Tribute to Track ‘Em Tigers Auburn Football Hall of Fame—2017 Class
Stan White is Auburn's all-time leading passer.
Auburn football has had four College Football Hall of Fame coaches, three Heisman Trophy winners, 12 conference championships, eight SEC, and eight divisional championships, 12 undefeated seasons and is listed in the NCAA Record Book as National Champions for 2010, 1993, 1983, 1957 and 1913. What a storied history the Tigers have.
And every year, we at Track ‘Em Tigers look back over that history and the men who have made an enduring impact on the program. The Tigers have produced 74 first-team All Americans and over 250 first-team All-SEC players. So when we attempted to put together another Auburn Football Hall of Fame class, we knew we needed help. Therefore we once again turned to our readers.
During the July 4th week, members of the TET community selected a ten-member class that features six All-SEC players, five of which made All-American.
The group includes four offensive players, three defensive players, one special-team player, and two that played both ways. Seven in this class played on one of Auburn’s five recognized national championship teams.
Following are brief tributes to the selections for this year’s class.
William Andrews (FB) 1976–1978. A bruising fullback who teamed with Joe Cribbs and James Brooks to give Auburn one of the best backfields in Auburn history. Brooks made both of those All Americans better because of his great blocking ability. Even though Cribbs and Brooks received the bulk of the carries, Andrews still rushed for more than 1,350 yards on the Plains, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. He went on to an NFL All-Pro career with the Falcons and Bills.
Billy Atkins (FB/P) 1955–1957. The Most Valuable Player on Auburn’s 1957 National Championship Team, Atkins led the SEC in scoring during the ‘57 season (83 points 11 touchdowns), which ranked him third in the country. At that time it made him Auburn’s all-time leading scorer.
He was the fullback, punter, and kicker for the ’57 champions. He scored the winning (and only) TD’s in victories over Tennessee and Kentucky and kicked the FG that beat Georgia Tech 3–0. A member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Atkins was the star of the 1958 Senior Bowl and went on to play and coach in the NFL.
Jackie Burkett (C/LB) 1957–1959. Though he played college baseball and basketball also, Jackie Burkett will be remembered as one of Auburn’s greatest centers. He was a teammate of the great Zeke Smith. A two-way player, he was named the SEC Linebacker of the Year and the SEC Center of the Year in 1958.
He played on the 1957 National Championship Team and was selected All-SEC his sophomore year. As a junior he played most of the season with a slight shoulder separation but still managed to make four All-American teams. And he was a consensus All American in 1959 and the No. 1 draft pick of the Baltimore Colts.
See the rest of the 2017 class after the jump:
Gregg Carr (LB) 1981–1984. As a member of Auburn football’s Team of the Century, Gregg Carr is a name that ranks among the very elite of Auburn athletics. He helped Auburn win its first league championship in 26 years when the Tigers won the 1983 SEC Title, a season recognized as a National Championship by the NCAA. The linebacker was Auburn’s leading tackler as a sophomore and junior and the second leading tackler as a senior. He ranks No. 2 behind Freddie Smith with 453 career tackles at Auburn (289 solo).
He was a consensus All American, a three-time All-SEC selection, a Lombardi Award nominee, and the 1984 SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Carr is a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and is on ballot for this year’s College Football Hall of Fame.
Lewis Colbert (ST) 1982–1985. Considered one of the foremost punters in school history, Colbert was a walk-on special teams player who became a first-team All American in 1985. What is even more astonishing than his success as a walk-on is the fact he did it with a right foot that was half the size of his left due to numerous childhood surgeries for a clubfoot.
He holds the record for the most career punting yards for the Tigers (10,179), and his 45.8 punting yard average in 1985 is still the second best in program history. His longest punt was a 77-yarder against Southwest Louisiana. A member of Auburn’s SEC and National Championship team in 1983, he was named a team captain in 1985. For the past 30 years Auburn has recognized its top special teams player at the annual A-Day game with the Lewis Colbert Special Teams MVP Award.
Wild Bill Cody (LB) 1962–1965. A member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the Auburn Team of the 60’s, Cody was an All American and a three-time All-SEC selection. He was also the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 1965. He was a teammate of some legendary Tigers; players such as QB Jimmy Sidle and FB Tucker Frederickson, the Auburn Player of the Century.
Cody played the game so ferociously that he was nicknamed, “Wild Bill.” In fact, that year, Will Walls a coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers told Sports Illustrated, “Auburn’s got more potential pros than any team in the country. They’ve got two ends I like, two tackles, a punter, a center and a linebacker who’s flat gonna kill some people someday.” That linebacker was Bill Cody.
Nick Fairley (DT) 2009–2010. A consensus All American and All-SEC player, Fairley was known as a defensive lineman that terrorized opposing quarterbacks. He led the Southeastern Conference with 24 tackles for a loss and set a single season record for sacks with 11.5. He was the 2010 Lombardi Trophy Winner as the nation’s best lineman. Fairley played a big role (along with Cam Newton) in bringing Auburn a National Championship in 2010. He was the Defensive MVP of the BCS National Championship Game vs. Oregon.
Ben Tamburello (OL) 1983–1986. A finalist for both the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award in 1986, Tamburello is a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He was an All American in 1985 and All SEC and a unanimous All-American selection in 1986.
He anchored an offensive line that led the league in rushing with a 312.5 yards per game average and blocked for Heisman Trophy winner, Bo Jackson, and All-America tailback, Brent Fullwood, during his Auburn career. Although undersized as a center, he proved himself as one of the outstanding offensive linemen in Auburn history.
Courtney Taylor (WR) 2003–2006. A member of the Auburn football All-Decade Team for the 2000’s, Taylor was such a clutch receiver that some said he could catch the ball with his eyes closed. One of the most popular Auburn receivers ever, he is best remembered for making a 14-yard reception on fourth and 12 and a 16-yard touchdown pass with 1:14 left to upset defending national champion LSU 10–9 in 2004.
He is Auburn’s all-time leading receiver (153 catches) and ranks fourth in school history with 2,098 yards receiving for a 13.7 yards-per-catch average. He received the Pat Dye Leadership Award at the end of his collegiate career.
Stan White (QB) 1990–1993. A familiar name to the Auburn faithful both as a player and as a radio personality, White teams with Auburn’s play-by-play man Rod Bramblett as the color analyst for Auburn football games every Saturday during the fall. He started 45 straight games from his freshman year until his senior year. If Auburn ever had a gunslinging quarterback, it was Stan White. He still remains Auburn’s all-time leading passer with 8,016 total yards.
During his collegiate career he earned Most Valuable Player honors for several of his performances and set numerous school records that still stand today. He is a member of Auburn’s Team of the Decade for the 1990s. And he was named permanent team captain on Auburn’s undefeated 1993 team, which is recognized in the NCAA record book as a national champion.
So there it is—the 2017 class of Track ‘em Tigers Auburn Football Hall of Fame.
We want to express our appreciation to everyone who participated in the process of nominating and/or voting the past few days. Selecting 10 names from a storied program such as Auburn is a very difficult task. After all, some of the greatest to ever participate in the game have played on the Plains of Auburn, and we are pleased to honor some of them today.