Nov. 17, 2005
GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Atlantic Coast Conference, in conjunction with the 2005 ACC Football Championship Game in Jacksonville, Fla., announced today its inaugural class of Football Legends. The 12 Legends, one from each ACC school, will be honored at a Reception and Awards Presentation from 6-8 p.m. in Jacksonville at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel on Friday, Dec. 2. The Legends will also be honored during pre-game ceremonies of this year’s Championship Game at Alltel Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Included on the list of ACC Legends are four members of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, 11 first-team All-Americans, six members of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary football team, two Outland Trophy winners and one Maxwell, one Butkus and one Lombardi award winner.
The inaugural class of ACC Legends includes Mike Ruth, defensive end at Boston College and winner of the 1985 Outland Trophy; Jeff Davis, a first-team All-America linebacker for Clemson’s 1981 National Championship team; Leo Hart, a three-time All-ACC honoree as a record-setting quarterback at Duke; Marvin Jones, the Butkus and Lombardi award-winning linebacker from Florida State; Joe Hamilton, the 1999 Heisman Trophy runner-up at quarterback for Georgia Tech; Jack Scarbath, a College Football Hall of Fame quarterback from Maryland; George Mira, an All-America quarterback for Miami in the early 1960’s; Don McCauley, a record-setting College Football Hall of Fame tailback for North Carolina; Roman Gabriel, a consensus All-America quarterback for NC State; Bill Dudley, a College Football Hall of Fame running back for Virginia; Bruce Smith, the 1984 Outland Trophy-winning defensive end for Virginia Tech; and Bill Armstrong, a consensus first-team All-America defensive back for Wake Forest.
Ruth is the only player from a team without a winning record ever to receive the Outland Trophy. A native of Norristown, Pa., he was a consensus first-team All-American as a nose tackle for the Eagles in 1985, also earning the Outland Trophy that year as the nation’s premier lineman.
Davis, one of the few players named to Clemson’s “Ring of Honor,” captained Clemson’s national championship football team in 1981. He was named a consensus first-team All-American that year as a linebacker and was named MVP of the 1981 Orange Bowl in which Clemson secured the national title with a win over Nebraska. A native of Greensboro, N.C., he was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Football team in 2002.
Hart, one of the top quarterbacks to ever play in the ACC, earned first team All-ACC honors in 1968, 1969 and 1970. While at Duke, he set school marks for pass completions, attempts, passing yards, total offense and 300-yard passing games. A native of Kinston, N.C., he was the first Blue Devil to earn first-team All-ACC honors three times.
Jones, a two-time consensus All-American at linebacker, became the first Seminole to win two national awards in the same year, earning the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker and the prestigious Lombardi Award as the nation’s top lineman or linebacker in 1992. A native of Miami, Fla., he was a defensive force on the 1993 Florida State national championship team and was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary football team in 2002.
Hamilton, the runner-up for the 1999 Heisman Trophy Award, earned consensus All-America honors that same year. He completed his career as the all-time leader in ACC history in total offense, touchdown responsibility, touchdown passes and passing efficiency. A native of Alvin, S.C., he was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary football team in 2002.
Scarbath, a consensus All-America quarterback for the Terrapins, was the runner-up for the 1952 Heisman Trophy. He led Maryland to 22 consecutive wins during the 1950, 1951 and 1952 seasons. A native of Baltimore, Md., he was inducted into the National College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
Mira, nicknamed the “Matador” for his scrambling, but effective style, earned first-team All-America honors as a quarterback for the Hurricanes in 1963. One of only four players in Miami history to have his jersey retired, he finished fifth in the 1962 Heisman Trophy balloting. A native of Key West, Fla., Mira led the nation in total offense as a senior and tied the NCAA record for pass completions.
McCauley, one of the most prolific running backs in ACC history, shattered the NCAA rushing record in 1970, running for 1,720 yards. A two-time ACC Player of the Year, he earned consensus All-America honors in 1970. Named a member of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary football team in 2002, he is a native of Garden City, N.Y. That same year, McCauley was inducted into the National College Football Hall of Fame.
Gabriel, a 15-year NFL veteran and record-setting quarterback for the Wolfpack, earned All-America honors in 1960 and 1961. A two-time ACC Player of the Year, he also earned Academic All-America honors. A native of Wilmington, N.C., Gabriel was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary football team in 2002. He was inducted into the National College Football Hall of Fame in 1988.
Dudley, the winner of the Maxwell Award as the nation’s top collegiate football player in 1941, was a multi-talented performer who was an accomplished runner, passer, receiver, kick returner, punter and place kicker for the Cavaliers. A consensus All-American in 1941, Dudley finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting that year. A native of Bluefield, W.Va., he was inducted into the National College Football Hall of Fame in 1956.
Smith, one of the most feared pass rushers in NCAA and NFL history, was nicknamed the “Sack Man” during his collegiate career with the Hokies. He captured the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s top collegiate lineman, in 1984 and was a consensus All-American. A first-team All-American in 1983 and 1984, he was the first person taken in the 1985 NFL draft. A native of Norfolk, Va., he ended his professional career in 2003 as the NFL’s all-time quarterback sack leader.
Armstrong, a three-time All-America defensive back for the Demon Deacons, earned consensus and unanimous All-America honors in 1976. A third-team All-American as a junior, he set a record for unassisted tackles with 271 – a record that still stands at Wake Forest. A native of Randolph, N.J., he was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary football team in 2002.
2005 ACC Football Legends
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