Alvin's Joe Hamilton finished second in the Heisman Trophy race as a Georgia Tech quarterback. Sterling Sharpe was a game-breaking Gamecocks wide receiver before South Carolina won its first bowl game. Not surprisingly, both former players were selected Thursday for the College Football Hall of Fame.
Hamilton was the runner-up to Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne in the 1999 Heisman voting. He was a four-year starter at Georgia Tech.
Sharpe was a first-team All-American in 1987. He left South Carolina with school records for single-season receptions (74), career catches (169), single-season receiving yards and career receiving yards (2,497).
Other players in the new Hall of Fame class include North Carolina defensive back Dre Bly, Southern Cal tackle Tony Boselli, Purdue defensive tackle Dave Butz, Penn State linebacker Shane Conlan, Maine linebacker John Huard, Stanford running back Darrin Nelson, Louisiana Tech offensive tackle Willie Roaf, UCLA quarterback John Sciarra, McNeese State cornerback Leonard Smith, the late Alabama linebacker Derrick Thomas, TCU running back LaDanian Tomlinson and Ole Miss tight end Wesley Walls.
Two coaches will be enshrined: Mike Belotti (Chico State, Oregon) and Jerry Moore (North Texas, Texas Tech, Appalachian State).
After a standout career at now defunct Macedonia High School in Berkeley County, Hamilton earned consensus All-America honors at Georgia Tech.
In 1999, Hamilton won the Davey O'Brien Award given to the nation's top quarterback. He ranks third in the ACC in career total offense (10,640 yards).
Hamilton lives in Atlanta and is a recruiting assistant at Georgia Tech.
Sharpe, now an analyst with the NFL Network, went on to a seven-season pro career with the Green Bay Packers after leaving South Carolina. He still holds the school record for the longest play of any kind, a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Duke in 1985. A senior captain in 1987, the Glennville, Ga., native led the team in receiving for three seasons and he helped the Gamecocks to a berth in the 1987 Gator Bowl.
"We are extremely proud to announce the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class," said Archie Manning, National Football Foundation Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Ole Miss. "Each of these men has established himself among the absolute best to have ever played the game, and we look forward to immortalizing their incredible accomplishments at the new Hall of Fame in Atlanta as an inspiration to future generations."
The class of 2014 will be inducted at the National Football Foundation awards dinner on Dec. 9 in New York City.
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff
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