting advocate of college football played the old fashioned way—prospering from that envious trade off of playing a game and becoming the beneficiary of a free education—than Art Demmas, Vanderbilt Letterman ('51-'56), who spent his sundown years as the Southern Regional Coordinator for ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 8/26/2016 1:13 PM By Alan Cox

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Below is the speech Jeremy Koen of Danvers High School gave at the NFF Jack Grinold/Eastern Massachusetts Chapter annual awards banquet on May 15, 2016. Good afternoon, I would like to thank everyone in attendance today. In particular, I would like to thank the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Football Foundation for choosing such an accomplished group of student-athletes which I am honored to be a part of. I would also like to thank coach Shawn Theriault who lead my team to win the Northeastern conference, the first time in Danvers High School history, as well as my teammates including Sam Vitale who stood beside me week in and week out, and of course my parents, without whom I would not be the young man I am today let alone standing on this stage. I think I can speak on behalf of the other 32 players in saying that we would not be here today without the support of our families, our coaches and our teachers. It is truly a privilege to play the incredible sport of foo ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 5/19/2016 9:50 AM By Alan Cox

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Below is the speech that Endicott College (Mass.) football player Craig Anderson gave at the NFF Jack Grinold/Eastern Mass Chapter's annual awards banquet on May 15, 2016. First and foremost, I would just like to say what an honor it is to have been chosen to receive such a prestigious award. I know there were plenty of terrific candidates, so it truly is an honor and a privilege to be recognized. I never had the pleasure of meeting Jack Daly, so after learning I had been selected to receive an award in his name I decided to do a little bit of research on him. This is when I learned what an amazing man Mr. Daly was. He was a phenomenal athlete, Lieutenant in the Navy, well-respected official, successful businessman, and a selfless volunteer. Jack Daly was beloved by all who knew him, so being recognized with an award in his name is truly an honor. With all these great high school student athletes sitting up here, I am going to take a page out of my head coach’s book and talk about o ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 5/19/2016 9:41 AM By Alan Cox

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Below is the speech high school scholar-athlete Connor Plante gave at the NFF Vermont Chapter Awards Banquet on May 1, 2016. Good evening, First of all I’d like to thank the National Football Foundation for this induction. Words cannot express how grateful and honored I am. When I began playing football my freshman year, after having played soccer throughout my youth, I would have never imagined this opportunity. Most of all, I’d like to thank my family. They were with me every step of the way, even when I broke my wrist during warm-ups of my third game ever. Where many others would have stopped all together, my family made it clear that there was no doubt that I’d be back the next year. I’d also like to thank everyone who has supported me along the way, including my junior varsity coaches, Pat Brown and Chris Gilbert, who welcomed me into the program with open arms. They taught me the game that I’ve come to love, and without their help, I would not have been able t ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 5/16/2016 2:00 PM By Alan Cox

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Thomas Leavitt, a former quarterback at the University of New Hampshire and now a successful banker and community leader in Vermont, gave the following speech after accepting the NFF Vermont Chapter's Distinguished American Award on May 1, 2016. For its practitioners on the gridiron, football is decidedly not a lifetime sport. I took my last snap, completed my last pass, and booted my last punt the month that 52 Americans began 444 days of captivity after being taken hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. That was a long time ago. But, during perhaps the most formative 12 years of my life, the game was central and defining. This was when I learned about how to compete, how to play by the rules, how to win with dignity, how to handle a supporting role as a good teammate and how to hold up under disappointment. It is when I had the privilege of learning life lessons from coaches named Hogan, McCarthy, Wheeler and Bowes. It is when coaches I did not have the honor of playing for, like Jordan an ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 5/16/2016 1:52 PM By Alan Cox

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Good evening ladies and gentleman. My name is Andrew Brown and I am a senior at East Lyme High School. I have the distinct privilege of representing my fellow players and I who have been recognized for both our excellence in the classroom, and on the football field. It’s startling to remember it has been nearly half of a year since we competed on the football field. Then, we were rivals clawing at each other’s throats, but tonight, we stand together as brothers; brothers who have been given the gift to compete every Friday Night on the gridiron. Coaches, parents, players, and anyone else given the privilege of suiting up on Friday night, can you remember the butterflies fluttering through your stomach before the game? Can you remember the adrenaline pumping through your veins as you stormed the field? Can you remember being in the huddle surrounded by your teammates who have became your family? Finally, can you remember the highest of highs that came after victory, tempered only by the sorrow o ... Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 4/27/2016 12:00 PM By Alan Cox

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1994 NFF Chapter Leadership Award recipient Loran Smith from the University of Georgia Chapter caught up with College Football Hall of Fame Coach Gene Stallings on the former Texas A&M and Alabama coach's ranch in Powderly, Texas.
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Posted on 5/28/2015 1:05 PM By anonymous

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Yanni Halkiadakis, the top scholar-athlete at the NFF Joe Mewhiney (Central Mass.) Chapter, gave a memorable speech at the chapter's Scholar-Athlete Banquet on May 3, 2015, at the Courtyard Marriott in Marlborough, Mass. Halkiadakis was a standout guard and defensive tackle at North Middlesex Regional High School. Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 5/15/2015 8:15 AM By Alan Cox

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Rogers Redding, the national coordinator of College Football Officiating, provides insights about rules changes and the mindset of college football referees. The CFO is the national professional organization for all football officials who work games at the collegiate level. 

Instant Replay has been a key feature on the landscape of college football for a number of years. First experimented by the Big Ten Conference in 2005, it has been used by all ten FBS conferences since 2006. Now several FCS conferences also have Instant Replay for many of their games. Read the rest of entry »

Posted on 5/12/2015 3:49 PM By anonymous

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