Oklahoma and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame will jointly honor Brian Bosworth with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute during Saturday's game between the Sooners and West Virginia. The salute, with Bosworth in attendance, will occur between the first and second quarters.
"It's a dream come true for me because I was an Oklahoma boy, and I got to live a dream and play at a university that had such a great tradition of great players," Bosworth said at the January press conference announcing the 2015 class.
"To me, it was a responsibility to go to that university under my favorite coach, Barry Switzer, and have a four-year opportunity to make a mark during that time. To me, it just verifies the work that we as a football team did together. This award is not my award. It is an award that I share with all of my teammates and all of my coaches."
The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program, which began with the inaugural class in 1951, has become a hallowed tradition, and to this day the singular events remain the first of numerous activities in each inductee's Hall of Fame experience. During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each inductee returns to his alma mater to accept a Hall of Fame plaque that will remain on permanent display at the institution. The events take place on the field during a home game, and many inductees cite the experience as the ultimate capstone to their careers, providing them one more chance to take the field and hear the crowd roar their name.
"Brian Bosworth left an indelible mark on college football during his All-America career at Oklahoma from 1984 to 86," said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. "The only two-time recipient of the Butkus Award as the top linebacker in the nation, he has earned his spot among the greats of the game. We are thrilled to honor him in front of the Oklahoma faithful at Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium."
A consensus first-team All-American in 1985 and 1986, Bosworth led Oklahoma to the 1985 national championship after recording 13 solo tackles against Penn State in the Orange Bowl. Playing for Switzer, who is in the College Football Hall of Fame, he led the Sooners to three straight Orange Bowl appearances, three Big Eight Conference championships and a 31-4-1 overall record during his time in Norman. The three-time all-conference selection set the single-game school record with 22 tackles against Miami (Fla.) in 1986, and he finished fourth in that year's Heisman Trophy voting. Bosworth led Oklahoma in tackles all three seasons, and he finished his career with 395 tackles while playing alongside Hall of Famers Tony Casillas and Keith Jackson.
Bosworth also excelled off the field, graduating early with a degree in communications. He was named to the Academic All-Conference team all three seasons of his career, and he received Academic All-America honors in 1986.
Selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 1987 NFL Supplemental Draft, Bosworth spent three seasons with that franchise, and has worked in acting and real estate since his retirement. Active in the community, he founded a charity called Boz's Kids, which has provided activities for underprivileged children in Oklahoma. ESPN Films' 30 For 30: "Brian And The Boz" recently chronicled Bosworth's Hall of Fame career.
Bosworth becomes the 21st Sooner to be inducted into the College Hall of Fame, joining Tom Brahaney (1971-72), Kurt Burris (1951-54), Tony Casillas (1982-85), Forest Geyer (1913-15), Keith Jackson (1984-87), Tommy McDonald (1954-56), Jim Owens (1946-49), Steve Owens (1967-69), Greg Pruitt (1970-72), Claude Reeds (1910-13), J.D. Roberts (1951-53), Lee Roy Selmon (1972-75), Rod Shoate (1972-74), Billy Sims (1975-79), Clendon Thomas (1955-57), Jerry Tubbs (1954-56), Billy Vessels (1950-52), Joe Washington (1972-75), Jim Weatherall (1948-51) and Waddy Young (1936-38). Five coaches with stops in Norman are in the Hall: Lawrence "Biff" Jones (1935-36), Bennie Owen (1905-26), Barry Switzer (1973-88), Jim Tatum (1946) and Bud Wilkinson (1947-63).
Including the 2015 class, only 963 players and 209 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.12 million people who have played or coached the game over the past 147 years. In other words, only two ten-thousandths of one percent (.0002) of those who have set foot on the gridiron have earned the distinction. Click here for a complete list of players and coaches in the Hall.
The 2015 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, held at New York City's historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, Dec. 8. This year's College Football Hall of Fame Class includes: Trev Alberts (Nebraska), Brian Bosworth (Oklahoma), Bob Breunig (Arizona State), Sean Brewer (Millsaps [Miss.]), Ruben Brown (Pittsburgh), Wes Chandler (Florida), Thom Gatewood (Notre Dame), Dick Jauron (Yale), Clinton Jones (Michigan State), Lincoln Kennedy (Washington), the late Rob Lytle (Michigan), Michael Payton (Marshall), Art Still (Kentucky), Zach Thomas (Texas Tech), Ricky Williams (Texas) and coaches Bill Snyder (Kansas State) and Jim Tressel (Youngstown State, Ohio State).