3 from Georgia among finalists for Black College Football Hall of Fame

Robert Mathis (98) reacts after the Colts recovered a fumble against the Chicago Bears in  Super Bowl XLI  on  Feb. 4, 2007. Mathis, a native of Atlanta, is among the 25 finalists for the Black College Football Hall of Fame.
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Robert Mathis (98) reacts after the Colts recovered a fumble against the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI on Feb. 4, 2007. Mathis, a native of Atlanta, is among the 25 finalists for the Black College Football Hall of Fame.

Credit: David J. Phillip

Credit: David J. Phillip

Three Georgia natives are among the 25 finalists for the 2019 class of the Black College Football Hall of Fame, which is headquartered in Atlanta.

The finalists were announced Thursday and were selected from 150 nominees. Among the finalists are winners of 17 Super Bowl rings and 36 NFL Pro Bowl selections.

Among Georgia’s connections to the finalists are three Peach State natives in Robert Mathis, Emerson Boozer and John Moody.

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Moody, nicknamed "Big Train" or "Big Six," was a fullback who starred at Morris Brown College from 1939-41. He was born in Manchester, but his family moved to Pennsylvania when he was young. At Morris Brown, Moody not only was a bruising, tough-to-tackle rusher, but he was also a kicker. According to Onnidan, which covers HBCU sports, he could kick a football with either foot.

In 1940, Moody scored a total of 109 points for Morris Brown, leading them to the SIAC conference title. Moody served in the Army, and then played football professionally in Canada and for the AAFC, before it merged with the NFL. He died in 1995.

Boozer, 75, is a native of Augusta and played at Laney High School. He played collegiately at Maryland-Eastern Shore, then known as Maryland State, and totaled 22 touchdowns and 2,357 rushing yards for the maroon-and-gray. Boozer was drafted by the New York Jets and played 10 seasons in the pros, scoring 64 touchdowns and tallying 6,623 yards from scrimmage. In 1969, he was part of the Jets team that won Super Bowl III.

Mathis, 37, was born in Atlanta and attended McNair High School. He played his college ball at Alabama A&M, where he set single season FCS records for forced fumbles (10) and sacks (20) in 2002. He was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 2003 and played 14 seasons as a defensive end. Mathis finished his NFL career with 123 sacks, 54 forced fumbles, 17 fumble recoveries, 397 tackles, three touchdowns and a Super Bowl win in 2006. He was a five-time Pro Bowl player.

Also among the finalists is Hugh Douglas, a former NFL defensive end and three-time Pro Bowl player, who now co-hosts a morning show on Atlanta sports talk radio station, 92.9 The Game.

The 2019 class for the Black College Football Hall of Fame will be announced Oct. 25 and the induction ceremony will take place Feb. 16.


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