Kirkland Named to 2008 ACC Legends Class

Legends will be honored at this year's Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship game weekend.

Led by former Maryland standout Stan Jones, who is a member of both the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced its Class of 2008 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game Legends Wednesday.

The Legends will be honored at this year's Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship game weekend. They will appear at the ACC Coaches and Awards Luncheon at noon on Friday, Dec. 5, and will be honored at the "ACC Night of Legends" held at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay on Friday evening. They will also be recognized during pre-game ceremonies at Raymond James Stadium.

The group of 12 former ACC gridiron standouts includes an Outland Trophy winner, three former ACC Players of the Year, 10 former All-Americans and 10 players who combined for a total of 106 years of experience in the National Football League.

Jones (Altoona, Pa.), a consensus All-America for Maryland's 1953 National Championship squad, who went on to play for an NFL Championship team with the Chicago Bears, is one of 10 members of the class to have NFL experience.

Joining him are former Miami defensive tackle Russell Maryland (Miami, Fla.), who won the 1990 Outland Trophy, which is given annually to the nation's top interior lineman; former Virginia running back Tiki Barber (Roanoke, Va.), the 1996 ACC Player and Offensive Player of the Year, who enjoyed a 10-year career with the New York Giants; former Florida State quarterback Danny Kannell (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), the 1995 ACC Player and Offensive Player of the Year; and former North Carolina defensive tackle Marcus Jones (Jacksonville, N.C.), the ACC's 1995 Defensive Player of the Year.

Two other members of the class, All-America outside linebackers Pat Swilling (Toccoa, Ga.) of Georgia Tech and Levon Kirkland (Lamar, S.C.) of Clemson, also earned honors in the professional ranks. Swilling, while with the New Orleans Saints, was named the NFL's 1991 Defensive Player of the Year, while Kirkland, a longtime standout for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was named to the NFL's All-Decade team of the 1990's.

Completing the class are former Boston College linebacker Steve DeOssie (Tacoma, Wash.), a two-time All-ECAC selection; Duke All-America end Claude "Tee" Moorman, II (Miami, Fla.); NC State consensus All-America guard Bill Yoest (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Virginia Tech All-America quarterback Don Strock (Pottstown, Pa.); and Wake Forest's John Henry Mills (Jacksonville, Fla.), a three-time first-team All-ACC tight end.

In all, this year's Legends class include five consensus All-Americas in Stan Jones, Marcus Jones, Kirkland, Maryland, and Yoest; two NFL first-round draft picks in Maryland, who was actually the first selection of the entire 1991 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys, and Marcus Jones; two 2nd-round NFL Draft picks in Kirkland and Yoest; one 3rd-round selection in Swilling; a pair of 4th-rounders in Kannell and DeOssie; and three 5th-round picks in Barber, Strock and Stan Jones.

The honorees also feature 10 former standouts who played a combined total of 106 years in the National Football league led by Strock, who played 16 seasons with the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts, but also including Stan Jones (13 seasons), Swilling (13), DeOssie (12), Kirkland (11), Barber (10), Maryland (10), as well as Mills (7), Kannel (7) and Marcus Jones (7).

Additionally four of this year's honorees participated in a total of seven NFL Super Bowls: Maryland, who was a member of three Super Bowl champions while with the Dallas Cowboys; DeOssie, a member of the 1991 Super Bowl Champion New York Giants which captured their championship in old Tampa Stadium, which was adjacent to the site of this year's Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game; Strock, who was in Super Bowls in 1983 and 1985 with the Miami Dolphins; and Tiki Barber, who played in the 2001 Super Bowl—coincidentally held in Tampa's Raymond James Stadium, the site of this year's Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game--while with the New York Giants.

Here is the 2008 ACC Football Championship Legends Class:

DeOssie (Boston College, 1980-83), lettered four times for the Eagles from 1980 through 1983 for Head Coaches Ed Chlebek and Jack Bicknell. He led the Eagles to their first bowl trips in 41 years, helping BC to appearances in the 1982 Tangerine and the 1983 Liberty Bowls. During his time at Chestnut Hill, the Eagles compiled a 29-16-1 record and, in 1983, earned their first appearance in the final AP Top 25 (19th) in 40 years. Drafted in the 4th-round by the Dallas Cowboys, DeOssie enjoyed a 12-year NFL career with Dallas, the New York Giants and New England Patriots. While with New York, he helped the Giants win the NFL's World Championship in Super Bowl XXV in 1991, held in the old Tampa Stadium. A native of Tacoma, Wash., DeOssie currently lives in Charlestown, Mass.

Kirkland (Clemson, 1988-91), started four seasons for the Tigers from 1988 through 1991 for Head Coaches Danny Ford and Ken Hatfield, helping Clemson post a 39-8-1 record including ACC Championships in 1988 and 1991. A three-time first-team All-ACC selection, he earned second-team All-America honors in 1990 and consensus first-team All-America accolades in 1991. As a senior in 1991, he led a Clemson rushing defense which was the nation's best. A 2nd-round draft choice by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1992, he played 11 years in the NFL twice earning all-pro honors and was selected to the NFL's All-Decade Team for the 1990s. Originally a native of Lamar, S.C., Kirkland now lives in Greer, S.C.

Moorman (Duke, 1958-60), lettered three years for Duke and helped lead the Blue Devils to the 1960 ACC Championship and a No. 10 final national ranking by the Associated Press and a 7-6 win over 7th-ranked Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl, catching the game-winning pass in the fourth quarter. As a senior that year he made 54 receptions, still the 12th-best single season total for a Blue Devil and the second-highest ever by a tight end. Selected a first-team All-America in 1960 by both the Football Writers Association of America and the Football News, he was also named first-team All-ACC that year. Named to the Silver Anniversary All-ACC football team in 1977, he finished his career with 71 receptions for 709 and five touchdowns. In 1986, he was honored by the NCAA and presented with its prestigious Silver Anniversary Award. Originally a native of Miami, Fla., Moorman now lives in Plymouth, N.C.

Kannell (Florida State, 1992-95), started two seasons for Florida State at quarterback, after spending two seasons as an understudy to Heisman Trophy-winning QB Charlie Ward. He posted a 21-3 record as a starter for the Seminoles including two 4th-place final AP rankings and wins over Florida in the Sugar Bowl and Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl. During his four years at FSU, the Seminoles compiled a 43-5-3 record and a 31-1 ACC mark. Kannell threw for over 300 yards in a game 10 times, the second-most in school history. He still holds the two-best completion days in FSU history, completing 41 passes against Georgia Tech in 1995 and 40 versus Florida in 1994. The 1995 ACC Player of the Year, he was a second-team all-America in 1995 and a two-time first-team All-ACC selection. A fourth-round 1995 pick of the New York Giants, Kannell enjoyed a seven-year NFL career with the Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos. He still resides in his original hometown of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Swilling (Georgia Tech, 1982-85), started four seasons at outside linebacker for Georgia Tech and as a senior was one of the leaders of Tech's famed "Black Watch Defense" which led Tech to a 9-2-1 record and a No. 18 national ranking. Swilling earned first-team All-America honors by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) in 1985, and that year set an ACC single-game record for quarterback sacks which still stands with seven against NC State in the season-opener. He earned first-team All-ACC honors in 1985 and was a 3rd-round selection of the New Orleans Saints in the 1986 NFL Draft. He played 13 seasons in the NFL with the Saints, Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders. While with the Saints in 1991, he was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year. Originally a native of Toccoa, Ga., he now resides in New Orleans, La.

Stan Jones (Maryland, 1950-53), was named a consensus All-America at defensive tackle in 1953 for Maryland's National Championship team. During his career at Maryland, the Terrapins compiled a 34-5-1 record, finishing unbeaten at 10-0 and Southern Conference Champions in 1951 and 10-1 and National Champs in 1953. The Terps played in the Sugar Bowl in 1951 and the Orange in 1953. In Jones' senior year, Maryland's defense allowed only 31 points in 11 games. Named the "Outstanding College Lineman of the Year" by the College Football Coaching Board, Jones was a 5th-round draft choice by the Chicago Bears in the 1954 NFL draft he enjoyed a 13-year NFL career including 12 seasons with the Chicago Bears. He was one of the leaders for the Bears in their 1963 NFL Championship team. Jones is originally a native of Altoona, Pa., who now lives in Broomfield, Colorado.

Maryland (Miami, 1987-90) played on Miami teams which were National Champions in 1987 and 1989 and helped UM to a four-year record of 44-4. A consensus All-America as senior, Maryland became the first Miami player to win the Outland Trophy, which is given annually to the nation's best interior lineman. Also named the 1990 UPI Lineman of the Year, he finished his Miami career with 270 tackles and 20.5 quarterback sacks. The first player chosen in the 1991 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, Maryland went on to an 11-year professional career including five years with Dallas, four with Oakland and two with Green Bay. He played on three NFL Super Bowl Championship teams while with the Cowboys. Maryland is originally a native of Miami, Fla., who now resides in South Lake, Texas.

Marcus Jones (North Carolina, 1992-95) lettered four years and started three seasons for North Carolina, helping the Tar Heels compile a 34-15 record including playing in four consecutive bowl games. He played both defensive tackle and end for the Tar Heels, earning 2nd team All-ACC honors as an end in 1993, first-team All-ACC honors as a tackle in 1994 and again first-team All-ACC as an end in 1995. A consensus All-America choice in 1995, that year he was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year. Chosen on the first round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1996 NFL Draft, he played seven seasons with the Bucs (1996-2002) and two years (2002-03) with Buffalo. Jones was originally a native of Jacksonville, N.C., and now resides in Lutz, Fla.

Yoest (N. C. State, 1970-73) lettered four times for the Wolfpack playing for coaches Earl Edwards, Al Michaels and Lou Holtz. He helped State to a two-year, 17-6-1 record under Holtz, as the Wolfpack finished 1972 ranked 17th and 1973 ranked 16th. A two-time first-team All-ACC choice as a guard, he earned consensus All-America honors as a senior in 1973. He was the recipient of the 1973 ACC Jacobs Blocking Trophy given annually to the league's top blocker. He earned invitations to both the Hula Bowl and East-West Shrine Game. Yoest then played a short stint with the Orlando Blazers of the World Football League before returning to Raleigh and starting a financial services business. Yoest is originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., but now resides in Raleigh, N.C.

Barber (Virginia, 1994-96) lettered three times for Virginia, helping lead the Cavaliers to a 25-12 record and three consecutive bowl trips and the 1995 ACC Co-Championship. He finished his career as Virginia's all-time leading rusher with 3,389 yards, a mark since eclipsed by Thomas Jones in 1999. Barber has more 100-yard rushing games (19) than any other back in Virginia history. He was named a first-team All-ACC running back in 1995 and 1996, and a first-team Academic All-America in both seasons. He was named the ACC's Player of the Year in 1996 as Virginia became the first ACC team to defeat Florida State in conference play. Named a National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholar in 1996, he was a 2nd-round draft pick by the New York Giants in the 1997 NFL draft. He played 10 seasons for the Giants, rushing for 10,449 yards and 55 touchdowns in his career and played for the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV, which was held at Raymond James Stadium—the site of this year's ACC Championship Game. Barber is originally from Roanoke, Va., but now he resides in New York City and is an NBC news correspondent and an analyst for the network's Football Night in America.

Strock (Virginia Tech, 1970-72) lettered three times for Virginia Tech playing for Jerry Claiborne and Charlie Coffee. The most prolific passer in Virginia Tech history, he still holds Tech single-season records for most passes attempted (527) and completed (228) and passing yardage (3,243) as well as single-game marks in all three categories. He was named a third-team All-America by the Associated Press in 1972. A fifth-round selection by the Miami Dolphins in the 1973 draft, Strock went on to play 16 years in the NFL including 14 seasons with the Dolphins. He played on two Dolphin teams which earned trips to the Super Bowl after the 1982 and 1984 seasons. Used as mainly a reserve throughout his career, he still passed for 5,349 yards and 45 touchdowns. He is the author of one of the most famous plays in NFL history, the famed "Hook and Lateral" play in the 1982 NFL playoffs. Strock is originally a native of Pottstown, Pa., who now lives in Weston, Fla.

Mills (Wake Forest, 1988, 1990-92) lettered four times for Wake Forest playing for head coach Bill Dooley. Mills is Wake's all-time leading receiver among tight ends having caught 142 passes for 1,652 yards. A three-time All-ACC first-team selection from 1990 through 1992, he finished third in the ACC in receptions in 1990 with 46 and led the league in 1991 with 51. Against Duke in 1990, he caught 12 passes for 230 yards, still the second-most receiving yards in a single game in school history. A fifth-round pick by the Houston Oilers in the 1993 NFL Draft, he played seven seasons in the NFL with Houston, Oakland and Minnesota. In 1996, while with the Oilers, he earned All-Pro honors as a special teams player. Mills is originally from Jacksonville, Fla., but he now lives in Houston, Texas.

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