National Football Foundation

News Detail

NFF CHALKTALK – Nov. 23, 2015, Presented by
Latest news & notes from the world of college football for the week of Nov. 23.
Published: 11/23/2015 5:00:00 PM

(Pictured: 2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee Dick Jauron (Yale) was honored with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the 132nd edition of the Harvard-Yale game. From L-R: NFF COO Matthew Sign, Fidelity Investments Senior Vice President of Analytics, Marketing & Communications Alexandra Taussig, NFF Board Member and former Yale football player Jack Ford, Dick Jauron, Jauron's daughter Kacy, Yale University President Peter Salovey and Yale Athletics Director Thomas Beckett.)

Gov. Doug Ducey and Michael Bidwill to be Inducted Into NFF Leadership Hall of Fame

The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced that Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill have been named co-inductees into the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame. They will be honored together Jan. 7 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix during an affair that will serve as a kickoff event leading up to the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship, which will take place Jan. 11 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Established in 2013, the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame provides the NFF with a powerful platform for recognizing the country’s most influential individuals who have ascended to the highest levels of success and exhibited the critical leadership qualities that transcend ordinary enterprises. The Jan. 7 event marks the continuation of a tradition that began with the inaugural CFP National Championship last year, and each year the NFF will stage an NFF Leadership Hall of Fame induction as part of the kickoff celebration in the title game’s host city.

ESPN’s Mike Tirico Named Emcee of 2015 NFF Annual Awards Dinner

The NFF announced that widely respected ESPN broadcaster Mike Tirico will return for a third time to emcee the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on Dec. 8. A stream of the event will be carried live on ESPN3 beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

“Mike Tirico has always been one of the industry’s most versatile sports broadcasters, expertly calling some of the biggest games in just about every sport,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “Mike has a tremendous love and understanding of football, having called many college games and currently serving as the play-by-play commentator for Monday Night Football. His entertaining insights will add significantly to the pomp and pageantry of the night, and we are so glad he has agreed to return as emcee of one of college football’s marquee events.”

Bonnie Bernstein, Dick Vermeil to Emcee Events Surrounding 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner

The NFF announced that veteran sports journalist Bonnie Bernstein will serve as the moderator for the NFF Annual Awards Press Conference from 9 a.m. to Noon ET while former NFL and UCLA head coach Dick Vermeil will emcee the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, at 11:30 a.m. ET. Both events will take place Dec. 8 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

The press conference will be streamed live on ESPN3, and Bernstein will interview the NFF Major Award honorees, the College Football Hall of Fame inductees and the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments during the event. The press conference will also feature the announcement of the 2015 recipient of the Wuerffel Trophy, named in honor of 1996 Campbell Trophy winner and College Football Hall of Famer Danny Wuerffel (Florida) and given annually to the college football player who best exhibits exemplary community service.

Vermeil will emcee the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. ET as the NFF honors the five 2015 NFF National High School Scholar-Athletes and the five winners of the 2015 Chapter Leadership Awards.

Athletics Directors Molded on the Gridiron

The NFF continues with its campaign showcasing all of the nation’s athletics directors who have played football and how their experiences helped prepare them for leadership roles on our nation’s college campuses. The campaign captures the unique stories of each athletics director, and the stories are appearing throughout the season on Last week’s profiles included Tulsa athletics director Derrick Gragg, who played wide receiver at Vanderbilt, and Louisiana Tech athletics director Tommy McClelland, who played at Northwestern State. Check out all of the athletics director profiles on

This Week on

The NFF continues to promote, the organization’s newest addition to its campaign to highlight the good in the game and the lifelong benefits to those who play it. Recent headlines on the site include:

·         Campbell Trophy Finalist Crittenden Works to Rewrite Narrative About Student-Athletes

·         Sooners Ty Darlington Brings Football Tenacity in Approach to Academics

·         Mom’s Recipe, Mike Lodish’s Name Add Up to Peanut Brittle Glory

·         Stahmer Battles Cancer to Live Football Dreams

Click here to sign up to receive the eNewsletter from The site focuses on the stories that evoke the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal, character building and the drive for academic excellence that exemplifies many of the young men who play football and the families who support them.

Jauron Honored with Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, Presented by Fidelity Investments

2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee Dick Jauron (Yale) was honored on Nov. 21 with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the 132nd edition of the Harvard-Yale game. A First Team All-American following his senior year, Jauron received the Asa S. Bushnell Cup as the league’s Player of the Year and was a First Team All-Ivy League selection all three years of his career from 1970-72. He was also honored as an NFF National Scholar-Athlete in 1972. Click here to read more about Jauron.

During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each inductee returns to his alma mater to accept a Hall of Fame plaque that will remain on permanent display at the institution. Jauron will be officially inducted at the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, held at New York City’s historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

The NFF would like to thank Yale Athletics Director Thomas Beckett, NFF Board Member and former Yale football player Jack Ford, Yale University President Peter Salovey, NFF COO Matthew Sign and Fidelity Investments Senior Vice President of Analytics, Marketing & Communications Alexandra Taussig for taking part in the presentation on the field. Others in attendance included College Football Hall of Fame coach Carm Cozza and Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris. The NFF would also like to thank NBS Sports Network for providing coverage of the salute.

FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll – Week 12

Clemson leads Alabama by just 17 points in the FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll in Week 12 of the season. Notre Dame, Iowa and Oklahoma round out the top five in the poll, in which voters rank the top 16 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Click here to view the FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll Rankings for Week 12.

Click here to view the individual rankings of every voter in the FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll.

Click here
 for notes on Week 12 of the FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll.

The results of the poll will be released every Sunday of the 2015 season and the individual votes of all members will also be made public. The final poll will be released Dec. 6. The pollsters consist of FWAA writers, College Football Hall of Famers, NFF Board Members and highly regarded collegiate administrators who were selected to create a balanced-geographical perspective as well as a diversity of viewpoints from the different roles associated with the game.


Kids and Pros hosted its Locker Room Chat fundraiser on Nov. 17 at the College Football Hall of Fame. The event featured three former quarterbacks: 2004 NFF National Scholar-Athlete David Greene (Georgia), College Football Hall of Famer Joe Hamilton (Georgia Tech) and former Iowa State Cyclone and Atlanta Falcon Dave Archer. The fundraiser benefits Kids and Pros, a local nonprofit that hosts free youth football camps for kids ages 7 to 13. College Football Hall of Fame kicker Kevin Butler (Georgia) served as the emcee.

The Hall welcomed former Virginia Tech Hokie Keion Carpenter to the Hall on Nov. 19. He spoke to the Leadership Buckhead group on leadership and entrepreneurship in the Specialty Exhibit delivered by UPS gallery.

:The 2015 SEC Championship Weekend will take place in Atlanta from Dec. 4-6, and the Hall of Fame has a number of public and private events planned, including:

·         Friday, Dec. 4: Rusillo and Kanell will be broadcasting their national ESPN radio show from the Hall on Friday from 1-4 p.m. Danny Kanell was an NFF National Scholar-Athlete from Florida State in 1995.

·         Weekend: A number of local radio shows will be broadcasting from the Hall at various times over the weekend.

·         Sunday, Dec. 6: AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) will be having an event on the Playing Field to make the final announcement of the USA Today Coaches Poll. This is a national event/announcement and will take place at approximately 1:30 p.m.

Come celebrate the holidays at the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience with your family and friends. Starting on Dec. 14, our 95,000 square feet of interactive fun will be decked out with holiday décor, yummy treats and special giveaways and even appearances by our very own Fumbles Claus. It’s holiday fun for the entire family, Hall of Fame style. To purchase tickets, visit


The College Football Hall of Fame opened its doors Aug. 23, 2014, in the heart of Atlanta’s sports, entertainment and tourism district. Adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park, the new Hall provides visitors with a highly immersive, interactive and engaging experience using a blend of historic college football artifacts and state-of-the-art, interactive multimedia exhibits. To plan your visit and purchase tickets, visit


During Oklahoma’s senior day, 2015 College Football Hall of Fame electee Brian Bosworth presented Sooners wide receiver Sterling Shepard with a photo of the 1985 national championship team. Shepard’s late father Derrick was a teammate of Bosworth’s on that Sooner team.

Michigan announced plans to retire the jerseys associated with some of its greatest football legends during a ceremony at the Nov. 28 game against Ohio State. Those being honored include 1972 NFF Gold Medal recipient and U.S. President Gerald Ford (#48) and College Football Hall of Famers Tom Harmon (#98), Desmond Howard (#21), Ron Kramer (#87), Bennie Oosterbaan (#47) and the Wistert brothers (#11) -- Albert, Alvin and Whitey.

College Football Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett (Pittsburgh) leads 14 former football players named to the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Class of Football Legends. Dorsett and the 13 other legends will be honored at the ACC Night of Legends presented by the Belk Bowl on Dec. 4 and during the on-field pregame festivities at the 11th annual Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship.

Inaugural William V. Campbell Trophy winner Chris Howard (1990-Air Force) and College Football Hall of Famer Russell Maryland (Miami [Fla.]) are among six former student-athletes who will be recognized with the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award for their collegiate and professional achievements.

College Football Hall of Famers Woodrow Lowe (Alabama) and Roger Wehrli (Missouri) headline the 2015 SEC Football Legends Class, which includes 14 former stars who excelled on the gridiron and helped write the rich history of the sport at their respective institutions. The class will be honored at the 2015 SEC Football “Weekend of Champions” Dec. 4-5 in Atlanta  in conjunction with the SEC Championship Game.

College Football Hall of Famer Doug Williams (Grambling State) will join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor during the Buccaneers game on Dec. 6.

College Football Hall of Famer and 1973 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Randy Gradishar (Ohio State) was named the 2015 Bronko Nagurski Legends Award winner by the Charlotte (N.C.) Touchdown Club in conjunction with the Football Writers Association of America. The award, which recognizes outstanding defensive football players from the past 40 years, will be presented Dec. 7.

2015 NFF Gold Medal recipient and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is the honoree of A Conversation With a Living Legend®, benefiting The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, on Dec. 1 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Updates

Offensive guard E.K. Binns led a Navy offense that rolled up 512 yards on the ground as the Midshipmen beat Tulsa 44-21. He helped block for quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who became Navy’s all-time leading rusher with 4,195 yards. The Navy seniors learned their Service Assignments last week, and Binns will become a Naval Flight Officer after graduation. No. 16 Navy will play at Houston for the American Athletic Conference West Division title Friday at Noon ET on ABC and a spot in the league title game.

Center Jacoby Boren and Ohio State fell to Michigan State over the weekend. The No. 8 Buckeyes will finish up the regular season at archrival No. 11 Michigan on Saturday at Noon ET on ABC.

Center Jake Brendel blocked for 2015 NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete Josh Rosen, who threw for 220 yards and a touchdown as the Bruins upset Utah 17-9. UCLA’s game against USC on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN2 will determine the Pac-12 South winner.

Defensive back Taveze Calhoun had five tackles and two pass breakups in Mississippi State’s 51-50 shootout win over Arkansas. The Bulldogs move to 8-3 and will host Ole Miss in the Battle for the Golden Egg to close out the regular season on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Defensive end Derek Crittenden missed Montana’s game against Montana State to participate in the interview process for the Rhodes Scholarship. The Grizzlies won the game 54-35.  Crittenden will be back in action when Montana hosts South Dakota State in the first round of the FCS Playoffs on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN3.

Oklahoma center Ty Darlington was named a First Team Academic All-Big 12 selection. He helped Oklahoma outgain TCU 536-390 in the Sooners’ 30-29 victory. The No. 5 Sooners move to 10-1 and will play at No. 10 Oklahoma State for Bedlam with the Big 12 title on the line on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Nevada linebacker Jordan Dobrich recorded eight tackles and returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown in the Wolf Pack’s close loss to Utah State. Nevada moves to 6-5 and will finish the regular season at San Diego State on Saturday at 10:45 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Baylor offensive tackle Spencer Drango was named a First Team Academic All-Big 12 selection, and he is also one of six semifinalists for the Outland Trophy. He helped the Bears offense gain 700 yards of total offense in a 45-35 win over Oklahoma State. No. 7 Baylor will play at No. 15 TCU on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, with an opportunity to win the Big 12 title.

Quarterback Blake Frohnapfel threw for 181 yards, but UMass came up short against Miami (Ohio). The Minutemen will close out the 2015 season at Buffalo on Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

Kent State safety Jordan Italiano had eight tackles in the Golden Flashes’ loss to Central Michigan last Wednesday. Kent State closes out its 2015 season against archrival Akron on Friday at Noon ET on the American Sports Network/ESPN3.

Mount Union (Ohio) linebacker Hank Spencer won the Gene Slaughter Award as the Ohio Athletic Conference’s top linebacker and was named first team all-conference. He had four tackles and contributed one of the Purple Raiders’ team and playoff record 12 sacks in a 55-23 defeat of St. Lawrence (N.Y.) in the first round of the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs. No. 1 Mount Union will host No. 18 ranked Albright (Pa.) in the second round on Saturday at Noon ET. The game can be watched live on their website.

Reigning Harlon Hill Trophy winner, Ferris State (Mich.) quarterback Jason Vander Laan, was officially announced as one of the 38 candidates vying for the 2015 Harlon Hill Trophy. The Bulldogs won their first playoff game in 19 seasons with a 48-30 victory over Texas A&M-Commerce in the first round of the NCAA Division II Football Playoffs. Vander Laan led the way, completing 12 passes for 105 yards while adding 29 carries for 97 yards and five rushing touchdowns. Ferris State will host rival Grand Valley State (Mich.) in the second round on Saturday at Noon ET on Ferris Television.

NFF Program Updates

The NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Day, presented by Fidelity Investments, is a daily segment honoring the semifinalists for the 2015 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments. Today’s honoree is 2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete and Campbell Trophy finalist Taveze Calhoun, a defensive back at Mississippi State who graduated in May with a 3.51 GPA in interdisciplinary studies.

“This Week in College Football History,” which takes a look back at some of college football’s landmark moments over the last 147 years, is posted each Friday on the NFF website. Click here to check out the games for Nov. 23-29.

Each week during the season, the NFF produces a comprehensive television schedule for all Division I games complete with date, time, teams and on-air talent listings. Email to receive the listing via email or visit


College Football Playoff

Fans can start making plans to be a part of the 2016 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship in Glendale, Ariz., which will take place Jan. 11, through Playoff Premium’s variety of packages at various price ranges and seating locations. Click here for more information… Event organizers announced a free concert series around the CFP National Championship that will run the Friday-Sunday before the game… The Fiesta Bowl and the CFP Foundation are donating $100,000 to support Teach For America's local efforts in Phoenix…

FCS Playoffs

The field of 24 teams competing for the 2015 NCAA Division I Football Championship was announced over the weekend…

Bowl Games

The NCAA football oversight committee is expected to provide guidelines for matching bowls with sub-.500 teams if there are not enough bowl-eligible squads to fill the record 80 postseason spots available this year…

New Football Schools

Kennesaw State concluded its inaugural football season with a 6-5 record, becoming just the third FCS program since 2008 to post a winning season in its debut year…


ABC scored a 7.0 rating for the broadcast of Michigan State’s 17-14 upset of undefeated Ohio State, making it the highest-rated college football game so far this season… Michigan’s 28-16 win over Penn State on ESPN netted a 4.1 rating, making it the most-watched noon ET game in college football this season.… IMG released its audio montage for Week 12 of the season, featuring dramatic calls by its team of announcers from around the country…


Clark Atlanta (Ga.) announced the appointment of Lin Dawson as its new athletics director…

Awards and Honors

University of Texas Chancellor William H. McRaven has been chosen as the 2016 recipient of AFCA’s highest honor, the Tuss McLaughry Award… The Yale Athletics Department honored the 2015 recipients of the George H.W. Bush ’48 Lifetime of Leadership Awards at the gala Blue Leadership Bash on Nov. 20…


Average attendance at American Athletic Conference home games has increased by 10 percent from the same point in the 2014 season, while the conference has seen a 36-percent increase in the number of games that attracted at least one million television viewers…


Oregon State held a groundbreaking ceremony in the north end zone for the Valley Football Center Expansion Project… South Carolina is set to host a grand opening at the football team's new indoor practice facility, a $14.3 million project… North Carolina presented a proposal to develop plans for an indoor practice facility on campus for the football program… A zoning board has cleared the way for construction of the Monmouth University Stadium… Liberty announced plans to build a new indoor football practice facility…


Former James Madison football student-athlete Arthur Moats and his wife Shonda made an unprecedented $300,000 financial gift to the university… Mississippi athletics received a $25 million donation from Dr. Gerald "Doc" Hollingsworth, the largest single gift in the athletics department’s history… The athletics director position at Yale has been endowed in current Bulldogs AD Thomas Beckett’s name…


North Dakota announced that Fighting Hawks will be the university’s new nickname…

More News of Interest

Virginia Tech’s football players carried head coach Frank Beamer off the field like a winner following his final home game in Blacksburg… Several members of the Columbia football team took time out to spearhead an “American Football 101” event for the International Student Advisory Board… A new permanent trophy for the Battle Line Rivalry will be up for grabs when Missouri and Arkansas meet on the football field this week…


Former Chapman (Calif.) football player Dan Steele died Nov. 12. He was 22… Former Purdue running back Al Brazen passed away Nov. 13. He was 86… Former Pacific (Calif.) All-American John Podesto passed away Nov. 13. He was 94… Former North Carolina football player Ryan Hoffman died Nov. 16. He was 41… Former North Dakota quarterback Kory Wahl passed away Nov. 16. He was 47… Dick and Joan Flutie, the parents of College Hall of Famer Doug Flutie (Boston College), passed away within an hour of one another on Nov. 18. The two had been married for 56 years… Former Northwestern State president Dr. Randy Webb passed away Nov. 18. He was 72…


Each year, the National Football Foundation invites universities, colleges, conferences and bowl games from across the country to provide support for the NFF programs through its Institutional Academic Membership Program. The program allows the NFF to greatly enhance the power of football's collective voice while actively building a stronger national platform for the game with community leaders, educators and the media. The program is open to all football-playing institutions and conferences at every level of college football and all bowl games, and it reached new levels of support last year. Email Ron Dilatush at to learn about the benefits and how your institution can become a member in 2015. Click here for the 2015 Institutional Academic Members.

Launched in 2008, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association provides a powerful vehicle for past honorees to remain in the vanguard of the NFF’s present efforts. For more information on the program or to enroll for 2015, please email Ron Dilatush at Click here for more information and to see the members of the 2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association.

The NFF relies, in part, on the support of individuals to fulfill our mission of Building Leaders Through Football. The NFF accepts gifts in a variety of forms. In addition to one-time cash gifts, which can be put to use immediately, pledges also allow donors to make more substantial commitments over a longer period of time in support of our programs. Stock and other property which can be easily liquidated are also options when considering a gift. By making a gift of appreciated stock or property, one may reduce or avoid capital gains. Gifts to the National Football Foundation are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Join us! For more information about how you can support the NFF, call 972-556-1000 or click here.


Dec. 7, 2015 – Presentation of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup to the Ivy League Football Players of the Year at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New  York City

Dec. 8, 2015
 – NFF Annual Awards Press Conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– 26th presentation of the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments and prominently displayed at the NYAC, to the nation's top football scholar-athlete at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 8, 2015
– Induction of the 2015 College Football Hall of Fame Class at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 31, 2015
– The 11th Annual NFF National Hall of Fame Salute at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – Atlanta

Jan. 7, 2015
– Leadership Hall of Fame Induction Dinner for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill  – Phoenix

Jan. 8, 2016
– Announcement of the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Scottsdale, Ariz.

Jan. 11, 2016
–College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Ariz. 


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The NFF would like to thank NFF correspondent Bo Carter for his contributions to this report.

NFF Chalktalk items are welcome, and should be submitted to

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