Aikman, Thomas among 15 elected to College Football Hall of Fame

NEW YORK -- Troy Aikman, Thurman Thomas and Jay Novacek are among the 15 former players and coaches elected Thursday to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Aikman started his college career at Oklahoma, then transferred to UCLA. After two stellar seasons (1987-88) with the Bruins, he was drafted first overall by the Dallas Cowboys.

"It's an honor to be included in such an exclusive group of players and coaches who have shaped the great tradition that college football enjoys," Aikman said. "College football has meant so much to the sporting history of our country, and it means a lot to me personally. I appreciate that legacy, and I have great respect for those who have been honored before me.

"The opportunity to share this recognition with my former Cowboys teammate Jay Novacek will make this experience all the more rewarding."

As a tight end at Wyoming, Novacek had 83 receptions for 1,536 yards and 10 touchdowns.

"This isn't something that you expect from a skinny tight end on a Wyoming team that ran the wishbone offense, but it is a great honor and very meaningful," Novacek said.

A year after being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Thomas will go into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was All-American running back at Oklahoma State, who ran for 4,595 yards and 43 touchdowns on 897 carries.

The other 12 members chosen by the National Football Foundation's selection committee are coaches Lou Holtz and John Cooper, LSU tailback Billy Cannon; Virginia offensive tackle Jim Dombrowski; Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald; Florida linebacker Wilber Marshall; Washington State running back Ruben Mayes; Arizona State guard Randall McDaniel; Syracuse quarterback Don McPherson; Texas Tech split end Dave Parks; Florida State nose guard Ron Simmons; and Army quarterback Arnold Tucker.

The latest class will be inducted at the NFF banquet in New York in December and enshrined in the summer of 2009 at the Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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