National Football Foundation

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NFF CHALKTALK – Jan. 13, 2016, Presented by
Latest news & notes from the world of college football.
Published: 1/13/2016 5:30:00 PM

(Pictured: Among many NFF events surrounding the CFP National Championship, the announcement of the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class was made on Friday, Jan. 8, at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn, the media hotel for the game. The press conference was moderated by ESPN broadcaster Joe Tessitore (left) and aired live on ESPNU. 2016 electees Randall Cunningham (UNLV - center) and Pat McInally (Harvard -right) attended the announcement, representing the class and sharing their thoughts on induction. Photo by National Football Foundation/Melissa Macatee.)

NFF Proudly Announces Impressive 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class

The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class, which includes the names of 14 First Team All-America players and two standout coaches.

The announcement of the 2016 Class was made on Friday, Jan. 8, at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn, the media hotel for the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship, which was played Jan. 11 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. The press conference was moderated by ESPN broadcaster Joe Tessitore and aired live on ESPNU. The new tradition of announcing the College Football Hall of Fame class before the CFP National Championship began last season before the inaugural CFP title game in Dallas.

The 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class includes Marlin Briscoe (Nebraska Omaha), Derrick Brooks (Florida State), Tom Cousineau (Ohio State), Randall Cunningham (UNLV), Troy Davis (Iowa State), William Fuller (North Carolina), Bert Jones (LSU), Tim Krumrie (Wisconsin), Pat McInally (Harvard), Herb Orvis (Colorado), Bill Royce (Ashland [Ohio]), Mike Utley (Washington State), Scott Woerner (Georgia), Rod Woodson (Purdue), and coaches Bill Bowes (New Hampshire) and Frank Girardi (Lycoming [Pa.]).

Cunningham and McInally attended the announcement while Brooks and Woodson called in, representing the class and sharing their thoughts on induction. Jones, McInally and Woodson participated in pregame festivities and the coin toss on the field during the championship game.

Gov. Doug Ducey and Michael Bidwill Enter the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame

Combining an extreme desire to win with aspirations to make a difference in the community produced two of the major themes on Jan. 7 at the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame induction of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill at the Arizona Biltmore. The induction ceremony served as the kickoff event leading up to the CFP National Championship.

Governor Ducey, who was elected to office in 2014 after a successful business career as the former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, has made an immediate impact on the state, getting the legislature to pass a balanced budget as well as a major education plan. Bidwill has taken his family legacy of owing the Arizona Cardinals and turned it into a force in Arizona for enhancing the state’s reputation as a prime place to conduct business and one of the best places to live in the country.

2016 Hall of Famer and 2015 Campbell Trophy Winner Darlington Honored at CFP National Championship

Along with newly announced 2016 College Football Hall of Fame electees Bert Jones (LSU), Pat McInally (Harvard) and Rod Woodson (Purdue) being honored during the coin toss, 2015 William V. Campbell Trophy winner Ty Darlington (Oklahoma) was also recognized during the CFP National Championship on Jan. 11 between the first and second quarters. He was joined on the field by NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell and NFF COO Matthew Sign. Darlington also appeared on ESPN’s College Football Live during the day.

Darlington, a two-time First-Team Academic All-American who led Oklahoma to the 2015 Big 12 Conference title and a spot in a CFP Semifinal, was named the winner of the 26th Campbell Trophy as college football’s top scholar-athlete at the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City on Dec. 8.

The NFF Salutes the College Football Playoff

The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame salutes the College Football Playoff (CFP) and its staff for their exceptional efforts in staging the Second Annual CFP National Championship along with the Arizona Organizing Committee for their hospitality in hosting multiple first-class events.

“The College Football Playoff continues to exceed everybody’s expectations,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “Executive Director Bill Hancock and his outstanding staff have truly built something special, notching their second year of remarkable events. The CFP National Championship has quickly become one of the most compelling gatherings in all of sports, and the game’s success is a testament to our country’s love of college football. The CFP staff’s attention to detail left nothing to chance, and it marked the second time that they have transformed an entire region, highlighting everything right with our great game as well as the local flare.”

University of Alabama Recognized as 2015 NFF MacArthur Bowl Recipient

The NFF recognized Alabama (14-1) as the recipient of the NFF MacArthur Bowl Championship Trophy following its 45-40 victory against Clemson (14-1) in the CFP National Championship before a sold-out crowd of 75,765 fans at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Alabama’s name will be etched alongside the greatest teams in college football history on the MacArthur Bowl Championship Trophy, which is housed at the College Football Hall of Fame. An event honoring the team will take place at the Hall during the spring.

With the win, Alabama claims the MacArthur Bowl for the eighth time in the school’s history. The Crimson Tide won the MacArthur Bowl in 1961, 1978 and 1979 under College Football Hall of Fame head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, in 1992 under Hall of Fame head coach Gene Stallings, and in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015 under Nick Saban. Saban also won the MacArthur Bowl as the head coach at LSU in 2003. A team in the current SEC has now claimed the trophy 16 times.

North Dakota State is First NCAA Team to Win Five-Straight National Championships

Led by second-year head coach Chris Klieman, North Dakota State (13-2) became the first team across all NCAA divisions in the modern poll era (since 1936) to win five straight titles. The Bison defeated No. 1 seed Jacksonville State (13-2), 37-10, for their fifth-straight FCS title and 13th national title in school history. In front of a record crowd of 21,836 on Jan. 9 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, senior Carson Wentz returned as North Dakota’s starting quarterback after missing more than two months with an injury, and he finished 16-of-29 passing for 197 yards, as well as adding 79 rushing yards.

The Bison, who have amassed an impressive record of 71-5 during their five-year championship run, took a commanding 24-point lead into halftime and never trailed in the game. The Gamecocks, who averaged 529 yards of offense per game and 625 yards per game in the playoffs, were limited to 204 yards by North Dakota State’s defense. Junior linebacker Nick DeLuca racked up nine tackles, an interception and a forced fumble for the Bison.

The NCAA has agreed to a four-year extension with Frisco, Texas, to continue holding the Division I Football Championship title game at Toyota Stadium, its home since 2010.

NFF Presents Divisional Championship Trophies at AFCA Convention

In front of more than 1,500 coaches at the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Annual Convention on Jan. 11, NFF Director of Membership Ron Dilatush presented the National Football Foundation’s divisional national championship trophies to the coaches of the 2015 winning teams at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

North Dakota State was presented with the John F. Kennedy Trophy as the FCS champion after becoming the first program across all NCAA divisions to win five-straight national championships. Northwest Missouri State won its second title in three years, receiving the Asa S. Bushnell Trophy as Division II champion. Mount Union (Ohio), featuring NFF National Scholar-Athlete Hank Spencer, ran away with its 12th national crown and took home the Amos Alonzo Stagg Trophy as the Division III champion. Marian (Ind.) won its second title and took home the Dwight D. Eisenhower Trophy as NAIA champion.

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 Recent profiles include Richmond athletics director Keith Gill, who was a fullback at Duke, and North Dakota State athletics director Matt Larsen, who was a three-year starter at wide receiver for Stony Brook. 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:

·         Rolovich Returns to University of Hawaii to Coach Rainbow Warriors

·         “Bison Pride” is the Key to North Dakota State’s Success

·         Durham Football Players Go All in for Local High School

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.


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


ESPN’s Megacast returned for the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship featuring Alabama vs. Clemson on Jan. 11. Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit, who received the 2006 NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award as part of ESPN College GameDay, were on the call for the game on ESPN while 2015 NFF Annual Awards Dinner emcee Mike Tirico provided play-by-play on the radio broadcast. ESPN had alternate ways to watch the game, including a “Homer Telecast” on ESPNU featuring 2012 Campbell Trophy winner Barrett Jones (Alabama), ESPN broadcaster Joe Tessitore, who moderated the announcement of the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class and former Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd. Former NFF National Scholar-Athlete Brian Griese (Michigan) and College Football Hall of Famer Chris Spielman (Ohio State) took part in the Film Room on ESPN2 while former NFF National Scholar-Athlete Greg McElroy (Alabama) was part of the Finebaum Film Room on the SEC Network. College Football Hall of Famers Desmond Howard (Michigan) and Mark May (Pittsburgh), Hall of Fame coach Mike Bellotti and former NFF National Scholar-Athletes Joey Galloway (Ohio State) and Danny Kanell (Florida State) have taken part in studio coverage surrounding the game.

2016 College Football Hall of Fame electees Bert Jones (LSU), Pat McInally (Harvard) and Rod Woodson (Purdue) were joined by 2015 Hall of Fame inductee Lincoln Kennedy (Washington) and 2007 Hall of Fame inductee Chris Zorich (Notre Dame) as celebrity guests at CFP’s Championship Tailgate prior to the National Championship’s kickoff. Also on hand for the game were former NFF National Scholar-Athletes Christian Ponder (Florida State) and DeMeco Ryans (Alabama).

ESPN’s Megacast presentation of the CFP National Championship delivered a 16.0 overnight rating, ESPN’s third-best overnight for any game, ever, across all sports. The game, presented on multiple streams on WatchESPN through the ESPN Megacast, ranked as the best game ever on WatchESPN across all major metrics, excluding the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Last night’s game was up 23 percent in average minute impressions, 38 percent in unique viewers and 32 percent in total minutes compared to the inaugural CFP National Championship on WatchESPN.

College Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Snyder will return to the Kansas State sidelines in 2016.

College Football Hall of Famer Craig Morton is the recipient of the 15th annual Davey O’Brien Legends Award while 2011 NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award recipient and CBS Broadcaster Verne Lundquist will receive the Charles Ringler Founder’s Award. Both men will be recognized at the 39th annual Davey O’Brien Awards Dinner in Fort Worth, Texas, on Feb. 15. NFF Board Member and Hall of Famer Roger Staubach (Navy) will be a featured presenter.

College Football Hall of Famer Troy Brown (Marshall) will serve as an assistant coach during the 91st East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 23 at 4 p.m. ET on the NFL Network.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its Modern Era finalists for the Class of 2016, which include College Football Hall of Famer Orlando Pace and College Football Hall of Fame coach Don Coryell.

College Football Hall of Fame coach John Cooper was named the recipient of AFCA’s 2016 Amos Alonzo Stagg Award, which is given to those “whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests in football.” Cooper was presented with the award at the AFCA Awards Luncheon on Jan. 12 during the 2016 AFCA Convention in San Antonio.

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 during the NCAA Convention Jan. 14-16.

College Football Hall of Famer Eddie George (Ohio State) will be performing in a seven-week stint in the musical Chicago on Broadway from Jan. 11-Feb. 28, 2016.

College Football Hall of Famer Ed Marinaro (Cornell) will be recognized as the National Honoree at the 31st Annual Louisiana American Italian Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Jan. 16 at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside Hotel.

2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Zach Zenner (South Dakota State) will be honored as one of the 2016 Today’s Top 10 Award winners at the NCAA Convention Jan. 14-16.

2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class Updates

Center Jake Brendel (UCLA), defensive back Taveze Calhoun (Mississippi State) and quarterback Blake Frohnapfel (UMass) will play in the 91st East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 23 at 4 p.m. ET on the NFL Network.

Montana defensive end Derek Crittenden was named to the 18th annual Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) Academic All-Star Team and was chosen as a finalist for the 15th Annual FCS ADA $5,000 Postgraduate Scholarships.

Baylor’s unanimous First Team All-America offensive tackle Spencer Drango will play in the 2016 Reese’s Senior Bowl on Jan. 30 in Mobile, Ala., at 2:30 p.m. ET on the NFL Network.

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 Matt DelMauro, a running back at Bucknell who maintains a 3.76 GPA in accounting/financial management.

Presented by

The NFF Essex County (N.J.) Chapter is hosting its annual Sports Nut Night on Jan. 19 at Mayfair Farms in West Orange, N.J.

The NFF Clark County (Wash.) Chapter will hold its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on Jan. 20 at Hudson Bay High School in Vancouver, Wash. Portland State head football coach Bruce Barnum will be the guest speaker and the chapter will distribute $15,000 in scholarships to six standout scholar-athletes.

The NFF Columbus (Ohio) Chapter will host its 55th Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet on Feb. 8 at the Ohio Union on the campus of Ohio State University. 1994 NFF National Scholar-Athlete and current ESPN broadcaster Joey Galloway (Ohio State) will receive the Ohio Gold Award, the highest honor given by the organization for contributions to amateur football. Fifteen high school scholar-athletes will be presented with John H. McConnell and Worthington Industries Foundation Scholarships and one will be recognized with the Maggied-Romanoff Award as the most outstanding scholar-athlete of the group.

St. Ambrose (Iowa) senior kicker Matt Cotiguala was named the recipient of the 2015 Fred Mitchell Award and will be honored on Feb. 15 at the NFF Chicago Metro Chapter Awards Ceremony at Halas Hall.

The NFF Wyoming Chapter will hold its annual banquet in Laramie on March 19. The chapter will present $1,200 scholarships to finalists from each of the state’s five participation classes and two from the University of Wyoming. The finalists will be selected from a field of 101 nominations from 35 high schools and the University of Wyoming. From the group of finalists, one top scholar-athlete will be awarded a second scholarship and be the state’s nominee to represent the West Region as an NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete.


New Football Schools

After its inaugural season of football, Kennesaw State’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium was listed No. 10 on’s Top 25 ranking of FCS stadiums…


In-stadium attendance for the 2015-16 bowl season showed an increase over last year. Counting the 75,000-plus who attended Monday’s sold-out College Football Playoff National Championship between No. 1 Clemson and No. 2 Alabama, 1,791,733 fans will have attended bowl games this year, according to the Football Bowl Association…


Rice and Pittsburgh will meet in 2017 for the first time since 1951… Coastal Carolina and UAB have scheduled a home-and-home series for 2017 and 2018… LSU completed its 2018 non-conference schedule, including games with Louisiana Tech and Rice… Vanderbilt and Georgia State have both scheduled future games with Tennessee State… The MAC has set the home and away football opponents for the 2016 season…

Bowl Games

The 2015 Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman directly generated nearly $17 million for the Annapolis, Md./Washington, D.C. region…


Todd Berry
will be stepping into the role of executive director of the American Football Coaches Association in February… Texas State introduced Everett Withers as the school’s 16th head football coach… Ball State named Mike Neu as head coach… Texas A&M announced Scott Woodward as its new director of athletics… Western Illinois removed the interim tag from athletics director Matt Tanney’s title… Ashland (Ohio) head coach Lee Owens will lead the American Football Coaches Association in 2016 as president… Indiana announced that head football coach Kevin Wilson has signed a new six-year contract…

Awards and Honors

Clemson’s Dabo Swinney (FBS), Jacksonville State’s John Grass (FCS), Northwest Missouri State’s Adam Dorrel (Division II), St. Thomas (Minn.)’s Glenn Caruso (Division III) and Marian (Ind.)’s Mark Henninger (NAIA) are the 2015 AFCA National Coach of the Year winners… Former Texas head coach Mack Brown will receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards banquet tonight in Houston…


The FWAA honored Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz as the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year at a reception on Jan. 9 in Arizona surrounding the CFP National Championship… Veteran journalist Ivan Maisel, whose work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Newsday, Sports Illustrated and currently on, is the winner of the Football Writers Association of America’s prestigious Bert McGrane Award… Danielle Hoover of the University of Tulsa was named the 19th winner of the FWAA’s Volney Meece Scholarship… The FWAA named its 2015 Freshman All-America Team… The FWAA held its Past Presidents’ Dinner, presented by the American Sports Network, on Jan. 8 in Arizona…


UAB Athletics announced that donations received in 2015 exceeded $5 million… Louisiana-Lafayette’s Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Foundation announced that its Annual Fund had raised a record total of $2.166 million for the 2015 calendar year…

Uniforms and Marketing

Under Armour will become the official outfitter for Yale athletics beginning in 2016…


ESPN’s first play-by-play announcer, Jim Simpson, passed away Jan. 13. He was 88… Former Tennessee-Martin and Vanderbilt head football coach George MacIntyre passed away Jan. 5. He was 76… Former BYU football player Howard Ault passed away Dec. 30. He was 85… Former Appalachian State defensive lineman Michael Frier passed away Dec. 31. He was 46… Former Georgia Tech running back and defensive back George W. Mathews passed away Jan. 2. He was 88… Robert H.B. Baldwin, a former Princeton football player and former Morgan Stanley chairman, passed away Jan. 3. He was 95… Former Alabama football player Vernon Newbill passed away Jan. 3. He was 71… Former Oregon offensive lineman Andy Maurer passed away Jan. 3. He was 67… Barbara Elliott, wife of longtime Iowa director of athletics and College Football Hall of Famer Bump Elliott (Michigan), passed away Jan. 5… Texas State football player Will Trevillion passed away Jan. 6. He was 20… Former Tennessee right tackle Tom Williams passed away Jan. 7. He was 74… Former Syracuse linebacker Luke Cain died Jan. 10. He was 33…


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. 5, 2016 – Announcement and Presentation of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup to the Ivy League Football Players of the Year at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel at an event presented by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses – New  York City

Dec. 6, 2016
– NFF Annual Awards Press Conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 6, 2016
– NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 6, 2016
– 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria – New York City

Dec. 6, 2016
– 27th 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. 6, 2016
– Induction of the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City

Dec. 31, 2016
– The 12th Annual NFF National Hall of Fame Salute during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – Atlanta


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

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