Steve Hatchell,
President & CEO

Media Contacts:
Phil Marwill | 917-579-4256

Alan Cox | 972-556-1000
NFF Chalktalk - Jan. 12, 2017
The NFF announced the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class, which includes the names of 10 First Team All-America players and three standout coaches:

  • BOB CRABLELB, Notre Dame (1978-81)
  • MARSHALL FAULKRB, San Diego State (1991-93)
  • KIRK GIBSONWR, Michigan State (1975-78)
  • MATT LEINARTQB, Southern California (2003-05)
  • PEYTON MANNINGQB, Tennessee (1994-97)
  • BOB McKAYOT, Texas (1968-69)
  • DAT NGUYENLB, Texas A&M (1995-98)
  • ADRIAN PETERSONRB, Georgia Southern (1998-2001)
  • MIKE RUTHNG, Boston College (1982-85)
  • BRIAN URLACHERDB, New Mexico (1996-99)
  • DANNY FORD122-59-5 (66.9%); Clemson (1978-89), Arkansas (1993-97)
  • LARRY KEHRES332-24-3 (92.9%); Mount Union (Ohio) (1986-2012)
  • STEVE SPURRIER - 228-89-2 (71.8%); Duke (1987-89), Florida (1990-2001), South Carolina (2005-15)
The announcement of the 2017 Class was made live Jan. 9 on ESPN's  SportsCenter in Tampa, Fla., the site of the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship.  Steve Spurrier joined the ESPN set inside the stadium for the announcement, representing the class and sharing his thoughts on induction. Spurrier and  Peyton Manning (Tennessee) also participated in pregame festivities and the coin toss on the field during the championship game, including an appearance by Manning on  Championship Drive on ESPN and pregame on ESPN2. Spurrier was a guest the following morning on ESPN's First Take.

The 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be inducted at the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 5, 2017, at the New York Hilton Midtown. The inductees will also be honored at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Jan. 1, 2018, and they will be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the fall. Their accomplishments will be forever immortalized at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. Click here for more on this year's Hall of Fame Class, including full bios.
2017 College Football Hall of Fame electees Coach Steve Spurrier (Duke, Florida, South Carolina) and Peyton Manning (Tennessee) take part in the coin toss before the CFP National Championship in Tampa, Fla. (Photo by NFF/Melissa Macatee)
2017 College Football Hall of Fame electees Peyton Manning (Tennessee) and Coach Steve Spurrier (Duke, Florida, South Carolina) met with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney (center) pregame.
(Photo by NFF/Melissa Macatee)
Having established himself as one of the nation's top sports business innovators and impacting numerous communities along the way, Tod Leiweke received high praise Jan. 5 during his induction into the National Football Foundation (NFF) Leadership Hall of Fame at the Tampa Convention Center during an event kicking off the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship weekend.

Leiweke, the current chief operating officer of the NFL, began his impressive sports business in the early 1980s, working with his brothers in a small sports marketing firm in Kansas City, Mo. The experience led to a series of positions and promotions with some of the top sports franchises across the country, including stops in Minneapolis, Oakland, Portland, Seattle, Tampa, Vancouver and now nationally with the NFL. Along the way, he developed a deep understanding of the positive impact that sports can have to transform communities.
2016 Campbell Trophy Winner Terrell Honored 
During CFP National Championship
Western Michigan quarterback Zach Terrell, the 2016 recipient of the NFF William V. Campbell Trophy, was honored on the field during the College Football Playoff National Championship in Tampa, Fla., on Jan. 9. He was joined on the field by NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell (left) and NFF COO Matthew Sign. Prior to the game, Terrell appeared on ESPNU's CFP National Championship Countdown.

A First-Team Academic All-American and three-time All-MAC selection,
Terrell finished his career as Western Michigan's career leader in passing yards. This season, he guided the Broncos to an undefeated regular season, the 2016 MAC title, their first-ever ranking in the AP Poll (finishing No. 15) and a berth in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. Terrell graduated cum laude in 3.5 years with a 3.66 GPA in finance, and he currently maintains a 4.0 GPA in pursuit of his MBA.

Terrell received the 27th Campbell Trophy as the best football scholar-athlete in the country during the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City on Dec. 6. Click here to see his acceptance speech.
The NFF recognized Clemson (14-1) as the recipient of the 2016 NFF MacArthur Bowl Championship Trophy following its 35-31 victory over Alabama (14-1) Jan. 9 in the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship before a sold-out crowd of 74,512 fans, a record for Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Clemson's name will be etched alongside the greatest teams in college football history for the second time overall on the MacArthur Bowl Championship Trophy, which is housed at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. An event honoring the team will take place at the Hall during the spring. (Photo via @ClemsonFB - Twitter)
NFF Hosts FWAA Past Presidents' Dinner
On Jan. 6, the NFF hosted the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Past Presidents' Dinner, presented by the American Sports Network. This event is held annually in the host city of the National Championship and brings together past FWAA presidents to reminisce and celebrate the college football season. 
In front of more than 1,500 coaches at the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Annual Convention Jan. 9 in Nashville, Tenn., NFF Director of Membership Ron Dilatush presented the National Football Foundation's divisional national championship trophies to the coaches of the 2016 winning teams:
  • NCAA Football Championship Subdivision - John F. Kennedy Trophy 
    • James Madison University - Coach Mike Houston
  • NCAA Division II - Asa S. Bushnell Trophy
    • Northwest Missouri State University - Coach Adam Dorrel
  • NCAA Division III - Amos Alonzo Stagg Trophy
    • University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) - Coach Pete Fredenburg
  • NAIA - Dwight D. Eisenhower Trophy
    • University of Saint Francis (Ind.) - Coach Kevin Donley
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 Board Member and Arizona State vice president for athletics Ray Anderson will chair the Division I Football Competition Committee.

College Football Hall of Famer Ty Detmer (BYU) and former football players Tommy Vardell (Stanford) and Troy Vincent (Wisconsin)  are among  the six former student-athletes who will be recognized with the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award for their collegiate and professional achievements. They will be honored during the 2017 NCAA Convention on Jan. 18 in Nashville, Tenn.

EZMedDirect Inc., led by College Football Hall of Famer Gary Reasons (Northwestern State), launched a convenient and affordable discount medical plan that is available to individuals and families throughout the U.S.

2016 Campbell Trophy winner  Zach Terrell  (Western Michigan) and 2016 NFF National Scholar-Athletes Brooks Ellis (Arkansas), Cooper Rush (Central Michigan) and Karter Schult (Northern Iowa) will all  play in the   East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 21 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. The game will kick off at 3 p.m. ET and air on the NFL Network.

2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Chris  Beaschler was named to the FCS Athletics Directors Association (ADA) Academic All-Star Team.

2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete  Zay Jones  (East Carolina) 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.

2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Karter Schult (Northern Iowa) was named the FCS STATS Buck Buchanan Award recipient as the best defensive player in FCS football. Schult led all of Division I football (FBS and FCS) with 17 sacks during the regular season. He set a new UNI record for tackles for loss in a season with 24, giving him the UNI career record with 56. Schult was also named the 2016 FCS Athletics Directors Association (ADA) Defensive Player of the Year and an FCS ADA Academic All-Star.

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 Utah defensive end Hunter Dimick, who graduated in December 2016 with a 3.33 GPA in communication/sociology.
Over The Middle
The NFF Tom Lombardo/St. Louis Chapter held a luncheon today at  Lombardo's-Airport featuring Channel 4 sports director Maurice Drummon and ESPN radio host Randy Karraker.

The Little Rock Touchdown Club/NFF Arkansas Chapter's Annual Awards Banquet will take place Jan. 19. NFF Chairman, College Football Hall of Famer and 2016 NFF Gold Medal recipient Archie Manning (Mississippi) will be the guest speaker.

The Arlington (Texas) Independent School District will hold a dedication and open house for Eddy & Debbie Peach Elementary School on Jan. 28. The school is named in honor of former Arlington Lamar High School football coach Eddy Peach, and his wife, Debbie. Coach Peach received the NFF Gridiron Club of Dallas Chapter's Legends Award in 2016.

The NFF Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter will honor Greater Houston Area and South Texas High School football alumni who have participated in past Super Bowls as a player, coach or official. The event will be held at the Houston Marriott South at Hobby Airport, on Monday Jan. 30, with doors opening at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon will feature a question and answer forum moderated by former NFL quarterback and current Yahoo Sports personality Sean Salisbury. College Football Hall of Famers Donny Anderson (Texas Tech), Dave Elmendorf (Texas A&M) and Joe Washington (Oklahoma) are among those anticipated to attend.

The NFF Valley of the Sun (Ariz.) Chapter will host its Fifth Annual College Signing Day event on Feb. 1 at Majerle's Sports Grill Desert Ridge in Phoenix. Learn more at

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
FCS National Championship

James Madison won the 2016 FCS Championship after defeating Youngstown State, 28-14, in Frisco, Texas...

New Football Schools

Alvernia (Pa.) named Ralph Clark as its inaugural head football coach. The team will begin play in fall 2018...


West Virginia and Florida State will face off in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta to open the 2020 season... Georgia and Virginia will also face off in a 2020 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game... Rutgers and Boston College have agreed to a home-and-home series in 2019 and 2022... Boston College and Kansas agreed to a home-and-home series in 2019 and 2020... Air Force will open the 2017 season against VMI...


The College Football Playoff (CFP) Board of Managers announced a three-year contract extension for Executive Director Bill Hancock...  Minnesota named P.J. Fleck as its new head coach... California named Jake Spavital interim head coach... Pittsburgh named  Dr.  Randy Juhl  as acting athletics director... Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre signed a contract extension through the 2021 season... Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun agreed to a contract extension through 2021... Iowa State has extended the contract of athletics director Jamie Pollard through 2024... Charleston Southern named Mark Tucker as its new head coach... Howard named Mike London as its new head coach... Olivet (Mich.) named Dan Musielewicz as its head coach... Bluefield (Va.) named Dewey Lusk as head coach... Sacramento State named former head football coach John Volek interim athletics director... Plymouth State (N.H.) has selected Kim Bownes as its new director of athletics... Shorter (Ga.) announced that head football coach Aaron Kelton has been named interim athletics director... Linfield (Ore.) selected Garry Killgore as its next athletics director... Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez will lead the American Football Coaches Association in 2017 as president...

Awards & Honors

At the FWAA Annual Awards Breakfast the morning of the CFP National Championship, the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association's Charlie Fiss received the FWAA's Bert McGrane Award; the FWAA announced its 2016 Freshman All-America Team; Middle Tennessee State defensive end and U.S. marine veteran Steven Rhodes accepted the Armed Forces Merit Award; the Ruston Daily Leader's Buddy Davis received the FWAA Lifetime Achievement Award; and many other awards were presented ... 

Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre was officially presented with the 2016 FWAA Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award at a ceremony in Tampa, Fla...  Northwest Missouri State's Adam Dorrel, Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas)'s Pete Fredenburg and Saint Francis (Ind.)'s Kevin Donley were voted 2016 AFCA National Coach of the Year winners for Division II, Division III and NAIA, respectively...


The College Football Playoff National Championship between Clemson and Alabama delivered a total live audience across the multi-network MegaCast (TV feeds + streaming) of 26,029,000 viewers, the most-watched event carried on a cable network since last year's title game. On just ESPN, the game drew 24,391,000 viewers, the eighth most-watched cable telecast of all time... The CFP three-game (semifinals + national championship) total live audience average was 22,230,000 viewers, up 9 percent from last season's three games.

FOX Sports recorded its most-watched college football season ever in 2016 with an average audience of 1,320,000 viewers on FOX and FS1, representing a combined viewership increase of more than 11 percent over the 2015 season...


The UAB department of athletics announced that for the second consecutive year, donations surpassed $5 million...


James Madison unveiled a refreshed visual identity package, which includes an improved primary logo...


Former Notre Dame football player  James Pitcavage passed away  Dec. 26. He was 83... Former Buffalo halfback Willie Evans passed away Jan. 4. He was 79... Former UCF football player Norman Lewis died in a car accident Jan. 9 while working as an Orange County (Fla.) sheriff's deputy. He was 35...
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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.

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. 

Click here to see all of the members of the 2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association.
NFF Key Dates
Dec. 4, 2017  - Presentation of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup to the Ivy League Football Players of the Year at the New York Hilton Midtown at an event presented by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses - New  York City
Dec. 5, 2017  - NFF Annual Awards Press Conference at the New York Hilton Midtown - New York City
Dec. 5, 2017  - NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, at the New York Hilton Midtown - New York City
Dec. 5, 2017  - 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown - New York City, including the induction of the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class and the 28th presentation of The William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments and prominently displayed at the New York Athletic Club.
Jan. 1, 2018The 13th Annual NFF National Hall of Fame Salute during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Atlanta

Jan. 8, 2018 - College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium - Atlanta, Ga.
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The NFF would like to thank NFF correspondent Bo Carter for his contributions to this report.
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