David Fulcher to be Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame
IRVING, Texas – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced the members of the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class on a national broadcast, with the names revealed during "SportsCenter" on ESPN this morning.
The nation found out the 11 players and two coaches that make up the historic 2021 class, which will be officially inducted during the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7 alongside the 2020 Hall of Fame Class (the 2020 event was canceled due to COVID-19).
Sun Devil Football All-American safety David Fulcher is part of the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class, earning one of the highest recognitions in the sport after being on the ballot for the past few years. He is joined by fellow legends of the game in a decorated class, as he becomes just the 13th Sun Devil (9th player) to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
2021 COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS
- David Fulcher – DB, Arizona State (1983-85)
- Harris Barton – OT, North Carolina (1983-86)
- Dan Morgan – LB, Miami [FL] (1997-2000)
- Carson Palmer – QB, Southern California (1998-2002)
- Tony Romo – QB, Eastern Illinois (1999-2002)
- Kenneth Sims – DT, Texas (1978-81)
- C.J. Spiller – RB/KR, Clemson (2006-09)
- Darren Sproles – RB, Kansas State (2001-04)
- Aaron Taylor – OT, Notre Dame (1990-93)
- Andre Tippett – DE, Iowa (1979-81)
- Al Wilson – LB, Tennessee (1995-98)
- Rudy Hubbard – 83-48-3 (63.1%); Florida A&M (1974-85)
- Bob Stoops – 190-48-0 (79.8%); Oklahoma (1999-2016)
Referred to as "a safety in a linebacker's body" for his rare combination of size and speed, Fulcher was one of the most productive and versatile safeties to wear the Maroon & Gold. He played at Arizona State from 1983-85, enjoying one of the most illustrious careers of any defender in program history. Fulcher is one of only three Sun Devils to be named a two-time consensus All-American.
Fulcher is one of only three Sun Devils to be selected as a two-time consensus All-American, joining iconic names like Woody Green on the exclusive list. The three-time First Team All-Pac-10 selection twice led the Sun Devils in tackles (1983, 1984) and interceptions (1983, 1985).
A three-year starter, Fulcher's established himself as a star early – recording 53 tackles, three interceptions, six sacks and six pass deflections just four games into his college career. In his second collegiate game in 1983, he posted 15 tackles and returned an interception 40 yards against UCLA. He would reach the century mark in tackles in each of his first two seasons, becoming one of the top tacklers in program history. Six of his 14 career interceptions took place during the 1985 campaign when he was named the team's Most Outstanding Defensive Back, helping ASU to a berth in that year's Holiday Bowl. The 1996 inductee into the Arizona State University Sports Hall of Fame finished his career with 293 tackles and 12 interceptions.
A third-round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1986 NFL Draft, Fulcher spent eight years in the league with the Bengals (1986-92) and the Los Angeles Raiders (1993). The three-time Pro Bowl selection guided the Bengals to an appearance in Super Bowl XXIII following the 1988 season.
The on-field contributions only measure part of Fulcher's impact in the community. The founder and director of the David Fulcher Foundation, he is active in fundraising and awareness for multiple sclerosis. Fulcher has also operated his Mentoring Against Negative Actions program for 15 years, working in prisons to help inmates learn life skills. In 2016, he helped launch Cincinnati Christian University's football program, serving as the head coach for two seasons. Fulcher also previously coached at Cincinnati Christian High School.
In the Spring of 2020, Fulcher, who was an early entrant into the NFL Draft after three seasons, came back to Arizona State and earned his degree.
The 2021 Class has undoubtedly earned their way into the Hall of Fame, having been selected from the national ballot of 78 players and seven coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and the 99 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks.
"We are extremely proud to announce the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class," said Archie Manning, NFF Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Mississippi. "Each of these men has established himself among the absolute best to have ever played or coached the game, and we look forward to immortalizing their incredible accomplishments."
In a group full of elite student-athletes who put together brilliant college careers, Fulcher's accolades separate him as one of the best of the best. He is one of three players in the class to receive multiple First Team All-American honors (1984, 1985), joined by Texas' Kenneth Sims and Notre Dame's Aaron Taylor. Fulcher is also one of only six players in the class to earn consensus First Team All-American distinction.
Including the 2021 Hall of Fame class, only 1,038 players and 223 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.47 million who have played or coached the game during the past 151 years. In other words, less than two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of the individuals who have played the game have earned this distinction. In program history, 13 Sun Devils have earned induction into this exclusive fraternity, 10 of which have come after 2000. Prior to Fulcher, the last Sun Devil to be elected to the Hall of Fame was star quarterback Jake Plummer, who was part of the 2019 class.
Sun Devils in the NFF College Football Hall of Fame (13):
Bob Breunig (2015)
John Cooper (2008)
Dan Devine (1985)
Dennis Erickson (2019)
David Fulcher (2021)
Mike Haynes (2001)
John Jefferson (2002)
Frank Kush (1995)
Randall McDaniel (2008)
Jake Plummer (2019)
Ron Pritchard (2003)
Pat Tillman (2010)
Danny White (1998)
The 2021 inductees will also be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the fall. Their accomplishments will be forever immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, and each inductee will receive a custom ring created by Jostens, the official and exclusive supplier of NFF rings and awards.
"With two College Football Hall of Fame classes, the NFF Annual Awards Dinner will prove to be one of the biggest events in the NFF's history when it returns this December," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "We are beyond excited to announce the 2021 electees and look forward to making induction worth the wait for the 2020 class."
ABOUT THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. Founded in 1947, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame inducted its first class of inductees in 1951. 314 schools are represented with at least one College Football Hall of Famer. The NFF has 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide.