Aug. 14, 2005
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Former Auburn defensive tackle Tracy Rocker isn't satisfied with being enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player.
As defensive line coach at Arkansas, he wants to see some of his players follow him into the hall.
"My goal now is to not only to bring a championship back to the University of Arkansas, but also to become a coach one day in the Hall of Fame," Rocker said during the enshrinement dinner Saturday night.
Former California quarterback and coach Joe Kapp only made it as a player, but he was the coach for a play that is on display at the hall.
Every day fans visit the hall and watch the five-lateral kickoff return the Kapp-coached Cal team used in 1982 to beat Stanford 25-20. Kevin Moen finished "The Play" by running over a Stanford band trombonist.
"The play didn't fall out of the sky," Kapp said. "Was it an accident, good luck or coaching? It wasn't an accident."
Oklahoma middle guard Tony Casillas, Penn State running back Lydell Mitchell, Southern Mississippi punter Ray Guy and 15 others were enshrined along with Rocker and Kapp.
Kapp said it was the lessons he learned as a player at Cal in the late 1950s that helped the Golden Bears beat Stanford 24 years later.
"I learned: 'Be ready when opportunity comes. Never give up,"' he said. "My credo in the 1969 Super Bowl year for the Minnesota Vikings was '40 for 60.' Forty players for 60 minutes. That was the attitude of our Rose Bowl team."
At the dinner Saturday night, players said the thing they miss most about college football is the rivalries and the camaraderie. Player after player talked about the importance of the big game.
"I remember being there and beating Alabama as a team," former Tennessee linebacker Frank Emanuel said.
Former Michigan tight end Jim Mandich and Ohio State defensive back Jack Tatum talked about the rivalry between their alma maters.
"I think it's the greatest rivalry of them all," Mandich said. "It's the game where the Big Ten championships are won, trips to the Rose Bowl and national championships are won. That's why it's the greatest rivalry of all.
Wayne Harris, who played offensive guard and linebacker at Arkansas from 1956-58, said his best memories of college football are the relationships he made.
"I think of the closeness with my teammates," he said.
Casillas said he was overwhelmed when he learned that nearly 5 million men have played college football but fewer than 1,000 have been honored by the hall.
"That kind of puts everything in perspective," said Casillas, who won the Lombardi Award as the nation's top lineman in helping the Sooners to a national championship in 1985. "The hall really brings the adrenaline out in you."
Mitchell rushed for a then-NCAA record 26 touchdowns in 1971.
"Some of us had to wait longer than others," said Mitchell, who played for the Nittany Lions 1969-71. "But whenever you get in it's just a fantastic feeling. Penn Staters who came before me said: 'Just wait for the experience. I can't describe it to you.' And it's been wonderful."
Guy, despite being the first punter enshrined, doesn't believe the position is overlooked.
"I think it's just a matter of time before they start putting more in here," he said. "It's a part of the game that's very important. It's very critical to the game. The recognition is coming."
Also enshrined were Army halfback Bob Anderson, Marshall wide receiver Mike Barber, Wisconsin-Stevens Point quarterback Kirk Baumgartner, Lincoln halfback Leo Lewis, Mississippi Valley State quarterback Willie Totten, Houston quarterback Andre Ware and USC tight end Charles Young.
The coaches enshrined were BYU coach LaVell Edwards, George Welsh, who coached at Navy and Virginia, Wisconsin-LaCross coach Roger Harring, and Frosty Westering, who coached Parsons, Albert Lea and Pacific Lutheran.