Former Wolfpack All-American Dennis Byrd was chosen from a national ballot of 77 candidates and a pool of hundreds of eligible nominees for induction into the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame, it was announced today. The 2010 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Class will be inducted at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 7, 2010, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City and will be officially enshrined in 2011.
Byrd, the first player in Atlantic Coast Conference history to be named a three-time All-ACC selection, is the fifth NC State player to enter “College Football’s Ultimate Shrine,” joining Jack McDowell, Roman Gabriel, Jim Ritcher and Jim Donnan. Former Wolfpack head coaches Buck “The Silver Fox” Shaw and Lou Holtz are also enshrined..
“Dennis Byrd is part of a proud football legacy at NC State and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honor,” said Wolfpack head coach Tom O’Brien. “He has already been recognized as one of the all-time greats at NC State and in the ACC and now will join an elite group of the best players in college football history.”
A defensive tackle under coach Earle Edwards from 1964-67, Byrd was twice named a First Team All-American and was the first NC State player ever to garner consensus All-America honors. As a member of the famed “White Shoes” defense, he led the Pack to a share of the 1965 ACC title en route to earning the school’s first-ever post-season win, as the Pack defeated Georgia in the 1967 Liberty Bowl.
Drafted as the sixth overall pick in the 1968 NFL Draft, Byrd played only two seasons with the Boston Patriots due to a nagging knee injury sustained in the latter part of his senior season at NC State. He then embarked on a 30-year teaching and coaching career at the high school level and retired in 2001.
Byrd, a native of Lincolnton, was named an ACC Football Legend and inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. He is also the only defensive player to have his jersey retired at NC State. Byrd has four children and he and his wife Kimberly reside in Elizabeth City, N.C.
“Dennis made his mark on the game as a terrific defensive performer,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “He joins an incredible list of National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame honorees and continues to represent the ACC at the highest level.”
2010 COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS
• DENNIS BYRD – DT, NX State (1964-67)
• RONNIE CAVENESS – C, Arkansas (1962-64)
• RAY CHILDRESS – DL, Texas A&M (1981-84)
• RANDY CROSS – OG, UCLA (1973-75)
• SAM CUNNINGHAM – RB, Southern California (1970-72)
• MARK HERRMANN – QB, Purdue (1977-80)
• CLARKSTON HINES – WR, Duke (1986-89)
• DESMOND HOWARD – WR, Michigan (1989-91)
• CHET MOELLER – DB, Navy (1973-75)
• JERRY STOVALL – HB, LSU (1960-62)
• PAT TILLMAN* – LB, Arizona State (1994-97)
• ALFRED WILLIAMS – LB, Colorado (1987-90)
• BARRY ALVAREZ – 118-73-4 (.615) – Wisconsin (1990-2005)
• GENE STALLINGS – 89-70-1 (.559) – Texas A&M (1965-71), Alabama (1990-96)
Byrd Named to NFF Hall of Fame
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