BALTIMORE, Md. – Former Morgan State running back Leroy Kelly is among seven inductees for the Black College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014.
The newest members were selected from a list of 25 finalists who had been determined earlier by the Black College Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee comprised of commentators Roscoe Nance (Chairman), Donald Hunt, Ty Miller, Charlie Neal and Lloyd Vance former NFL General Managers Ernie Accorsi and Gil Brandt, long-time NFL scouts Charles Bailey and Charles Garcia, director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Lonnie Bunch, and historian Michael Hurd.
Others in the Class of 2014 are Robert Brazile (Jackson State University), John Stallworth (Alabama A&M University), Michael Strahan (Texas Southern University), Willie Totten (Mississippi Valley State University), Doug Wilkerson (North Carolina Central University) as player inductees and Marino Casem (Alcorn State University) as a coach inductee.
These men will be honored at the Fifth Annual Enshrinement Ceremony, presented by the Atlanta Falcons on March 1, 2014. The event will take place at the Loews Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia in conjunction with Black College Football weekend.
“The history of Black College Football is compelling and must be shared,” said Atlanta Falcons Owner & Chairman Arthur Blank. “We are proud to support the Black College Football Hall of Fame and congratulate the Class of 2014.”
In 1962, when the Bears won the CIAA Championship, Leroy Kelly led the team in rushing, scoring and punting. In 1963, Kelly was selected by the press as Morgan’s Most Valuable Player in the Orange Blossom Game during a season in which he averaged better than 5 yards a carry for Morgan.
When Kelly was signed by the Cleveland Browns, Morgan’s Coach Earl Banks said, “Leroy is one of the finest backs I have ever coached. He has everything it takes to be Morgan’s next pro.”
Kelly was an eighth-round pick of the Browns in the 1964 draft after a fine four-year career at Morgan State. For his first two years, he was an understudy to Jim Brown, the most prolific ground-gainer in history up to that time. When Brown retired just before the 1966 campaign, Kelly filled the void in a manner seldom seen in pro football circles.
For the next three years, he rushed for 1,000 yards, winning All-NFL honors each year and being selected as a starter in three straight Pro Bowls. Kelly also played in three other Pro Bowls following the 1969, 1970 and 1971 seasons, and earned first-team All-NFL in 1969 and 1971.
During his career, he won four individual statistical championships, including NFL rushing titles in 1967 and 1968. In 1965, he won the NFL punt return title, an honor he repeated in the AFC in 1971.
Kelly was enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame on July 30, 1994.
The Black College Football Hall of Fame was established to honor the greatest football players, coaches and contributors from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Each inductee’s college or university will receive a $5,000 grant to support continuing academic and athletic opportunities at their respective institutions.
To learn more, visit… www.BlackCollegeFootballHOF.org, www.Twitter.com/BCFHOF, www.Facebook.com/BlackCollegeFootballHallofFame
About the Black College Football Hall of Fame
Since inception (2010), 44 members have been inducted and over $172,000 in scholarships has been awarded to Historically Black Colleges & Universities. The Black College Football Hall of Fame is based in Atlanta, Georgia and was founded by Black Quarterback NFL Pioneers James “Shack” Harris and Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams.