Three Sugar Bowl Standouts Headed to College Football Hall of Fame
Bowl Now Has 149 Alums Recognized in Hall of Fame
NEW ORLEANS — Three legends of the Sugar Bowl are among the 11 members of the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class that was announced this week by the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame. Miami linebacker Dan Morgan (Sugar Bowl 2001), Notre Dame offensive lineman Aaron Taylor (Sugar Bowl 1992) and Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops (Sugar Bowl 2004, 2014, 2017) will be indicted into the Hall of Fame later this year.
Since the establishment of the Sugar Bowl in 1935, the New Orleans classic has featured 149 future members of the College Football Hall of Fame. That number includes 99 players and 51 coaches (Florida legend Steve Spurrier, one of 10 individuals to both play and coach in the Sugar Bowl, has been inducted into the Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach).
The 2021 Hall of Fame Class, featuring 11 First Team All-America players and two standout coaches, were selected from the national ballot of 78 players and seven coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 99 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks.
The Class will officially be inducted during the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner scheduled for December 7.
DAN MORGAN (University of Miami, Linebacker, 1997-2000)
The first player in history to sweep the three major defensive awards in one season, Dan Morgan is Miami’s all-time leading tackler. Part of the Hurricanes’ reemergence in the late 90s, he becomes the eighth player in school history to enter the College Football Hall of Fame. A unanimous First Team All-American in 2000, Morgan took home the Bednarik, Butkus and Nagurski Awards after leading the Hurricanes to the Big East title, an 11-1 record and a No. 2 final ranking. The 2000 Big East Defensive Player of the Year led Miami in tackles three times, and he holds the school record with 532 career tackles (also a Big East record).
A four-time All-Big East selection, Morgan garnered first team honors in 1997, 1999 and 2000 while claiming second team laurels in 1998. The 2000 Football News National Defensive Player of the Year was a four-year starter and a three-time captain, becoming the first sophomore in school history to receive the honor.
He recorded 12 tackles, including two tackles for loss, and an interception to lead the Hurricanes to a 37-20 victory over Florida in the 2001 Sugar Bowl.
AARON TAYLOR (University of Notre Dame, Offensive Tackle, 1990-93)
At a school with a long history of stellar offensive lineman, Aaron Taylor was one of the best to ever suit up at Notre Dame. A monster in the trenches, he becomes the 48th Fighting Irish player to enter the College Football Hall of Fame, the most of any school. A two-time First Team All-American, Taylor earned unanimous honors in 1993 and consensus recognition in 1992.
The anchor for one of the best stretches of Notre Dame football in the last three decades, the Irish went 40-8-1 and posted top-15 finishes every year of his career: No. 6 in 1990, No. 13 in 1991, No. 4 in 1992 and No. 2 in 1993. During his career, the Fighting Irish won three major bowl games (1992 Sugar Bowl and the 1993 and 1994 Cotton Bowls).
In the 1992 Sugar Bowl, the Notre Dame offense piled up 147 yards of offense in the fourth quarter, including a furious rally in the final five minutes featuring three rushing touchdowns from Jerome Bettis in a 39-28 victory over Florida.
BOB STOOPS (University of Oklahoma head coach, 1999-2016)
Oklahoma’s all-time winningest coach, Bob Stoops is the only coach in history to win a national championship and all four BCS bowl games. He posted a 190-48 record (79.8 winning percentage) during his remarkable 18-year tenure, returning the Sooners to one of the elite programs in college football. Stoops is the sixth Oklahoma coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
A two-time national coach of the year and six-time Big 12 Coach of the Year, Stoops led Oklahoma to 10 Big 12 titles while posting an impressive 121-29 (.807) conference record during his career. His teams averaged 10.6 wins per season, and he owned a 101-9 home record, with wins in each of his first 37 games at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
Stoops’ 2008 team went down as the highest scoring team in college football history, scoring a total of 716 points and averaging 51 points per game. A combined 25-11 against the Sooners’ biggest rivals Oklahoma State and Texas, he also posted a 66.7 winning percentage vs. AP Top 25 teams, the best in the country during his reign at OU. He led the Sooners to four BCS National Championship Game appearances, winning the 2000 national title after a perfect 13-0 season that culminated with a win over Florida State in the Orange Bowl. Leading OU to a bowl game in each of his 18 seasons (a school record), Stoops claimed nine postseason victories, including wins in the Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar bowls.
After a loss to LSU in the 2004 Sugar Bowl, which doubled as the BCS National Championship, Stoops directed his Sooners to Sugar Bowl wins in both 2014 (45-31 over Alabama) and 2017 (35-19 over Auburn).
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 99 Hall of Fame players, 51 Hall of Fame coaches and 19 Heisman Trophy winners in its 87-year history. The 2022 Allstate Sugar Bowl, which will feature top teams from the SEC and the Big 12, is scheduled to be played on January 1, 2022. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors thousands of student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.7 billion into the local economy in the last decade.
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