ATLANTA, Ga. (BCFHOF) – The Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) announced its 11th Class Thursday – the Class of 2020. Six inductees were selected from a list of 26 Finalists who had been determined earlier by the BCFHOF Selection Committee.
The Class of 2020 includes Earl “Air” Harvey (North Carolina Central), James Hunter (Grambling State), Robert Mathis (Alabama A&M), Erik Williams (Central State), Coach Joe Taylor (Howard, Hampton, FAMU, Virginia Union), and Commissioner Dennis Thomas (MEAC).
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we congratulate the Class of 2020,” said BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2011 Inductee Doug Williams. “Everyone that has vote to determine the next class understands how difficult it is to only choose six. The Class of 2020 is a great representation of the talent that has come from Historically Black Colleges & Universities.”
Votes were tallied from the 12-member Selection Committee, comprised of prominent journalists, commentators and historians, as well as former NFL General Managers and executives, and from previous BCFHOF inductees to determine the Inductees.
The Class of 2020 will be honored at the 11th Annual Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Presented by the Atlanta Falcons on February 22, 2020. The Induction Ceremony takes place at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Inductees will also be recognized at the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta on December 21st. For more information please visit BlackCollegeFootballHOF.org.
EARL “ AIR” HARVEY (Player)
Quarterback … North Carolina Central University (1985-1988) … Four-time All CIAA performer … First freshman quarterback to pass for over 3,000 yards in a season … Set school, conference and Division II records for career passing completions (690), career passing yards (10,621), career total offense (10,667) consecutive games throwing a touchdown pass (22) and most touchdowns responsible for (106) career touchdown passes (86) … He broke 15 NCAA Division II career records and held eight NCAA Division II single-season records … Born in June 6, 1967 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
JAMES “HOUND DOG” HUNTER (Player)
Defensive Back … Grambling State University (1972-1975) … A three-time All-American … A three-time All-SWAC performer … Finished his career ranked number two all-time at Grambling and in the SWAC with 26 interceptions … Selected by the Detroit Lions with the 10th overall pick in the 1976 NFL Draft … Detroit Lions (1976-1982) … 1976 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year runner up … Led Lions in interceptions 1976, 1977, 1980 … Finished his NFL career with 27 career picks … Born March 8, 1954 in Silsbee, Texas.
ROBERT MATHIS (Player)
Defensive End … Alabama A&M University (1999 – 2002) … A four-year starter for the Bulldogs … He set an NCAA I-AA record with 20 sacks during his senior season … Drafted in 2003 by the Indianapolis Colts … A five-time Pro Bowl selection … Super Bowl XLI Champion … Led the league in sacks in 2013 with 19.5 … 2013 AFC Defensive Player of the Year … Finished his NFL career with 527 tackles, 52 forced fumbles and 123 sacks … Born Feb 26, 1981 in Atlanta, Georgia.
ERIK WILLIAMS (Player)
Offensive Lineman … Central State University (1987-1990) … Helped Central State win the NAIA National Championship in 1990 … All-American lineman … Selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 3rd Round of the 1991 NFL Draft … Cowboys (1991-2000) … Baltimore Ravens (2001) … Four-time Pro Bowl selection … Three-time All-Pro … Three-time Super Bowl Champion XXVII, XXVIII, XXX … Born September 7, 1968 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
JOE TAYLOR (Coach)
Coach … Howard University (1983), Virginia Union (1984-1991), Hampton University (1992-2007), Florida A&M University (2008-2012) … Taylor compiled a career record of 232-97-4 and won four black college football national championships (1995, 2004, 2005 and 2006) … He also won six MEAC titles (1997-1998, 2004-2006, and 2010) and four CIAA titles 1986, 1992-1994) … He was a four-time MEAC Coach of the Year (1997) and (2004-2006).
DENNIS THOMAS (Contributor)
Commissioner … Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (2002-Present) … Hampton University Athletic Director (1990-2002) … As Director of Athletics at Hampton University, was awarded the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Athletics Director-of-the-Year Award for the Southeast Region in 2002 … Under his leadership, Hampton won 17 CIAA Division II championships between 1990 and 1995 and 11 MEAC championships between 1996 and 2002 … As MEAC commissioner, negotiated a multi-million dollar TV contract with ESPN and negotiated a multi-million dollar contract with NIKE for the MEAC-member institutions … Instrumental in the creation of the Celebration Bowl.
About the Black College Football Hall of Fame
The Black College Football Hall of Fame was established in October 2009 to honor the greatest football players and coaches from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Its trustees are football legends Mel Blount, James Harris, Willie Lanier, Art Shell and Doug Williams. The Black College Football Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Shack Harris & Doug Williams Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization.