Journey To The Hall

Upon entering the 94,256 square foot College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia on December 28, PebbleCreek resident Herb Orvis looked around with a huge grin and said, “We made it to the Hall during our year-long journey.”

The New Year’s weekend celebration was the cornerstone of the twelfth annual National Hall of Fame Salute at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, which highlighted the outstanding careers of 14 All-American players and two legendary coaches who established themselves among the greatest to ever set foot on the college gridiron.

Orvis’ 10,000 plus mile journey included a series of trips that led us from Arizona to Colorado three times, to New York City and finally to the Georgia capital. I, as his fiancé, accompanied him on the journey and documented the events for his website,

The two year old Hall of Fame in Atlanta includes 50,000 square feet of exhibit space and a 45-yard indoor football field.

“This journey has had so many amazing experiences. Along the way I have been able to reunite with former coaches and players, celebrate with family and friends and to share the experiences with my PebbleCreek neighbors,” Orvis said.

Orvis traveled to Colorado University activities associated with the university’s National Signing Day in February, Homecoming in October and Colorado University’s Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet in November.

The 2016 class was announced on January 8, 2016 in Scottsdale and they were formally inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame during the 59th National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on December 6 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Orvis also was honored at Colorado University’s Homecoming during the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute and at a reception that weekend.

The eligibility and selection process to be named to the Hall of Fame is quite rigorous. A former college football player must have received First Team All-American recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and used to comprise their consensus All-American teams.

While each nominee’s college football achievements are of prime consideration, his post football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and fellow man.

A plaque in the hall says it best, “The College Football Hall of Fame is a lasting tribute to the game’s greatest players and coaches. The legends represented here have reached the highest level of achievement in the sport and their stories of excellence and impact – on and off the field – endure here in perpetuity.”

The College Football Hall of Fame was established in 1951. More than 5.19 million student-athletes have played college football since the first game on November 6, 1869. Including the 2016 inductees, only 977 players and 211 coaches have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. First class of inductees included notables Red Grange (Illinois), George Gipp (Notre Dame), Knute Rockne (Notre Dame), Amos Alonzo Stagg (four schools) and Jim Thorpe (Carlisle). There are 305 schools represented with at least one College Football Hall of Famer.

2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class

Marlin Briscoe – QB, Nebraska Omaha (1964-67)
Derrick Brooks – LB, Florida State (1991-94)
Tom Cousineau – LB, Ohio State (1975-78)
Randall Cunningham – P/QB, UNLV (1982-84)
Troy Davis – TB, Iowa State (1994-96)
William Fuller – DT, North Carolina (1981-83)
Bert Jones – QB, LSU (1970-72)
Tim Krumrie – DL, Wisconsin (1979-82)
Pat McInally – TE, Harvard (1972-74)
Herb Orvis – DE, Colorado (1969-71)
Bill Royce – LB, Ashland (Ohio) (1990-93)
Mike Utley – OG, Washington State (1985-88)
Scott Woerner – DB, Georgia (1977-80)
Rod Woodson – DB, Purdue (1983-86)

Bill Bowes – 175-106-5 (62.1%); New Hampshire (1972-98)
Frank Girardi – 257-97-5 (72.3%); Lycoming (Pennsylvania) (1972-2007)

Author:  Marilu Trainor