Payton, Rice and Robinson Lead First Black College Football Hall Class: ATLANTA – Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Deacon Jones and former Grambling coach Eddie Robinson were among the first set of honorees inducted into the Black College hall of Fame on Saturday.
The Atlanta-based Black College Football Hall of Fame was established last year by former Pro Bowl quarterback James Harris and Super Bowl XXII MVP Doug Williams. The first class included eight players, two coaches and one contributor.
Williams, who starred at Grambling, said Saturday's event was the culmination of a lot of work.
“Just like you practice for weeks before the season, we've been preparing for this night for a long time, and it's game-time now,” Williams said, “We're inducting some people who everyone knows, but some who have contributed just as much, but are just not as well known yet.”
Although several of the inductees have passed away, all were represented Saturday. Several, such as Jones and Bill Nunn Jr., a former Pittsburgh Steelers scout, were present. Other local dignitaries in attendance included civil rights icon Andrew Young and Falcons owner Arthur Blank.