Troy Aikman To Be Inducted In College Hall of Fame

Dec. 3, 2008

Troy Aikman, who earned All-America honors and led UCLA to a record of 20-4 and two bowl victories during his two seasons as the starting quarterback, will be inducted into the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame next week.

The National Football Foundation Awards dinner is scheduled for next Tuesday, December 9, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The black-tie event will honor several award winners, including the 2008 College Hall of Fame class.

UCLA will be represented at the event by athletic director Dan Guerrero and head football coach Rick Neuheisel, among others.

Aikman, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, began his career at Oklahoma but transferred to UCLA after two seasons. After redshirting in 1986, he started all 24 games of his career in 1987 and 1988, leading the Bruins to a record of 10-2 in each season. The Bruins tied for the Pac-10 title and won the Aloha Bowl in 1987 and won the Cotton Bowl following the 1988 season.

As a junior, Aikman earned second-team All-America honors. As a senior, he was the consensus All-America quarterback, won the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award and finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting. A few months later, the Dallas Cowboys made him the No. 1 selection in the 1989 NFL Draft.

During his two years as a Bruin, Aikman completed 406 of 627 passes (64.8%) for 5,298 yards, 41 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. The 41 touchdowns rank No. 5 in UCLA history as do the 406 completions while the 5,298 yards rank sixth. His completion percentage (.648) ranks second in school history among players who have passed for at least 2,000 career yards.

As a junior, he completed 178 of 273 passes (65.2%) for 2,527 yards, 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions. As a senior, he upped his totals to 228 completions (a school record at the time, still second on the single-season list) in 354 attempts (64.4%) for 2,771 yards (second at the time, still fifth), 24 touchdowns (a school record at the time, still tied for third) and nine interceptions.

Aikman played 12 seasons (1989-2000) with the Dallas Cowboys and became the first quarterback in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span. Following his NFL career, he began a broadcasting career and is the No. 1 NFL analyst on FOX's NFC football package. He also hosts a weekly radio show, has several businesses in the Dallas area and runs the Troy Aikman Foundation.

Below is the profile on Aikman that is running in the Awards Dinner program:


* 1988 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Winner, passing for more than 5,300 career yards * 20-4 as a starter at UCLA and holds Bruins record for most completions in a season (228) * 1988 Consensus All-America and 1987 Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year

By Steve Richardson, NFF Correspondent

Gil Brandt, formerly vice president of Player Personnel for the Dallas Cowboys, remembers the first time he ever laid eyes on Troy Aikman. Mack Brown, then an assistant coach for Barry Switzer at Oklahoma, summoned the young Aikman to his office at Owen Field. Aikman was a rawboned youngster from tiny Henryetta, Okla., during the 1984 season.

'Mack Brown was the offensive coordinator at OU when Aikman was a freshman,' Brandt recalled. 'I was in Mack's office looking at tape on an old Bell and Howell projector. Mack came in and said, 'We are going to start a new quarterback. I want you to meet him.' A few minutes later Aikman comes into the office and he is going to be the starting quarterback against Kansas. He says, 'I played for (stuttering) the H-e-n-ri-e-t-t-a Hens.' The guy is nervous as all get out.'

Aikman, who got the starting nod when Danny Bradley was injured, lettered as a freshman and as a sophomore (despite an injury), but elected to leave Switzer's ground-hog offense which would be led by Jamelle Holieway. He left for UCLA and Coach Terry Donahue's passing attack with two years of eligibility remaining. Aikman sat out the 1986 season and worked with current UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel, who was then much lower on the Bruin totem pole.

'I had the pleasure of working with Troy as a graduate assistant during his redshirt year and as the quarterbacks coach during his senior season,' Neuheisel said. 'Not only was he a great player, but a great team leader. Troy exemplifies the word 'class' and UCLA is extremely proud of all he has accomplished, both on and off the field.'

In two seasons at UCLA, Aikman started all 24 games as the Bruins tied for first in the Pac-10 when he was a junior and finished second when he was a senior. Aikman completed 406 of 627 passes (64.8%) for 5,298 yards and 41 touchdowns. His completion percentage ranks second in UCLA history among players who have passed for at least 2,000 yards in their careers.

Playing 12 seasons for the Dallas Cowboys, Aikman became the first NFL quarterback to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span (1992, 1993, 1995). He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

After retiring from professional football, Aikman went into television and is now a top analyst on FOX. He also hosts a weekly radio show, has several businesses in the Dallas area and runs the Troy Aikman Foundation, which helps disadvantaged children fulfill their physical, psychological, social and economic needs.

'It's an honor to be included in such an exclusive group of players and coaches who have shaped the great tradition that college football enjoys,' Aikman said. 'College football has meant so much to the sporting history of our country, and it means a lot to me personally. I appreciate that legacy, and I have great respect for those who have been honored before me. The opportunity to share this recognition with my former Cowboys teammate Jay Novacek will make this experience all the more rewarding.'

The 2008 Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the NFF's Annual Awards Dinner, held at New York City's historic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, December 9. The National Hall of Fame Salute at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl follows on January 5, giving the class recognition on a national stage, and events culminate with the College Football Hall of Fame's Enshrinement Festival in South Bend, Ind., July 17-18.

The 2008 class includes Troy Aikman (UCLA), Billy Cannon (LSU), Jim Dombrowski (UVA), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), Wilber Marshall (Florida), Rueben Mayes (Washington State), Randall McDaniel (ASU), Don McPherson (Syracuse), Jay Novacek (Wyoming), Dave Parks (Texas Tech), Ron Simmons (Florida State), Thurman Thomas (Oklahoma State), Arnold Tucker (Army), Coach John Cooper (Tulsa, ASU, Ohio State) and Coach Lou Holtz (William & Mary, NC State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame, South Carolina).

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