Some of the greatest to ever participate in the game of college football have played and coached on The Plains of Auburn. The Tigers have had four College Football Hall of Fame coaches, three Heisman Trophy winners, and are the twelfth winningest program in Division I history.
In addition the Tigers have had 67 All-Americans and over 240 first team All-SEC players. So when we were trying to put together an Auburn Football Hall of Fame class here at Track ‘em Tigers, we knew it would be an almost impossible job.
I mean, how do you choose just a few names to represent that kind of winning tradition? What we did was turn to our readers for help.
Over 800 TET members voted during the July 4th holidays and selected a nine member class that features two former National Coaches of the Year and five All-SEC players, four of which made All-American.
The nine man class includes three offensive players, two defensive players and one special teams player, three of whom were on Auburn’s 13-0 perfect season team in 2004.
Following is a short bio on the selections for this year’s class.
George Petrie (Coach) - 1892. The first Alabamian to earn a PhD. Dr Petrie is the father of Auburn Football having organized and coached the first team in 1892. His Tigers defeated the University of Georgia (10-0) in the first football game of the Deep South’s Oldest rivalry. Petrie is an honored and treasured name at Auburn University, in part for being the author of the Auburn Creed which Auburn people cherish and strive to follow as a guide for living their lives.
Tommy Tuberville (Coach) – 1999 – 2008. One of four coaches who narrowly missed winning a national championship at Auburn. His 2004 team went undefeated and was ranked No.2 in the nation a week before the final BCS rankings yet was denied a chance to play in the championship game. His 2004 SEC Championship Team had nine All-SEC selections and four first round draft picks and he was recognized as the National Coach of the Year.
The TET 2013 class has a Tuberville flavor. Including the coach, four of the eight selections are from his tenure.
In addition to the league championship, Tuberville won four SEC West Titles. He coached 34 All-SEC players and eight All-Americans including Jim Thorpe winner Carlos Rogers.
His record of 85-40 places him …
… Fourth on the All-time Auburn coaching list and third by winning percentage (.680).
But perhaps his greatest achievement is he is the only Auburn coach to have defeated cross state rival Alabama six consecutive times. And for that fact alone he will always be special to the Auburn faithful.
Terry Beasley (WR) 1969 -1971. Perhaps the greatest receiver to ever play for the Tigers. A two time All – American and member of the College Football Hall of Fame, he is one of just three players to have their numbers retired by the university. Terry set or broke numerous Auburn and Southeastern Conference records during his career. He still ranks first on the Auburn all-time list in career receiving yards (2,507), touchdown receptions (29), career 100-yard receiving games (12) and first and second in touchdowns caught in a season with 12 and 11. He finished his career ranked third nationally in receiving touchdowns and was a first round draft pick by San Francisco.
Pat Sullivan would be the first to tell you that without Terry Beasley, Sully would not have won Auburn’s first Heisman. A fact that escapes most fans is that Terry finished eight in the Heisman race himself. Perhaps no other player has sacrificed his body for his team as he did. He is reported to have sustained at least 18 concussions over his seven year career with the Tigers and 49ers.
Carnell (Cadillac) Williams (RB) – 2001 – 2004) Part of a two man tandem with running back Ronnie Brown on the 2004 undefeated team, Cadillac had a career total of 5,033 all-purpose yards which ranks second in school history behind James Brooks. He averaged 5.2 yards per attempt and scored 45 touchdowns during his career. He also broke the all-time Auburn career records of most rushing attempts by Joe Cribbs (657), and most touchdowns by Bo Jackson (43), while finishing second in total rushing yards in a career behind Bo.
His first start came his freshman year against Georgia. He ran for a total of 179 yards for an Auburn record 41 carries in one game, and scored two touchdowns, one of which was the game winner. He was a First round draft pick and played 7 NFL seasons.
Carlos Rogers (CB) – 2001 -2004 Recognized as best defensive back in the country with the Jim Thorpe Award, Carlos started 44 of his 50 career games and finished his career with 182 tackles (134 individual), seven interceptions, and two fumble recoveries. He holds Auburn’s career record with 40 pass deflections, which ranks second in SEC history.
He was named to the Auburn football All-Decade Team for the 2000s and was a Consensus All-American in 2004. In addition to the Thorpe Award, he was also finalists for the Bronco Nagurski Award and a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, Carlos was a First Round Draft pick of the 49′ers and still plays for San Francisco today.
Takeo Spikes (LB) – 1995 -1997. Considered by many to be the best to ever play linebacker at Auburn, Takeo led the Tigers in 1997 with 136 tackles. Rated by The Sporting News as one of the top four inside linebackers in the nation, he had two interceptions and returned one for a touchdown during his junior year. He amassed 79 tackles in his last six games as a Tiger and was a Butkus semi-finalist for two-straight years.
After being named First-Team All-American by The Sporting News, he passed up his senior season to enter the 1998 NFL Draft. He was a first round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. The two time pro-bowler is still an active NFL player after 15 years in the league.
Jason Campbell (QB) – 2001-2004 The quarterback that was voted to the Team of the Decade had a different offensive coordinator every year he played and yet he was able to lead his team to a Sugar Bowl win and an undefeated season his senior year. For his performance Campbell was named the MVP of the SEC Championship Game and the SEC Player of the Year.
Jason set a record for the longest touchdown completion in Auburn football history with an 87-yard completion to Silas Daniels (a record broken by Chris Todd in 2009 and now held by Cam Newton and Emory Blake for a 94 yard connection in 2010). He was selected as First team All-SEC and was a First Round Draft pick by the Washington Redskins. Today he plays for the Cleveland Browns.
Al DelGreco (ST/K) 1980 – 83. Al was the first place kicker to be given a football scholarship at Auburn. Known for his placement of the ball, he converted 110 of 111 extra point kicks during his collegiate career.
He holds the SEC record and is tied for the NCAA record for most points scored by a kicker in a game with 18 against Kentucky in 1982 and set a record for most points scored by a kicker in a career with 236 points ( a record now held by Damon Duval). In addition he holds the record for most field goals attempted in a career with 69. A member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, he went on to play 17 years in the NFL.
Pat Dye (Coach) – 1981 -1992. A member of four Hall of Fames including the College Football Hall and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Coach Dye completely turned the Auburn program around. It’s hard for people who did not live through the 5-19 domination by Alabama to understand what Pat Dye meant to Auburn Football. He put the word “rivalry” back in the Iron Bowl when his Tigers gave the Bear the final defeat of his career 23-22 in 1982. In 1983, the Tigers won their second-ever SEC championship and their first since 1957,
During the decade of the eighties, he established one of the most dominant programs in the country, winning four SEC titles and narrowly missing a National Championship in 1983. That team went into the Bowl season ranked No. 3 in the nation only to see the other top two teams fall and yet get leaped frog by No. 5 Miami for the AP title. The New York Times recognized them as No.1 but the AP stuck with the Canes.
Dye coached 74 All SEC players and 18 All-Americans including Heisman winner ”Bo” Jackson and Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award winner Tracy Rocker. His .711 winning percentage is second among coaches on the Auburn All-time list.
But his greatest achievement was bringing the Iron Bowl to Auburn; a move that Alabama officials had said would never take place. That single action changed the balance in this state and for the first time leveled the playing field between the two rivals.
There it is – the 2013 class of Track ‘em Tigers Auburn Football Hall of Fame.
We want to express our appreciation to everyone that participated in the process the past few days. You certainly did a good job. After all, there have been over 8,000 players wear the Orange and Blue. So this group, just like Auburn Football, is in a class by themselves.
Tags: Al DelGreco, AubTigerman, Auburn blogs, Auburn Football, Auburn Football Hall of Fame, auburn Tigers, Cam Newton, Carlos Rogers, Carnell (Cadillac) Williams, George Petrie, Jason Campbell, pat dye, pat Sullivan, Ronnie Brown, Takeo Spikes, terry beasley, Tommy Tuberville, Track 'em Tigers