Just about every conference has some sort of Hall of Fame (or something similar) that honors past coaches and players for schools in the league. Like clockwork, these groups are typically recognized at their respective conference championship game in the fall and usually include a handful of well-known impact players and a number of others who were very in their own right that modern fans might not quite remember.
Well, it seems as though the ACC has upped their game this year and really emphasized the “star” in a star-studded class. Announced on Thursday by the league, the 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference Football Legends class includes numerous Hall of Famers (both pro and college) as well as some of football’s most recognizable names.
The full list includes: Boston College’s Mathias Kiwanuka, Clemson’s Brian Dawkins, Duke’s Steve Spurrier, Florida State’s Bobby Bowden, Georgia Tech’s Joshua Nesbitt, Louisville’s Roman Oben, Miami’s Ed Reed, North Carolina’s Ron Rusnak, NC State’s Mario Williams, Pitt’s Mark May, Syracuse’s Don McPherson, Virginia’s Herman Moore, Virginia Tech’s Eddie Royal and Wake Forest’s Steve Justice.
What a group. Obviously the coaches are two of the best ever in the game even if Spurrier was known far more for his exploits down the road at Florida than for what he did in Durham with the Blue Devils. Still, he famously rewarded Duke with a vote in the coaches poll every year and it seems the school will help return that nod to history by celebrating him later this season at the ACC title game. Bowden, of course, is the second-winningest coach in FBS history and like his talkative compatriot in this class also owns several national title rings.
Then there’s the players — several of whom never played a down in the ACC itself but thanks to their school’s membership in the conference at the moment will still be honored. That includes those such as May, Kiwanuku, Oben, McPherson and, perhaps most notably, Reed. Still, all were incredible players in college and in the NFL and will undoubtedly bring similes to their fan bases for their inclusion in this year’s class and for invoking memories of success back in the day.
Add in others like a former No. 1 overall pick in Williams and All-Americans in Moore and Justice and this is one of the best top-to-bottom classes any conference has put together.
Hopefully for everybody involved, Spurrier will be allowed to speak on behalf of the group at halftime of the ACC title game.