Five with local ties going into College Football Hall of Fame

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Credit: arvin.temkar@ajc.com

Five people with ties to Georgia or Atlanta were among the 22 inductees announced on Monday as the newest members of the College Football Hall of Fame, according to the National Football Foundation, which oversees the process.

Two coaches, former Georgia leader Mark Richt and former Georgia Tech leader Paul Johnson, and three players, Eric Berry, Dwight Freeney and Terrance Mathis were honored.

Berry, who attended Creekside High School, was a two-time first-team All-American at Tennessee in 2008-09 and won the 2009 Thorpe Award as the top defensive back. He was the 2008 SEC Defensive Player of the Year after leading the conference with seven interceptions, and is the SEC’s all-time leader in interception return yards (494) and single-season interception return yards (265). He finished his career with 245 tackles, 31 passes defended, 17.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, 14 interceptions, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.

Freeney, who played for the Falcons in 2016, was a first-team All-American at Syracuse in 2001. He holds the NCAA record for number of average sacks per game (1.61).

Mathis, who attended Redan High School and played for the Falcons from 1994-2001, was a first-team All-American at New Mexico in 1989. He finished as the NCAA’s all-time leader in receptions (263) and receiving yards (4,254). He was the first player in NCAA history with 200 receptions, 4,000 receiving yards and 6,000 all-purpose yards in a career.

The class will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, which is located in Atlanta, on Dec. 5 in Las Vegas.

The inductees:

  • Eric Berry – DB, Tennessee (2007-09)
  • Michael Bishop – QB, Kansas State (1997-98)
  • Reggie Bush – RB, Southern California (2003-05)
  • Dwight Freeney – DE, Syracuse (1998-2001)
  • Robert Gallery – OT, Iowa (2000-03)
  • LaMichael James – RB, Oregon (2009-11)
  • Derrick Johnson – LB, Texas (2001-04)
  • Bill Kollar – DT, Montana State (1971-73)
  • Luke Kuechly – LB, Boston College (2009-11)
  • Jeremy Maclin – WR/KR, Missouri (2007-08)
  • Terance Mathis – WR, New Mexico (1985-87, 1989)
  • Bryant McKinnie – OT, Miami [FL] (2000-01)
  • Corey Moore – DL, Virginia Tech (1997-99)
  • Michael Stonebreaker – LB, Notre Dame (1986, 1988, 1990)
  • Tim Tebow – QB, Florida (2006-09)
  • Troy Vincent – DB, Wisconsin (1988-91)
  • Brian Westbrook – RB, Villanova (1997-98, 2000-01)
  • DeAngelo Williams – RB, Memphis (2002-05)