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Tuesday, Apr. 21, 2015

New crop of stars coming to South Bend

Posted Friday, June 29, 2012, at 11:52 AM

The 2012 class of college football hall of famers will invade South Bend and the College Football Hall of Fame later this month.

This year's crop of inductees includes several names well known to the masses and couple more that might be known only to a regional audience. But nevertheless it's still an impressive group -- one that can seen up close for almost nothing.

As part of the Enshrinement Festival at the Hall of Fame in South Bend, fans get the opportunity to watch the newest inductees receive their blazers.

It comes at the end of a day that includes a block party with music, fireworks and a barbecue cook-off.

The event takes place on Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21 in downtown South Bend.

During the course of the first day of the event fans can indulge themselves in the BBQ as well as take in a slew of free concerts.

While I personally am not familiar with any of the bands playing, they do include The Bergamot, Don Savoie, King Pao and Stillshot.

Those will run throughout the day with the blazer presentation somewhere along the way in the hall's Gridiron Plaza.

Activities on Friday are free to the public while Saturday's events, which include a reception with the inductees and silent auction followed by the enshrinement dinner and show are ticketed (according to the official website it's $150 per person or $1,200 a table).

This year's list includes the following players Carlos Alvarez (Florida), Chris Bisaillon (Ill. Wesleyan), Doug English (Texas), Bill Enyart (Oregon State), Eddie George (Ohio State), Jim Holder (Oklahoma Panhandle State), Marty Lyons (Alabama), Russell Maryland (Miami, Fla.), Richard McGeorge (Elion), Rex Mirich (Northern Arizona), Deion Sanders (Florida State), Jake Scott (Georgia), Will Shields (Nebraska), Sandy Stephens (Minnesota), Darryl Talley (West Virginia), Clendon Thomas (Oklahoma), Rob Waldrop (Arizona) and Gene Washington (Michigan State).

The class also includes coaches Lloyd Carr (Michigan), Gene Carpenter (Adams State, Colo., Millersville, Pa.), Fisher DeBarry (Air Force), William "Lone Star" Dietz (Washington State, Purdue, Louisiana Tech, Wyoming, Haskell Indian Institute (Kansas), Albright, Pa.) and Ron Harms (Concordia, Neb., Adams State, Texas A&M - Kingsville).

Some of the names listed above will likely ring bells for both college and pro football fans alike.

The two most notable names among players for me were Deion Sanders and Eddie George along with Gene Washington and Jake Scott.

Coaches Fisher DeBarry and Lloyd Carr are most prominent names in that category to me as well.

All five were at one time in the vernacular of the sport.

Sanders was known for his flamboyant style of play in both football and baseball.

Aside from the "Showtime" moniker he carried, I remember him for being the member of the Atlanta Braves baseball team that packed it up in the middle of a pennant race to head to NFL training camp while George will always be in my mind more for his days with the Tennessee Titans and thorn he was to the Colts.

Jake Scott renders memories of the only unbeaten NFL team in the Miami Dolphins and their back-to-back Super Bowls.

As a part of the "no-name defense" Scott was a solid defensive back.

Then there's the persnickety Carr and the always positive DeBerry. Carr known for being a grumpy old man of the sidelines while DeBerry turned the Air Academy football program into a winner.

No matter how you look at it, it's a chance for college football fans to get just a small taste of their sport before things actually kick off in September.

If you get the opportunity to head north that weekend it could prove to be very entertaining.

Just as a sidenote, you might want to enjoy the College Hall of Fame while it's still in South Bend. The group that oversees it, the National Football Foundation, has approved the move of the hall to Atlanta in the very near future.

So while we have this great museum in our midst now, it's hard telling how much longer we can expect it to be in Indiana.

So if you've got the time, gas and desire you might want to take a day trip to see it before it's too late.

Rick Curl is a sports writer for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at (812) 847-4487. He can be reached by email at rcurl@gcdailyworld.com.

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