By The National Football Foundation:
IRVING, Texas (Oct. 16, 2014) – Louisiana Tech and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor Willie Roaf with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute on Oct. 18 in Ruston during the game between Louisiana Tech and UTSA. Coverage of the game will start at Noon ET on Fox Sports Network.
"I am very excited about being inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame," Roaf said in a Louisiana Tech release after the announcement in May. "I just tried to improve myself while we as a team wanted to play with the big boys. We worked hard with the coaching staff, and it shows how far our program has come and how hard we worked and played. I couldn't accept this without recognizing the guys I played with and the coaches that coached me – I wouldn't be there without them."
The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program is a hallowed tradition that began with the inaugural class in 1951, and to this day the salutes remain the first of numerous activities in each inductee's Hall of Fame experience. During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each inductee returns to his alma mater to accept a Hall of Fame plaque that will remain on permanent display at the institution. The events take place on the field during a home game, and many inductees cite the experience as the ultimate capstone to their careers, providing them one more chance to take the field and hear the crowd roar their name.
Louisiana Tech's first All-American offensive lineman since 1946, Roaf earned consensus honors his senior season en route to becoming one of the most dominant blockers in the nation from 1989-92.
"Willie Roaf was an immovable force on the offensive line," said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. "He was very instrumental in establishing the Bulldogs during their transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision. We are thrilled to honor him in front of the Louisiana Tech faithful at Joe Aillet Stadium."
A finalist for the 1992 Outland Trophy, Roaf led the Bulldogs to a berth in the 1990 Independence Bowl, the school's first postseason appearance since 1978. The senior team captain twice earned First-Team All-South Independent and All-Louisiana recognition. During his time in Ruston, Roaf blocked for two of the top five career rushers in Louisiana Tech history, and he played a key role in what was then the longest rushing play in school history, an 88-yard run by Gerald Lawrence against Southern Illinois in 1991.
The eighth overall pick by the New Orleans Saints in the 1993 NFL Draft, Roaf enjoyed a highly-decorated 13-year career with the Saints and Kansas City Chiefs, culminating with his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012. An 11-time Pro Bowl selection, he is a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team as well as the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor.
The Pine Bluff, Ark., native currently resides in Georgia and owns numerous rental properties in Kansas City, Missouri. Roaf is enshrined in the Arkansas Sports, Louisiana Sports and Louisiana Tech Athletic Halls of Fame. His mother, Andree, also made history as the first black woman to serve on the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Roaf becomes the third Bulldog student-athlete to be inducted, joining Terry Bradshaw (1966-69) and Fred Dean (1971-74), all three of which are also in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Two coaches with stops in Ruston are in the Hall: Joe Aillet (1940-66) and William "Lone Star" Dietz (1922-23).
Including the 2014 class, only 948 players and 207 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.06 million people who have played or coached the game over the past 145 years. In other words, only two ten-thousandths of one percent (.0002) of those who have set foot on the gridiron have earned the distinction. Click here for a complete list of players and coaches in the Hall.
The 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, held at New York City's historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, Dec. 9. This year's College Football Hall of Fame Class includes: Dre Bly (DB, North Carolina), Tony Boselli (OT, Southern California), Dave Butz (DT, Purdue), Shane Conlan (LB, Penn State), Joe Hamilton (QB, Georgia Tech), John Huard (LB, Maine), Darrin Nelson (HB, Stanford), Willie Roaf (OL, Louisiana Tech), John Sciarra (QB, UCLA), Sterling Sharpe (WR, South Carolina), Leonard Smith (CB, McNeese State), the late Derrick Thomas (LB, Alabama), LaDainian Tomlinson (TB, TCU), Wesley Walls (TE, Mississippi), and coaches Mike Bellotti (Chico State [Calif.], Oregon) and Jerry Moore (North Texas, Texas Tech and Appalachian State).
New Orleans Saints Ring of Honor members Archie Manning, Rickey Jackson and Willie Roaf are honored at the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday, November 10, 2013. Photos taken by Michael C. Hebert (New Orleans Saints photos)