Oct. 1, 2008
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Former All-American outside linebacker Pat Swilling will be the Georgia Tech Legend at this year’s Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship game weekend, December 5-6, in Tampa, Fla.
The Legends Class of 2008 will appear at the ACC Coaches and Awards Luncheon at noon on Friday, Dec. 5, and will be honored at the “ACC Night of Legends” held at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay that evening. They will also be recognized during pre-game ceremonies at Raymond James Stadium.
The group of 12 former ACC gridiron standouts includes an Outland Trophy winner, three former ACC Players of the Year, 10 former All-Americans and 10 players who combined for a total of 106 years of experience in the National Football League.
Swilling started four seasons (1982-85) at outside linebacker for Georgia Tech and as a senior was one of the leaders of Tech’s famed “Black Watch Defense” which led Tech to a 9-2-1 record and a No. 18 national ranking. Swilling earned first-team All-America honors by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) in 1985, and that year set an ACC single-game record for quarterback sacks which still stands with seven against NC State in the season-opener. He earned first-team All-ACC honors in 1985 and was a 3rd-round selection of the New Orleans Saints in the 1986 NFL Draft. He played 13 seasons in the NFL with the Saints, Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders. While with the Saints in 1991, he was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year. Originally a native of Toccoa, Ga., he now resides in New Orleans, La.
Stan Jones (Altoona, Pa.), a consensus All-America for Maryland’s 1953 National Championship squad, who went on to play for an NFL Championship team with the Chicago Bears, is one of 10 members of the class to have NFL experience.
Joining him are former Miami defensive tackle Russell Maryland (Miami, Fla.), who won the 1990 Outland Trophy, which is given annually to the nation’s top interior lineman; former Virginia running back Tiki Barber (Roanoke, Va.), the 1996 ACC Player and Offensive Player of the Year, who enjoyed a 10-year career with the New York Giants; former Florida State quarterback Danny Kannell (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), the 1995 ACC Player and Offensive Player of the Year; and former North Carolina defensive tackle Marcus Jones (Jacksonville, N.C.), the ACC’s 1995 Defensive Player of the Year.
Two other members of the class, Swilling and Levon Kirkland (Lamar, S.C.) of Clemson, also earned honors in the professional ranks. Swilling, while with the New Orleans Saints, was named the NFL’s 1991 Defensive Player of the Year, while Kirkland, a longtime standout for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1990’s.
Completing the class are former Boston College linebacker Steve DeOssie (Tacoma, Wash.), a two-time All-ECAC selection; Duke All-America end Claude “Tee” Moorman, II (Miami, Fla.); NC State consensus All-America guard Bill Yoest (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Virginia Tech All-America quarterback Don Strock (Pottstown, Pa.); and Wake Forest’s John Henry Mills (Jacksonville, Fla.), a three-time first-team All-ACC tight end.
In all, this year’s Legends class include five consensus All-Americas in Stan Jones, Marcus Jones, Kirkland, Maryland, and Yoest; two NFL first-round draft picks in Maryland, who was actually the first selection of the entire 1991 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys, and Marcus Jones; two 2nd-round NFL Draft picks in Kirkland and Yoest; one 3rd-round selection in Swilling; a pair of 4th-rounders in Kannell and DeOssie; and three 5th-round picks in Barber, Strock and Stan Jones. The honorees also feature 10 former standouts who played a combined total of 106 years in the National Football league led by Strock, who played 16 seasons with the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts, but also including Stan Jones (13 seasons), Swilling (13), DeOssie (12), Kirkland (11), Barber (10), Maryland (10), as well as Mills (7), Kannel (7) and Marcus Jones (7).
Additionally four of this year’s honorees participated in a total of seven NFL Super Bowls: Maryland, who was a member of three Super Bowl champions while with the Dallas Cowboys; DeOssie, a member of the 1991 Super Bowl