College Football Hall of Fame to induct four Pac-12 standouts
Three of the finest football players and one of the most legendary coaches in Pac-12 history will receive college football's ultimate honor this December.
The National Football Foundation announced Thursday that UCLA's John Sciarra, Stanford's Darrin Nelson, USC's Tony Boselli and Oregon's Mike Bellotti are among the 14 players and two coaches that make up the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2014.
All 16 honorees will be celebrated and inducted in New York on December 9.
"They have made a difference; they have made football what it is today," National Football Foundation President Steven Hatchell said of this year's class during the announcement.
Nelson, a four-time All-Pac-10 selection during his career at Stanford (1977-1981), was the first player in college football history to rush for more than 1,000 yards and catch 50 passes in the same season, emerging as one of football's first modern dual threats out of the backfield. His 6,885 career all-purpose yards was an NCAA record by the time his career in Palo Alto was over. Nelson went on to play for the Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Chargers during his 11-year NFL career.
Boselli emerged as one of the nation's most intimidating offensive linemen during his career at Southern California (1991-1994), during which he earned First-Team All-American honors as a sophomore and senior. His accolades also include winning the 1994 Morris Trophy as the Pac-10's top lineman.
Sciarra continues to be widely revered in Westwood for helping to engineer one of the biggest upsets in Rose Bowl history: UCLA's 1976 victory over unbeaten and No. 1 Ohio State. His Bruins career included being named a first-team All-American and All-Pac-8 in 1975 and the MVP of that Rose Bowl victory. He also earned a National Football Foundation scholar-athlete award that season. In 1991, Sciarra was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame.
Bellotti's illustrious career at Oregon began in 1989 as the team's offensive coordinator before being promoted to head coach five years later. By the time his tenure in Eugene was complete, he was the school's all-time winningest head coach, racking up 116 victories and four 10-win seasons. He also led the Ducks to a pair of Pac-10 championships (2000 and 2001); during the latter season, his team stormed to an 11-1 record, a Fiesta Bowl victory and the nation's No. 2 ranking. Bellotti stepped aside in 2008 and spend two years at the helm of the Oregon athletic program as its athletic director.
The four Pac-12 inductees join the following players and coaches in the class of 2014: LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU), Shane Conlan (Penn State), Dre Bly (North Carolina), Dave Butz (Purdue), Joe Hamilton (Georgia Tech), John Huard (Maine), Willie Roaf (Louisiana Tech), Sterling Sharpe (South Carolina), Leonard Smith (McNeese State), Derrick Thomas (Alabama), Wesley Walls (Ole Miss) and Jerry Moore (North Texas State, Texas Tech, Appalachian State).