College Hall of Fame Welcomes Wilber

Thursday afternoon the rest of the college football world acknowledged what folks around here have known for a quarter century. Wilber Marshall is one of the greatest college football players ever.

Florida's ferocious linebacker form the early 80s has been named to the College Football Hall of Fame. Marshall is part of a 15-member class that includes quarterback Troy Aikman, LSU great Billy Cannon, FSU nose guard Ron Simmons and Coach Lou Holtz among others.

Marshall is part of a two man debate as to who is the greatest defensive player in Gator history, him or Jack Youngblood. Since I never saw Jack play in college, I'll vote for Wilber. Marshall still holds the UF record for tackles for loss with 58 even though he spent his freshman season as a tight end. In fact he was devastated by the decision to move him to defense.

Apparently he recovered.

If you were at Florida Field in September of 1982 you saw the greatest single game defensive performance ever. Marshall dominated the powerful Trojans of Southern Cal and hit their quarter seemingly on every play. In fact to this day if you want to see ESPN analyst Sean Salisbury quiver sneak up on him and say, "Wilber's coming". His selection to the college football hall is overdue, but well deserved.

Last year Wilber became the fifth Gator in the "ring of honor" at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Now he becomes the 7th Gator chosen to the College Football Hall of Fame. He joins Ray Graves, Charlie Bachman, Dale Van Sickel and three of his fellow members of "the ring"; Emmitt Smith, Steve Spurrier and Jack Youngblood. Look for Danny Wuerffel to join them in the years ahead.

Marshall will formally be "inducted" into the Hall in a dinner in New York in December and will officially be "enshrined" next summer in South Bend, Indiana.

Questions or comments? Contact's Larry Vettel

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