Former Viking Clinton Jones makes college HOF

Former Vikings running back Clinton Jones was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame Friday morning.

Former Minnesota Vikings running back Clinton Jones was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame on Friday.

Jones, the second overall pick in the 1967 draft by the Vikings after his collegiate career at Michigan State, rushed for 2,178 yards and 20 touchdowns in 602 attempt over his seven-year NFL career. All but 55 of those attempts and 170 of those yards came in his first six years with the Vikings.

He was used sparingly in his rookie season, but eventually joined a rotation that included Bill Brown and Dave Osborne from 1968 to 1972.

While Jones was selected second overall by the Vikings in 1967, his Vikings draft class included two other first-rounders – WR Gene Washington, also from Michigan State and taken eighth overall, and DT Alan Page, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who was chosen 15th overall.

While at Michigan State from 1964-66, Jones was first-team All-America as a junior, and had 2,549 all-purpose yards and 23 touchdowns during his career that included a share of two national championships.

“When I opened the box from the National Football Foundation and saw the football, I couldn’t hold back the tears of appreciation and gratitude for being given the privilege and honor of joining my brothers George (Webster), Bubba (Smith) and Gene (Washington) in the College Football Hall of Fame,” Jones said in a statement released by MSU. “I imagined George and Bubba saying, ‘Clyde, you finally made it, congratulations.’ Of course, Gene and Pat Gallinagh will be as happy as Meadowlarks. That’s what makes this honor so special, because all of my teammates were my heroes.

“… There are no words to describe my feelings; I’m simply overwhelmed. It’s rare to have played college football, but for me to have had the opportunity to play on a historical, groundbreaking team that brought so much diversity to NCAA football at a time when the country was going through so much negativity and social change really makes me so profoundly appreciative to have played a small part in it all.

The 17-member Class of 2015 included 15 players and two coaches that were announced Friday in a ceremony in Dallas.

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