Steve Hatchell,
President & CEO

Media Contacts:
Phil Marwill | 917-579-4256

Alan Cox | 972-556-1000
NFF Chalktalk - Dec. 28, 2016
The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame remembered those who passed away in 2016 and played a role in improving the game of college football for future generations.

"It is always important at this time of year to reflect on those who have left us," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "Part of the mission of the National Football Foundation is to shine a light on the good in the game and to preserve its history. We lost some great ones in 2016, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends and universities. We will work hard to ensure that their contributions are not forgotten."
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will host the 12th Annual National Hall of Fame Salute on Saturday, Dec. 31. The event, which will take place at the Georgia Dome and just steps from the College Football Hall of Fame in the heart of Atlanta, will utilize the Bowl to showcase the 2016 Hall of Fame Class. The game will feature Alabama vs. Washington in a College Football Playoff Semifinal, and it will air on ESPN at 3 p.m. ET.

Prior to the game, a multi-day celebration for the inductees will take place in Atlanta, including several unique events and a special public ceremony on Dec. 30 at the College Football Hall of Fame where the inductees will see their legendary accomplishments permanently immortalized for the first time.

The NFF will announce the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class on Jan. 9 in conjunction with the College Football Playoff National Championship in Tampa, Fla. Click here to see the complete 2017 ballot, which includes 75 players and six coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 95 players and 29 coaches from the divisional ranks.
Now through Jan. 1, Deck the Hall : Celebrate the holiday season with family and friends. The Hall  will be decked out with holiday décor, yummy treats and special giveaways!  Daily activities include unique photo opportunities, ornament crafts and special appearances by Fumbles the Elf. Santa will be visiting the Hall on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Plenty of college themed props will be available for photos . Also, please stop by the Hall's Giving Tree, where we are blankets and twin sheet sets are being collected for City of Refuge. Donations earn 20% off Hall admission. All the festivities are included in regular admission . Click here for ticket information.

Dec. 30, NFF Salute to the 2016 Class : Welcome the newest members of the Hall as they take their place among the greatest of the great. Their glass blade will be unveiled at the Hall of Fame in a private ceremony while each member of the 2016 class will be presented with their commemorative blade in a public ceremony on the field at the Hall.

Dec. 31, The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and College Football Playoff Semifinal Viewing Party, presented by Dos Equis : Watch the four best in the land go head-to-head in their quest for the CFP National Championship.  Tailgate and watch the PlayStation Fiesta  Bowl & Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl semifinal games f rom 9:00 a.m. through the games' exciting finales. Games, music, Dos Equis' most  interesting foods, and much more will be available. Tickets are $30, plus your first drink free and access to tour  the Hall!  Click here for tickets to semifinal viewing party.
Jan. 9, The 2016 CFP National Championship Viewing Party, presented by Dos Equis : Can't be at the big game... We are the next best thing. We have a shrine to all that is amazing about college football and a really big TV in our living room!  Come watch with us! The fun starts at 6 p.m. and lasts until the victor claims the CFP national title. Click here for  tickets to the CFP National Championship viewing party .

About the College Football Hall of Fame: The Hall opened its doors Aug. 23, 2014, in the heart of Atlanta's sports, entertainment and tourism district. Adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park, the new Hall provides visitors with a highly immersive, interactive and engaging experience using a blend of historic college football artifacts and state-of-the-art, interactive multimedia exhibits. To plan your visit and purchase tickets, visit .
Check out, the NFF's home for storytelling that promotes the power of amateur football. Recent headlines on the site include:
Quote of the Week
The Blitz
NFF Chairman and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Manning (Mississippi) and 1997 Campbell Trophy winner Peyton Manning (Tennessee)  will keynote  the 2017 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show closing general session Jan. 9 in Phoenix.

The Consumer Technology Association revealed that NFF Board Member and Under Armour founder & CEO Kevin Plank   will deliver  a keynote at CES 2017 on Jan. 6 that will focus on how technology is shaping athletic performance and lifestyle now and in the years to come.

College Football Hall of Fame coach Barry Alvarez will be inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame on Dec. 29. Also being inducted are former Miami (Fla.) linebacker Jack Fernandez and former Alabama wide receiver Ray Perkins.

College Football Hall of Famer Bobby Bell (Minnesota) and Hall of Fame coach Tommy Prothro   will be inducted  into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Jan. 1. Former Southern California running back Ricky Ervins and award-winning sports writer Art Spander are also in the class.

College Football Hall of Fame coach Barry Switzer  will receive   the Tom Osborne Legacy Award during the Outland Trophy presentation banquet Jan. 11 in Omaha, Neb.

College Football Hall of Fame coach and current Wisconsin athletics director Barry Alvarez has been  named  the 2017 Paul "Bear" Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. He will receive the American Heart Association's award on Jan. 11 in Houston. Alvarez recently reflected on his run as a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee after fulfilling his three-year commitment.

College Football Hall of Famers Brian Bosworth (Oklahoma) and Billy Sims (Oklahoma)   will be honored  as part of AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl's 2016 Class of Gridiron Legends during the game on Dec. 28. Also in the class are former Texas running back Eric Metcalf and CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz.

College Football Hall of Famer Eddie George (Ohio State) will host the live television debut of the American Football Coaches Awards show Jan. 10 at 9 p.m. EST on CBS Sports Network.

2008 Campbell Trophy winner Alex Mack (California) and former NFF National Scholar-Athletes Derek Carr (Fresno State) and Joe Thomas (Wisconsin) were selected to play in the 2017 Pro Bowl. 

2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Updates

2016 Campbell Trophy winner  Zach Terrell  and Western Michigan will take on Wisconsin in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on Jan. 2. The game will kick off at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN. He also accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game, which is scheduled for Jan. 21 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., with a 3 p.m. ET kickoff on the NFL Network.

Duke safety DeVon Edwards spoke earlier this month at the Blue Devils' 2016 team banquet.

Linebacker Brooks Ellis and the Arkansas Razorbacks will take on Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29. The game will kick off at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. He also accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game, which is scheduled for Jan. 21 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., with a 3 p.m. ET kickoff on the NFL Network.

Due to an injury, BYU quarterback Taysom Hill missed the Cougars' 24-21 victory over Wyoming in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 21.

Safety Ryan Janvion recorded four tackles and had a pass breakup as Wake Forest won its first bowl game since 2008 with a 34-26 victory over Temple in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman. 

East Carolina wide receiver Zay Jones  has accepted an invitation to play in the  2017 Reese's Senior Bowl, which will kick off Jan. 28 at 2:30 p.m. ET in Mobile, Ala., and air on the NFL Network.

Central Michigan quarterback Cooper Rush threw for 241 yards in a loss to Tulsa in the Miami Beach Bowl. He finishes his four-year career as the starter with 12,894 yards and 90 touchdown passes, good for second and fifth in MAC history, respectively. Rush will next play in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 21 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., with a 3 p.m. ET kickoff on the NFL Network.

Northern Iowa defensive lineman Karter Schult was named to the named to the 2016 STATS FCS All-America Team and the 2016 FCS ADA All-America team. He is also a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the best defensive player in the FCS, which will be announced during the 2016 STATS FCS Awards Banquet and Presentation on Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas. He has also  accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game, which is scheduled for Jan. 21 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., with a 3 p.m. ET kickoff on the NFL Network.

NFF Program Updates

The NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Day, presented by Fidelity Investments, is a daily segment honoring the semifinalists for the 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments. Today's honoree is Rutgers defensive lineman Quanzell Lambert, who maintains a 3.23 GPA as a double major in labor studies & employment relations and criminal justice.

Each week during the season, the NFF produces a comprehensive television schedule for all Division I games complete with date, time, teams and on-air talent listings. Email to receive the weekly schedule.
Over The Middle
The NFF Tom Lombardo/St. Louis Chapter will hold a luncheon on Jan. 11 at Lombardo's-Airport featuring Channel 4 sports director Maurice Drummon and ESPN radio host Randy Karraker.

North Carolina at Pembroke senior place-kicker Matt Davis was selected as the recipient of the 2016 Fred Mitchell Award, which is presented to the nation's top place-kicker in FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA or NJCAA for excellence on the football field and in the community. He will be honored at Halas Hall on Feb. 20 at the NFF Chicago Metro Chapter's annual Awards Ceremony. 
Two-Minute Drill

Middle Tennessee will face Georgia and Kentucky in 2018... New Mexico State and Louisiana have scheduled a home-and-home series for 2018 and 2019... Syracuse will open the 2017 season against  Central Connecticut State... Florida State added Delaware State to its 2017 schedule...


Connecticut named Randy Edsall as its head coach... Furman introduced Clay Hendrix as its new head coach... Lafayette named John Garrett as its head coach... Lamar named Mike Schultz head coach... Northwest Missouri State named Rich Wright as its head coach... Northern Michigan named Kyle Nystrom head coach... Walsh (Ohio) named Dan Pifer as the new head coach... West Texas A&M named Hunter Hughes as its head coach... Buena Vista (Iowa) announced the hiring of Grant Mollring as head coach... Wilmington (Ohio) has named Bryan Moore as its new head coach... Howard Payne (Texas) named Braxton Harris as its head coach... Oregon State named  Scott Barnes vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics... San Diego named Bill McGillis as its executive director of athletics...

Awards & Honors

The  2016 STATS FCS All-America Team was announced... The 2016 STATS FCS Awards Banquet will be held  Friday, Jan. 6, in Frisco, Texas. Among the awards that will be presented are the Walter Payton Award (FCS Offensive Player of the Year), Buck Buchanan Award (FCS Defensive Player of the Year), Jerry Rice Award (FCS Freshman Player of the Year), Eddie Robinson Award (FCS Coach of the Year) and  Doris Robinson FCS Scholar-Athlete Award...  


The College Football Playoff Semifinals --   No. 4 Washington vs. No. 1 Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (3 p.m. ET) and No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Clemson in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (7 p.m.)  -- will be televised on ESPN on Dec. 31, with five additional presentations on ESPN's networks as part of a  MultiCast  for both semifinals...


New Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin has pledged to donate to a university fund for every Owls season ticket purchased for next year...


Florida released plans for its $60 million stand-alone football facility... Michigan State will build a new addition to the south end of Spartan Stadium...


More than 150 SEC football student-athletes are eligible to wear the SEC Graduation Patch in postseason bowl games, signifying that they have earned their college degrees...


Arkansas averaged 6,604 students per home football game this season, pushing overall student attendance to a record total of 39,623 for the six games inside Razorback Stadium... Old Dominion defeated Eastern Michigan 24-20 in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl to win the first bowl game in school history...


The NAIA announced Big Game USA as the "Official Football of the NAIA"... R+L Carriers has renewed as the title sponsor of the New Orleans Bowl through 2021...


Former Millikin (Ill.) football player Andrew Beauchamp died Dec. 17. He was 32... Former Ball State defensive end Robert Eddins died Dec. 20. He was 28... Claude Arnold, the quarterback on Oklahoma's 1950 national championship team, passed away Dec. 23. He was 92... Former  Slippery Rock (Pa.) and Indiana (Pa.) football player and longtime high school football coach Al Thomas passed away Dec. 23. He was 76... Former Kansas and New Mexico State assistant coach Bruce DeHaven passed away Dec. 27. He was 68... Former Washington football player George Pitt passed away earlier this month. He was 78...
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Each year, the NFF invites universities, colleges, conferences and bowl games from across the country to provide support for NFF programs through its Institutional Academic Membership Program. The program allows the NFF to greatly enhance the power of football's collective voice while actively building a stronger national platform for the game with community leaders, educators and the media.

Hampton joined this week as a Founder Member.  Click here to see all of the 2016 NFF Institutional Academic Members.
2003 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Eli Manning (Mississippi), a member of the Alumni Association.
2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association 

Since 1959, the National Football Foundation has annually recognized the best and brightest college players, presenting them with prestigious NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments. The $18,000 postgraduate scholarships are presented at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City. 

Launched in 2008, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association provides a powerful vehicle for past honorees to remain in the vanguard of the NFF's present efforts. 

1992 Campbell Trophy winner Jim Hansen (Colorado) and former NFF National Scholar-Athletes Josh Bloom (Dartmouth - 1994), Dave Fronek (Wisconsin - 1965) and Willie Thompson (Morgan State - 1996) recently joined.

Click here to see all of the members of the 2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association.
NFF Key Dates
Dec. 31, 2016 - The 12 th Annual NFF National Hall of Fame Salute during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Atlanta
Jan. 5, 2017 - NFF Leadership Hall of Fame Induction Dinner of Tod Leiweke - Tampa, Fla.
Jan. 9, 2017 - Announcement of the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class - Tampa, Fla.
Jan. 9, 2017 - College Football Playoff National Championship at Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, Fla.
NFF Information
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The NFF would like to thank NFF correspondent Bo Carter for his contributions to this report.
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