BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southeastern Conference 2013 Football Legends Class includes 14 former SEC stars who excelled on the gridiron and helped write the rich history of the sport at their respective institutions.
2013 SEC FOOTBALL LEGEND BIOGRAPHIES
This year’s class includes All-Americans, All-SEC selections and Academic All-Americans as well as NCAA and SEC record holders. The group represents teams that won National and SEC Championships and are represented in state, school and college football halls of fame.
The class will be honored at the 2013 SEC Football “Weekend of Champions” Dec. 6-7 in Atlanta, Ga. The annual SEC Legends Dinner presented by AT&T will be held Dec. 6 at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta and the group will also be recognized prior to the SEC Football Championship Game, which will be held at the Georgia Dome on Sat., Dec. 7.
Below is a listing and biographies of the 2013 SEC Football Legends:
ALABAMA – Marty Lyons, Defensive Tackle, 1975-78
One of the greatest defensive linemen in Alabama history, Marty Lyons played for coach Bear Bryant's Alabama teams from 1975-78. At Alabama, he had career totals of 202 tackles, 6 forced fumbles and 4 fumble recoveries, earning consensus first-team All-America honors as a senior in 1978 when he helped lead the Tide to a national championship. He was a key player in the famous goal line stand in the 1979 Sugar Bowl. Lyons was named All-SEC in 1977 and 1978 and he was selected to the Tide’s Team of the Century. His best game came against Auburn in 1978 (16 tackles, 3 quarterback sacks) in a 34-16 win. He was a first round NFL Draft pick of the New York Jets in 1978. Lyons is a member of the State of Alabama Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame.
ARKANSAS – Wayne Martin, Defensive Tackle, 1985-88
A consensus first-team All-American and All-Southwest Conference defensive tackle, Wayne Martin racked up 162 tackles in his Razorback career including 37 tackles for loss (-189) and 25.5 sacks. He helped lead Arkansas to four bowl games and a Southwest Conference Championship in 1988. He still holds the single game and career records for sacks at Arkansas and is tied for third in the school record book for tackles for loss. Following his Razorback career, Martin went on to star for the New Orleans Saints for 11 seasons, playing in 171 games and posting 596 tackles and 82.5 sacks. Martin is a member of the University of Arkansas’ All-Century Team, 1980s All-Decade Team and the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.
AUBURN – Frank Sanders, Wide Receiver, 1991-94
A four year letter-winner at wide receiver for Auburn from 1991-94, Frank Sanders was named first-team All-America by the Associated Press, the Football Writers of America and Scripps his senior season after leading the SEC in receiving yards per game and breaking Auburn’s single-season record for receptions (58). A consensus All-SEC selection as a senior, Sanders finished his Auburn career second in total receptions with 121, receiving yardage with 1,998 and receiving touchdowns with 15. He had a nine-year NFL career from 1995-2003, including eight with the Arizona Cardinals and one with Baltimore Ravens. A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Sanders had 507 receptions for 6,749 yards and 24 touchdowns during his professional career.
FLORIDA – Wes Chandler, Wide Receiver, 1974-77
A first-team All-American for the Gators in both 1976 and 1977, Wes Chandler is one of the most revered receivers in Florida history, leading the team in receiving three straight years. He hauled in 92 passes in his career, good for 1,963 yards and a then-school record 22 touchdowns. He now sits at No. 8 on the career touchdowns board. He finished his career with the Gators as the highest-scoring non-kicker in Florida’s history. He was also an Academic All-American his senior season. Drafted by the New Orleans Saints, he enjoyed an 11-year career in the NFL. He played in four Pro Bowls for the Saints and San Diego Chargers and he was an All-Pro wide receiver for the Chargers in 1982. He went on to a professional and college coaching career.
GEORGIA – Tim Worley, Tailback, 1985-88
As a junior in 1988, Tim Worley became the sixth back in Georgia history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season, totaling 1,216 while leading the SEC in rushing. He was only the seventh Bulldog ever to rush for over 2,000 yards in a career with 2,038. His 108 points scored was the second most in a single season, trailing only legendary Herschel Walker’s 120 points in 1981. Worley’s 18 touchdowns in 1988 were also second best in Bulldog history. As a junior in 1988, Worley was a consensus first team All-America selection and he was taken in the first round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played six seasons in the NFL with the Steelers and the Chicago Bears.
KENTUCKY – Wilbur Hackett, Linebacker, 1968-70
Wilbur Hackett was a three-year starting linebacker at Kentucky, earning Sophomore All-SEC honors in 1968, honorable mention All-SEC as a junior and was Kentucky’s Co-Most Valuable Player as a senior. One of the pioneers of integration in the Southeastern Conference, in 1969 he became the first African-American team captain in any sport in SEC history. Hackett stayed close to athletics by becoming a baseball umpire and football game official, retiring recently after 15 seasons as an SEC football official. His officiating highlights included three SEC Championship Games, two Rose Bowls and a Fiesta Bowl. He is a member of the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.
LSU – Kevin Faulk, Running Back/Return Specialist, 1995-98
Kevin Faulk is LSU’s all-time leading rusher and a three-time All-SEC selection in 1996, 1997 and 1998 for the Tigers. After earning SEC Offensive Freshman of the Year honors in 1995, he was named first-team AP All-America as an all-purpose back his sophomore year in 1996 as he led a resurgence of LSU football. He finished his career with 4,557 rushing yards – third in the SEC behind only Georgia’s Herschel Walker and Arkansas’ Darren McFadden -- and an SEC record 6,833 all-purpose yards. He is still the LSU career record holder in rushing TDs (46) and during his career he rushed for 1,000 or more yards in three seasons. Faulk spent 13 years with New England Patriots and was a member of three Super Bowl winning teams in 2002, 2004 and 2005.
OLE MISS – Jeff Herrod, Linebacker, 1984-87
During his four-year career at Ole Miss, linebacker Jeff Herrod became the school’s all-time leader in tackles with 528, while also leading the Rebels in tackles all three years as a full-time starter. A two-time All-SEC selection and a third-team All-America pick, Herrod was named the Defensive MVP in the 1987 Senior Bowl. He had over 1,300 tackles during his 11-year career in the NFL, playing 10 years with the Indianapolis Colts and one year with the Philadelphia Eagles. Even in retirement, he has represented the Colts on several occasions, including the 2012 NFL Draft and the 2012 NFL Kickoff celebration, taking part in NFL Play 60 Youth Clinics. He is a member of the Ole Miss Team of the Century, the Ole Miss Sports Hall of Fame and Athlon Sports All-Time Rebel Team.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Glen Collins, Defensive Line, 1978-81
Glen Collins was one of Mississippi State’s most fierce defensive linemen in the early 1980’s. His 1981 campaign landed him in the national spotlight as he led a unit that held 11 opponents to 88 yards rushing per game and 261 yards in total offense per game - both Top 15 nationally. Collins helped the Bulldogs post an 8-4 record that season, including a 10-0 shutout victory in the Hall of Fame Bowl against Kansas. He was named first team All-American by Kodak and The Sporting News, and was a UPI First Team All-SEC choice. He finished his collegiate career by playing in the East-West Shrine Game and the Olympia Gold Bowl. Collins was drafted in the first round of the 1982 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals and enjoyed a successful seven-year career in pro football.
MISSOURI – Phil Bradley, Quarterback, 1977-80
Phil Bradley was one of the top quarterbacks in Mizzou history and arguably the best two-sport athlete in Tiger annals. A three-time All-Conference pick from 1978-80, he won the Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year award as a senior in 1980. He quarterbacked Mizzou to 23 wins and three bowl games in his final three years and set the Big Eight total offense career record with 6,459. He was a star outfielder on MU baseball teams that won the Big Eight title in 1980 and played in two NCAA Tournaments. Bradley enjoyed an eight-year Major League baseball career and was named to the American League All-Star Team in 1985. He is currently a special assistant for the Major League Baseball Players Association and a volunteer coach for the nationally-ranked Tiger Softball team.
SOUTH CAROLINA – Max Runager, Punter 1974-78
Arguably the best punter in Carolina football history, Max Runager was a three-year starter and team captain in 1978. The strong-legged punter is tied for fourth in school history with a career punting average of 41.1 yards and was selected as the punter on South Carolina's all-time modern era team. Runager was selected to play in the Canadian-American Bowl following his senior season and then was an eighth round selection by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1979 NFL draft. He spent 11 years in the National Football League with the Eagles, 49ers and Browns and he punted for two Super Bowl teams, the 1980 Eagles and the 1984 49ers. Runager was elected to the University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
TENNESSEE – Inky Johnson, Defensive Back, 2004-06
Inky Johnson played in 23 games for Tennessee from 2004-06 before a career-ending injury cut short a promising career. Johnson started eight games in his career, including six in 2005 and the first two games in 2006. He finished his career with 41 tackles, one sack, 3.5 tackles for loss, 10 pass breakups, one interception, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. He opened the 2006 season with six tackles, one TFL, and one PBU in a season-opening win over California, but suffered a career-ending shoulder injury in the subsequent week’s win over Air Force. He has since used his story of overcoming adversity and adapting to change to help mentor underprivileged youth in Knoxville and his hometown of Atlanta.
TEXAS A&M – Dat Nguyen, Linebacker, 1995-98
Dat Nguyen was the winner of the 1998 Lombardi Award and Bednarik Award as well as a consensus All-America linebacker at Texas A&M. He was named All-Big 12 three straight years, leading the Aggies and its famed “Wrecking Crew” defense to the 1998 Big 12 Championship by upsetting top-ranked Kansas State and went on to lead A&M to the Sugar Bowl. Nguyen started every game of his Texas A&M career, setting a school record with 51 consecutive starts while collecting a school-record 157 career tackles. He is the only player in school history to lead the team in tackles four consecutive years. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys and played from 1999 to 2005, earning All-Pro honors in 2003 while becoming the first Vietnamese-American linebacker in the NFL.
VANDERBILT – Jimmy Williams, Cornerback/Running Back, 1997-2000
One of only three players in Vanderbilt history to return both a punt and kickoff for a touchdown, Jimmy Williams earned All-SEC honors in 1998, his first year as a starting cornerback. In 1997, Williams was a Freshman All-SEC pick as a starting running back who led the Commodores in rushing and receiving. After moving to defense, Williams was among the team's interception leaders three straight years and still ranks among the team's all-time interception leaders, also leading the team in kickoff returns three straight years. Drafted by the Buffalo Bills, he played six years in the NFL with San Francisco and Seattle before an injury forced his retirement. After his playing career, he started the Intercepting Our Youth Foundation to benefit youth in his hometown of Baton Rouge.