The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame’s renowned 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner will take place Tuesday, December 4 at the New York Hilton Midtown. ESPN3 will stream the Annual Awards Dinner live at 8:30 p.m. ET.
A star-studded College Football Hall of Fame Class, which includes Calvin Johnson, Kerry Collins, and Charles Woodson, will headline the event.
In addition, 13 of the game’s current stars will collect $241,000 in postgraduate scholarships as members of the 2018 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. The 13 student-athletes will also vie as finalists for the coveted William V. Campbell Trophy®, which will be awarded during the event for the 29th time to the nation’s top football scholar-athlete.
With more than 70 current collegiate head coaches and more than 40 returning members of the College Football Hall of Fame in attendance, the night will feature several well-known football luminaries.
NFF Chairman Archie Manning said, “The National Football Foundation represents everything right about our great sport, and this night simply features the best and brightest of college football. The accomplishments of our 2018 honorees make us all proud while providing us the ultimate vehicle for inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps.”
The 2018 College Football Hall of Fame class includes:
- Trevor Cobb, RB – Rice (1989-92)
- Kerry Collins, QB – Penn State (1991-94)
- Dave Dickenson, QB – Montana (1992-95)
- Dana Howard, LB – Illinois (1991-94)
- Calvin Johnson, WR – Georgia Tech (2004-06)
- Paul Palmer, RB – Temple (1983-86)
- Ed Reed, DB – Miami [Fla.] (1998-2001)
- Matt Stinchcomb, OT – Georgia (1995-98)
- Aaron Taylor, C/OG – Nebraska (1994-97)
- Charles Woodson, DB – Michigan (1995-97)
- Frank Beamer, Coach – Murray State (1981-86), Virginia Tech (1987-2015)
- Mack Brown, Coach – Appalachian State (1983), Tulane (1985-87), North Carolina (1988-97), Texas (1998-2013)
- Mel Tjeerdsma, Coach – Austin College [Texas] (1984-93), Northwest Missouri State (1994-2010)
The Master of Ceremonies will be Joe Tessitore, the play-by-play voice of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”
The introduction of returning members of the College Football Hall of Fame will be done by Holly Rowe from ESPN.
Other highlights include:
The singing of the “National Anthem” by Keith Miller, opera singer and former Colorado fullbackInvocation: Dr. Jack Graham, Prestonwood Baptist Church (Texas) pastor
Bestowal of the 2018 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards: Kathy Murphy, NFF Vice Chairwoman and President of Personal Investing at Fidelity Investments
Awarding of the 29th William V. Campbell Trophy®: Jon F. Hanson,NFF Chairman Emeritus
Recognition of the MEAC Players of the Year and the NFF Chapter Leadership Award recipients
NFF Legacy Award Recipients: Karl Benson, Sun Belt Conference Commissioner; Paul Hoolahan, Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO; Jonathan Taylor, Spielman, Koenigsberg & Parker Partner; and Richard Young, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP Partner
Introduction of the NFF Major Awards: Steve Hatchell, NFF President & CEO
NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award Recipient: Murry Bowden, Atlanta Hall Management Chairman and 2003 Hall of Fame inductee from Dartmouth
NFF Chris Schenkel Award Recipient: Dave South, longtime Voice of the Texas A&M Aggies
NFF John L. Toner Award Co-Recipient: Thomas Beckett, retired Yale Athletics Director
NFF John L. Toner Award Co-Recipient: Bob Scalise, Harvard Athletics Director
A look at why Football Matters®: Jerry Jones, NFF Board Member, Owner, President & General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys and former Arkansas football player
Introduction of 2018 NFF Gold Medal Recipients: Jack Ford, NFF Vice Chairman, TV personality and former Yale football player
Introduction of the 2018 College Football Hall of Fame Class: Archie Griffin, NFF Board Member and 1986 Hall of Fame inductee from Ohio State
Response on behalf of the 2018 College Football Hall of Fame Class: Mack Brown, former Appalachian State, Tulane, North Carolina and Texas head coach
Official College Football Hall of Fame Ring Ceremony: Archie Manning, NFF Chairman and 1989 Hall of Fame inductee from Mississippi
“God Bless America”: Daniel Rodriguez, America’s Beloved Tenor