Aug. 3, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C.–Led by the Atlantic Coast Conference’s all-time career rushing leader in NC State’s Ted Brown (Apple Valley, Minn.), Georgia Tech’s only three-time first-team All-America in Randy Rhino (Marietta, Ga.), and one of only five players in ACC history to have been named ACC Player of the Year twice in Clemson’s Steve Fuller (Enid, Okla.), the ACC Tuesday announced its Class of 2010 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game Legends.
The Legends will be honored at this year’s Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game weekend. They will be honored at the ACC Night of Legends event on Friday, Dec. 3, will also be recognized during ceremonies at Bank of America Stadium for the 6th Annual Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship, which has a 7:45 p.m. kickoff on Dec. 4 and will be nationally televised by ESPN.
The group of 12 former gridiron standouts from current ACC schools includes five former players who earned some kind of ACC Player of the Year honors, three members of the ACC’s prestigious 50th Anniversary Football Team, a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, eight former All-Americas including four consensus All-Americas, eight players who combined for 58 years of professional football experience and eight who were drafted into the National Football League, including five first-round picks.
In all, the collection of players and coaches combined to capture a national championship, one NFL World Championship, a Canadian Football League Grey Cup and seven ACC team titles.
Ted Brown (1975-78) is the only player in ACC history to be named to the first-team All-ACC Football team for four consecutive seasons (1975-78). He ended his career in 1978 ranked 4th on the NCAA’s all-time rushing list and he still is the leading rusher in ACC history, having accumulated 4,602 yards. He scored an ACC-record 49 rushing touchdowns and holds NC State school records for most yards in a season (1,350), most touchdowns (51) and longest run from scrimmage (95 yards vs. Syracuse in 1977). Named a consensus All-America in 1978, he was a first-round draft choice of the Minnesota Vikings. The 16th player selected in the 1979 NFL Draft, Brown ran for 4,546 yards and 53 touchdowns in an eight-year career in the National Football League. He was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Football Team in 2003. Originally a native of High Point, N.C., he now lives in Apple Valley, Minn.
Rhino (1972-74), an outstanding defensive back and punt returner, is still the only three-time first-team All-America in Georgia Tech history, having earned first-team honors in 1972, 1973 and 1974. He started at cornerback as sophomore in 1972, earned consensus All-America honors as a free safety in 1973, then returned to cornerback as a senior in 1974, making 14 career interceptions, still the second-most in Yellow Jacket history. Named to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 2002, he still holds the record for longest punt return in Tech history, a 96-yarder against South Carolina in 1972. He averaged 13.1 yards a return on 57 punt returns and he held all of Tech’s career punt return records until they were broken in 2002 by his son Kelley. He is part of three generations of Rhinos who have played college football at Georgia Tech. Besides his son Kelley (1999-2002), his father, Chappell (1950-52) and his brother Danny (1974-76) also started for the Yellow Jackets. A 14th-round draft choice of the New Orleans Saints in the 1975 NFL Draft, Rhino played one season with Charlotte (1975) of the World Football League and six seasons in the Canadian Football League with Montreal (1976-80) and Ottawa (1981). While in the CFL he was a two-time All-Star, helping lead the Alouettes to win the 1977 Grey Cup. A native of Charlotte, N.C., he now resides in Marietta, Ga. and is the team chiropractor on Tech’s sports medicine staff.
Fuller (1975-78), a dangerous pass-run threat as a quarterback, was one of the centerpieces of the Clemson teams of the late 1970’s that brought the Tigers back to national prominence in college football. One of only five two-time ACC Football Players of the Year (1977, 1978), he led Clemson to a 27-8-1 record in his final three seasons with the Tigers including an 11-1 mark, an ACC Championship and a No. 6 national ranking in 1977. The only player in Clemson history who was named both an Academic All-America (twice, 1977-78) and a football All-America (1978, 3rd-team) in the same year, Fuller was chosen to the prestigious NCAA Top Five Award in 1978 for excellence in athletics and academics. A charter member of Clemson’s “Ring of Honor,” Fuller lettered four times (1975-78) for the Tigers and was a first-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs and the 23rd overall selection in the 1979 NFL Draft. He went on to an eight-year NFL career with Kansas City, Chicago and the L.A. Rams, throwing for 7,156 yards, 28 TDs and a 56.8 completion percentage in 86 NFL games. While in Chicago, he was a member of the 1985 NFL Champion Chicago Bears. In 2003, he was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Football Team. Originally a native of Enid, Oklahoma, Fuller currently lives in Bluffton, S.C.
Joining them as 2010 ACC Legends this year is Boston College’s Tony Thurman (Lynn, Mass.), one of the leading pass interceptors in college football history; Maryland’s Darryl Hill (Laurel, Md.), a standout wide receiver who was the first African-American football player in the Atlantic Coast Conference; and a trio of some of the best defensive linemen to ever play college football in Florida State defensive end Peter Boulware (Tallahassee, Fla.), the 1996 ACC Defensive Player of the Year; Miami defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy (Orlando, Fla.), an eight-time NFL Pro Bowl performer; and Virginia Tech defensive end Cornell Brown (Blacksburg, Va.), who was named National Defensive Player of the Year in 1995 by The Football News.
Completing this year’s Legends Class is a quartet of running backs any coach would love to have on their team in Duke’s Jay Wilkinson (Houston, Tex.), the 1963 ACC Player of the Year; North Carolina’s Ethan Horton (Charlotte, N.C.), chosen by the Associated Press as the ACC’s 1984 Player of the Year; Virginia’s Barry Word (Haymarket, Va.), the 1985 ACC Player of the Year; and Wake Forest’s Larry Hopkins (Winston-Salem, N.C.), who led the Deacons to the 1970 ACC Football Championship and then led the ACC in rushing in 1971.
Thurman (1981-84) earned consensus All-America honors for Boston College in 1984 and still holds BC interception records for a single game (3), a season (12 in 1984) and a career (25). His career interception total ties him for the fourth-best figure in the nation. His 12 interceptions in 1984 ties him for the third-best single season total in NCAA history. He helped lead the Eagles to a No. 19 national ranking in 1983 and a No. 5 ranking in 1984. Boston College won 29 of his last 37 games and he helped lead the Eagles to berths in the Tangerine (1982), Liberty and Cotton Bowls (1984). He returned the 25 pickoffs a total of 335 yards including one for a score. Twice he recorded 3 interceptions in a game in 1982 against Holy Cross and in 1984 versus Alabama. Thurman currently lives in his hometown of Lynn, Mass.
Hill (1963-64) transferred from the U.S. Naval Academy to Maryland and played for the Terrapins in 1963 and 1964, becoming the first African American to play football both at Maryland and in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Hill led the Terrapins in pass receiving in 1963 with 43 receptions good for 516 yards and a then-school record seven touchdowns. He also led the Terrapins in kickoff returns, averaging 24.4 in 1963 and was Maryland’s leading punt returner in both the 1963 and 1964 seasons. After a short stint in pro football with the New York Jets, Hill earned a master’s degree in Economics at Southern Illinois and became an entrepreneur. He returned to Maryland in 2000 as a fundraiser. A native of Washington, D.C., Hill now resides in nearby Laurel, Md.
Boulware (1994-96), one of the top pass rushers in ACC history, led the nation in quarterback sacks with 19 in 1996 and earned consensus All-America honors as a defensive end for legendary Coach Bobby Bowden at Florida State. During a three-year career in Tallahassee he helped lead the Seminoles to a 31-4-1 records as FSU finished 4th nationally in 1994 and 1995 and 3rd in 1996. Named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 1996, that year he was also named National Defensive Player by The Football News. Boulware had 34 career sacks–second most in FSU history–and earned first-team All-ACC honors in 1996. He was the fourth overall selection in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. He went on to a nine-year career with the Ravens, four times being selected to the NFL’s Pro Bowl. The NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year (AP) in 1997, he helped lead the Ravens to the NFL Championship in 2001 and retired after the 2005 season with a franchise record 70 career sacks. His older brother Raleigh, started for Georgia Tech, while his younger brother Michael, started for FSU and played five seasons in the NFL. A native of Columbia, S.C., he currently resides in Tallahassee, Fla.
Kennedy (1988-89), one of the defensive forces of Miami’s 1989 National Championship football team, played just two seasons for the Hurricanes after transferring from Northwest Mississippi Junior College, but helped lead Miami to a 22-2 record during the 1988 and 1989 seasons. During his time with the `Canes, Miami posted an 8-2 record against Top 15 teams, twice defeating the nation’s No. 1-ranked squad, ending the 1989 season as a nation’s top team after convincing wins over No. 1-ranked Notre Dame and No. 7 Alabama. The third overall pick in the first round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, Kennedy played 11 seasons in the NFL, all with Seattle. Generally regarded as one of the top defensive linemen to play in the NFL, Kennedy was named to the Pro Bowl eight times and four times was tabbed as an All-Pro. In 1992 he was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year (AP). A native of Osceola, Ark., Kennedy now resides in Orlando, Fla.
Cornell Brown (1993-96), one of the top pass rushers in Virginia Tech history, earned consensus All-America honors in 1995 and was also named a first-team All-America in 1996, despite missing three games that year with injuries. Brown lettered four seasons for Virginia Tech, helping the Hokies to a record of 37-11. Named National Defensive Player of the Year by The Football News in 1995, he led the Big East Conference that year in quarterback sacks with 14. He totaled 22 sacks in his final two seasons in Blacksburg. He was a sixth-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 1997 NFL Draft and played seven seasons in Baltimore (1997-2000, 2002-2004). He was a member of the Ravens’ World Championship team which played in Super Bowl XXXV. He is the young brother of former NFL standout Ruben Brown. Originally a native of Lynchburg, Va., he now resides in Blacksburg, Va.
Wilkinson (1961-63), who played both quarterback and halfback for the Blue Devils in his career, earned ACC Player of the Year honors in 1963 as a halfback for Duke. That year he finished second in the ACC in rushing, earning first-team All-America honors by UPI, FWAA and the AFCA. Wilkinson was a three-time letterman (1961, 1962 and 1963). He set a then-school record for touchdowns in 1963 with 12, leading the ACC in scoring and finished 9th in the Heisman Trophy balloting. He helped lead Duke to a two-year record of 20-9-1 which included back-to-back ACC Football Championships in 1961 and 1962. He still holds Duke school marks for most punt return yardage in a game (160), punt returns for touchdowns (2) in a game and in a season (3). Wilkinson, the son of legendary Oklahoma Head Coach Bud Wilkinson, was named to the college football Silver Anniversary team in 1964. Originally a native of Norman, Okla, he now resides in Houston, Texas.
Horton (1981-84), originally a quarterback in college, became one of many hard-running tailbacks for North Carolina in the early 1980’s. He was named the ACC Player of the Year by the Associated Press in 1984 after leading the Conference in rushing, accumulating 1,247 yards. Horton, a first-team All-ACC selection in 1983 and 1984, led the ACC in rushing both seasons, totaling 2,354 yards. His career total of 3,074 yards ranks him sixth on the North Carolina career rushing list and 30th among all ACC performers. Named MVP of the 1981 Gator Bowl and the 1982 Sun Bowl games, he earned third-team All-America honors in 1983 and second-team All-America accolades in 1984. The 15th overall selection in the first round of the 1998 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, he spent eight seasons in the NFL as a tight end with the Chiefs (1985), Oakland Raiders (1987-93) and Washington Redskins (1994) making 212 career pass receptions. Originally a native of Kannapolis, N.C., Horton now resides in Charlotte.
Word (1982-85) was named the ACC’s Player of the Year in 1985 after leading the Conference in rushing with 1,224 yards, averaging 5.9 yard per carry for George Welsh’s Virginia squad. He finished his career with 2,257 yards rushing, good enough for 10th place on the Virginia career rushing list. He topped the 100-yard mark in 10 games in his career, including eight times during the 1985 campaign. A versatile performer, he led Virginia in all-purpose yardage in both 1984 and 1985. A third-round pick and overall the 62nd player taken in the 1986 NFL Draft, he played seven seasons in the National Football League with New Orleans (1987-88), Kansas City (1990-92), Minnesota (1993) and Arizona (1994). While with Kansas City in 1990, he rushed for a professional career high 1,015 yards and was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year. Originally a native of Long Island, Va., he now resides in Haymarket, Va.
Hopkins (1970-71) was one of the catalysts of the Wake Forest 1970 ACC Football Championship team. A hard-running fullback, he was second in the ACC in rushing in 1970 (984 yards) and led the ACC in running as a senior with 1,228 yards on the ground which is still a Wake Forest record. Twice named to the All-ACC Football Team, he totaled 2,212 yards rushing in his two-year career with the Deacons and still ranks 8th on the Deacon’s all-time rushing list. His 180-yard effort against NC State in 1971 is still the best rushing effort by a Deacon against the Wolfpack in Wake history. He topped the 100-yard mark 10 times during his two years at Wake, including seven times in 1971. Originally a native of Panama City, Fla., he now resides in Winston-Salem, N.C.
2010 ACC Football Legends Roster
Name School Years Position Hometown (Current Residence)
Tony Thurman Boston College 1981-85 Defensive Back Lynn, Mass (same)
Steve Fuller Clemson 1975-78 Quarterback Enid Okla. (Bluffton, SC)
Jay Wilkinson Duke 1961-63 Halfback Norman, Okla. (Houston, Tex.)
Peter Boulware Florida State 1994-96 Defensive End Columbia, S.C. (Austin, Tex.)
Randy Rhino Georgia Tech 1972-74 Defensive Back Charlotte, N.C. (Marietta, Ga.)
Darryl Hill Maryland 1963-64 Wide Receiver Washington, D.C.(Laurel, Md.)
Cortez Kennedy Miami 1988-89 Defensive Tackle Osceola, Ark.(Orlando, Fla.)
Ethan Horton North Carolina 1981-84 Tailback Kannapolis, N. C. (Charlotte, N.C.)
Ted Brown NC State 1975-78 Running Back High Point, NC (Apple Valley, Minn.)
Barry Word Virginia 1984-85 Running Back Long Island, Va. (Haymarket, Va.)
Cornell Brown Virginia Tech 1993-96 Defensive End Lynchburg, VA (Blacksburg, Va.)
Larry Hopkins Wake Forest 1970-71 Fullback Panama City, Fla. (Winston-Salem, N.C.)