Former OU Linebacker Shoate Headed For College Football HOF

Tuesday, May 7th 2013, 7:05 pm
By: News 9

The National Football Foundation announced Tuesday that University of Oklahoma alum Rod Shoate has been selected to the 2013 College Football Hall of Fame Class. Inductions will take place at the 56th National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 10, while the enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for the summer of 2014 in Atlanta, Ga.

Shoate was a three-time All-America pick as a linebacker for the Sooners from 1972-74. He earned consensus First Team All-America honors in 1973 and was a unanimous pick in 1974 when the Sooners claimed the national championship under head coach Barry Switzer. A two-time Big Eight Defensive Player of Year, he finished seventh in the 1974 Heisman Trophy voting. Shoate concluded his career with 420 tackles, the third-highest total in school history.

The Spiro, Okla., native was a high school running back before switching to defense with the Sooners. He was a second-round selection (41st overall) of New England in the 1975 NFL Draft where he played for former OU head coach Chuck Fairbanks. He spent six seasons with the Patriots before joining the USFL's New Jersey Generals, where Fairbanks also coached. He concluded his pro career with the USFL's Memphis Showboats. Shoate passed away at the age of 46 in his hometown of Spiro, Okla., on Oct. 4, 1999.

With Shoate's induction, OU has now placed 20 players and five former coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame, the most of any Big 12 school. Prior to Shoate, the last Sooner to be selected was Clendon Thomas in 2011.

To be eligible for induction, players must have been named a First Team All-American by a major/national selector as recognized and utilized by the NCAA for their consensus All-America teams; played their last year of intercollegiate football at least 10 years prior; played within the last 50 years and cannot be currently playing professional football.