John Elway Enshrined In College Hall Of Fame
Aug 11, 2001
By TOM COYNE
Associated Press Writer
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - The play that ended John Elway's college career isshown repeatedly at the College Football Hall of Fame - in the blooperssection. Though it caused pain for a while, he laughs about it now.
The play is the infamous five-lateral kickoff return by Cal through theStanford band in 1982 for a winning touchdown on the final play of the game,costing Stanford a possible bowl berth.
'It hurt at the time. But each year it gets a little funnier,' said Elway,inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. 'It sure wasn't alot of fun at the time. We just wish we had the band come out for some tacklingpractice.'
Elway, who never played in a bowl game, was enshrined in the hall Saturdayalong with former Southern Cal running back Marcus Allen, former Nebraskawingback Johnny Rodgers and 22 other former players and coaches.
The inductees, most of whom were officially inducted into the hall at abanquet in New York in December 2000, took part in a full day of activities atthe hall Saturday that included a news conference attended by fans, a youthclinic, an autograph session and a flag football game.
Elway threw for four touchdowns as the West hall of famers beat the East29-28 in overtime. Allen ran for the two-point conversion as former Gramblingquarterback Doug Williams, who now coaches at the college, dived to pull theflag off Allen but instead grabbed hold of his belt momentarily before losinghis grip.
Elway, Allen, Williams and the others also took part in the youth clinic,with Elway working with the youngsters on passing. Allen, working a runningdrill, picked up one boy who tried to run past him and told him, 'Keep movingyour feet, keep moving your feet.'
Instead, the boy tossed the ball ahead to a friend.
'Forward lateral, 5-yard penalty,' Allen said as he wiped the sweat offhis forehead.
Elway said his one regret was that his father, Jack, who died April 15 atthe age of 69, wasn't there to see him enshrined.
'It breaks my heart because he was my mentor. He was my hero. He was mybest friend. He was really one of the biggest reasons why I'm here today.College football was his love,' he said. 'He would have loved to have beenhere and walked through the Hall of Fame. But I know he's here in spirit.'
His father may have been instrumental in Elway becoming a great quarterback,but it was his mother, Jan, who decided he would attend Stanford. Former UCLAcoach Terry Donahue told about trying to recruit Elway, Allen and Rogers toUCLA but losing out.
Elway said he thought about going to UCLA, but because his father had justbeen hired as the San Jose State coach he wanted to be closer to family. So henarrowed his choices to San Jose State and Stanford.
'The bottom line of it is, my mom wanted me to go to Stanford,' he said.
Elway passed for 9,349 yards at Stanford, completing 774 of 1,246 passes for77 touchdowns and finishing second to Herschel Walker for the Heisman Trophy in1982.
During Saturday night's enshrinement ceremony, Elway and Allen were amongseveral speakers who thanked their parents for making their careers possible.
'When I was young, they filled my gas tank up with encouragement, love,support, and character,' Allen said. 'They were there every step of the way.I love them. Tonight this award really means that mom and dad, you guys didwell, and I hope I made you proud.'
Others enshrined Saturday were Michigan offensive tackle Dan Dierdorf,Arizona State cornerback Mike Haynes, Oklahoma center-linebacker Kurt Burris,Notre Dame end Bob Dove, Georgia defensive back Terry Hoage, Alabama halfbackJohnny Musso, Pittsburgh linebacker-fullback Joe Schmidt, Texas guard HarleySewell, Arkansas defensive end Billy Ray Smith, Wyoming halfback Eddie Talboom,Maryland tackle Stan Jones, Navy end Dick Duden, tackle John Outland of Kansasand Penn, and coaches Donahue of UCLA, and Forest Evashevski of Hamilton,Washington State and Iowa.
Among the players from smaller schools to be enshrined are Indiana ofPennsylvania defensive end Jim Haslett, who now coaches the New Orleans Saints,Holy Cross defensive back-halfback Gordie Lockbaum, Amherst receiver FreddieScott, Occidental quarterback-defensive back Bill Redell, and coaches JosephFusco of Westminster College and Ace Mumford of Jarvis Christian College,Bishop College, Texas College and Southern University.