By Brian Howard
Four former Florida A&M University (FAMU) football players and one former coach were among the 25 finalists named for the 2021 Black College Football Hall of Fame.
Punter Greg Coleman (1972-75), offensive lineman Henry Lawrence (1970-73), offensive lineman, Tyrone McGriff (1976-79) and offensive lineman Nate Newton (1979-82) were among the 22 players selected as finalists. Rudy Hubbard, who guided the Rattlers to its only NCAA Division I-AA (now FCS) national championship in 1978, was named one of three coaching finalists.
The finalists were selected from a field of more than 150 nominees by an 11-member selection committee comprised of prominent journalists, commentators, historians, former NFL general managers and football executives.
“Being named a finalist for the Black College Football Hall of Fame should be celebrated. The list of 25 highlights the amount of talent to come from historically Black colleges and universities,” Black College Football Co-Founder and 2012 inductee James “Shack” Harris said.
The Black College Football Hall of Fame was founded in 2009 by Harris and former Grambling State University quarterback Doug Williams to preserve the history and honor the greatest football players, coaches and contributors from HBCUs.
FAMU has placed six members into the Black College Football Hall of Fame – coach Jake Gaither (2010), running back Willie Galimore (2010), wide receiver “Bullet” Bob Hayes (2011), quarterback Ken Riley (2015), coach Billy Joe (2017) and coach Joe Taylor (2020).
This year’s inductees will be announced on Nov. 19 and will be honored during the Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Feb. 20, 2021 in Atlanta.
“As chairman of the selection committee, I’m extremely proud of the work and effort the committee has put in to come up with the finalists who are being considered for induction. It’s not an easy task, because every name on the list is deserving to be in the Black College Football Hall of Fame,” Committee Chairman Charlie Neal said.
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