Topping the list, appropriately, is longtime late Grambling coach Eddie G. Robinson. Also among the eight players, two coaches and one contributor included in this first group of honorees are defensive lineman Junious “Buck” Buchanan and running back/defensive back Paul “Tank” Younger, signature names from the program’s early years.
The hall, conceived and developed by Grambling and pro football quarterbacks James “Shack” Harris and Doug Williams, will begin as an online tribute at http://www.blackcollegefootballhof.org.
Also included in this first class: Jackson State running back Walter Payton; Mississippi Valley State wide receiver Jerry Rice and South Carolina State State/Mississippi Valley State defensive end David “Deacon” Jones; Morgan State linebacker Willie “Honey Bear” Lanier; Tuskegee running back Ben Stevenson; Florida A&M head coach Alonzo “Jake” Gaither and Florida A&M running back Willie Galimore; and Bill Nunn Jr., Pittsburgh Courier journalist and NFL scout.
An induction ceremony is set for Feb. 20 at Four Seasons Atlanta. Organizers hope to have a display included in the College Football Hall of Fame, which is moving to Atlanta from South Bend, Ind., with a grand opening date set for 2012.