Wesley Walls Elected To College Football Hall Of Fame

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Wesley Walls
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Wesley Walls
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

May 22, 2014

Wesley Walls Bio | Full National Football Foundation Announcement

IRVING, Texas – Former Ole Miss All-American Wesley Walls has been selected to the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014 as announced Thursday by the National Football Foundation.

One of the most acclaimed players in Ole Miss history, Walls received first team All-America honors in 1988 at tight end while also being recognized as an NFF National Scholar-Athlete.

The Pontotoc, Mississippi, native, who went on to enjoy a successful NFL career, becomes the ninth former player or coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as an Ole Miss Rebel. Two other members of the Ole Miss family have also been enshrined in the hall.

Ole Miss in the College Football Hall of Fame

  • Bruiser Kinard (1951)
  • Charlie Conerly (1965)
  • Barney Poole (1974)
  • John Vaught (1979)
  • Doug Kenna* (1984)
  • Thad “Pie” Vann** (1987)
  • Archie Manning (1989)
  • Parker Hall (1991)
  • Jake Gibbs (1995)
  • Charlie Flowers (1997)
  • Wesley Walls (2014)

* Kenna was inducted as an Army player; was on the 1941 Ole Miss freshman team with fellow hall of famers Conerly and Poole
** Vann was inducted as a Southern Miss coach; played at Ole Miss from 1926-28 and was captain of the ’28 squad

“I could not be prouder to see our rich Hall of Fame tradition continue with Wesley,” said Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze. “He had an amazing career and is very deserving of this honor. Wesley was a tremendous representative for Ole Miss for so many years in the NFL, and now he will represent us among the elite to ever play college football.”

“We are honored to have Wesley represent Ole Miss on this incredible stage,” Ole Miss Athletics Director Ross Bjork said. “With his outstanding success on the field and in the classroom, he epitomizes the type of student-athlete we strive to produce in all of our sports. Congratulations to Wesley as well as our 10 previous Hall of Fame inductees.”

After playing strictly as a defensive end his first three seasons in Oxford, Walls transformed into a two-way player his senior year when the team needed a tight end. The 1988 team captain amassed 36 receptions for 426 yards and three touchdowns at tight end en route to earning AP first team All-America and All-SEC honors.

As a defensive end, he recorded 140 career tackles, including 19.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, and he led the Rebels to a win in the 1986 Independence Bowl. One of the most memorable moments of his Rebel career came in the 1988 Alabama game when Ole Miss upset the 12th-ranked Tide 22-12 in Tuscaloosa and did not allow a pass completion all game. Walls had seven catches for 79 yards and a key QB sack in the victory.

An Academic All-America and three-time academic all-conference selection, Walls was chosen as a member of the 1980s All-SEC Team and honored as an SEC Legend in 2007.

Chosen by the San Francisco 49ers in the second round of the 1989 NFL Draft, Walls enjoyed a decorated 15-year NFL career, helping the 49ers win Super Bowl XXIV during his rookie campaign. A five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro selection, he also played for the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers.

Walls currently works as a real estate developer, and he serves as president and CEO of Delta Furniture Manufacturing. Active in the community, he endowed a football scholarship at Ole Miss, and he was inducted into the Ole Miss Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Independence Bowl Hall of Honor in 2001. He received the Distinguished American Award from the Ole Miss chapter of the National Football Foundation in 2009.

The 16-member 2014 class of the College Football Hall of Fame will be inducted together at the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 9, 2014, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The inductees will also be honored at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 1, 2015, and they will be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with on-campus salutes during the fall. Their accomplishments will be forever immortalized in the new $66.5 million College Football Hall of Fame, currently under construction in Atlanta and scheduled to open in August 2014.

“We are extremely proud to announce the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said Archie Manning, NFF 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.”

Including the 2014 Hall of Fame class, only 948 players and 207 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.06 million who have played or coached the game during the past 145 years. In other words, less than two ten-thousandths of one percent (.0002) of the individuals who have played the game have been deemed worthy of this distinction.

Founded in 1947, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame inducted its first class of inductees in 1951. The first class included 32 players and 19 coaches, including Illinois' Red Grange, Notre Dame's Knute Rockne, Ole Miss’ Bruiser Kinard and Carlisle's Jim Thorpe.

2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class

  • Dre Bly – DB, North Carolina (1996-98)
  • Tony Boselli – OT, Southern California (1991-94)
  • Dave Butz – DT, Purdue (1970-72)
  • Shane Conlan – LB, Penn State (1983-86)
  • Joe Hamilton – QB, Georgia Tech (1996-99)
  • John Huard – LB, Maine (1964-66)
  • Darrin Nelson – HB, Stanford (1977-78, 1980-81)
  • Willie Roaf – OL, Louisiana Tech (1990-92)
  • John Sciarra – QB, UCLA (1972-75)
  • Sterling Sharpe – WR, South Carolina (1983, 1985-87)
  • Leonard Smith – CB, McNeese State (1979-82)
  • Derrick Thomas (deceased) – LB, Alabama (1985-88)
  • LaDainian Tomlinson – TB, Texas Christian (1997-00)
  • Wesley Walls – TE, Ole Miss (1985-88)
  • Mike Bellotti – Coach, Chico State (Calif.) (1984-88) and Oregon (1995-08)
  • Jerry Moore – Coach, North Texas (1979-80), Texas Tech (1981-85) and Appalachian State (1989-12)
Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Wallace Looks to Make More History

      Thursday, December 18, 2014 - Football

      Senior quarterback Bo Wallace, like his head coach, stepped into a program that had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14 straight games.  Three years later, Wallace helped lead the ninth-ranked Rebels to their first nine-win regular... read more

    • Rebels Ink Nation's Top JUCO Quarterback

      Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - Football

      Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 8-14, 2014)

      Monday, December 15, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more

    • Recapping Monday's Media Opportunities

      Monday, December 15, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 14

      Sunday, December 14, 2014 - Athletics

      With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Volleyball Season Highlight

      Friday, December 12, 2014 - Volleyball

      read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight

      Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 1-7, 2014)

      Monday, December 8, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more

    • Testing One, Two, Three

      Monday, December 8, 2014 - Academics

      While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 7

      Sunday, December 7, 2014 - Athletics

      In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 13

      Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - Men's Basketball

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 13 - MSU (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Rebels Finding a Rhythm after Trip to Florida

      Tuesday, December 2, 2014 -

      Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more

    • Bjork, Freeze Reach Agreement on New Contract

      Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - Football

      Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (No. 24-30, 2014)

      Monday, December 1, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Nov. 24-30, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss won the annual "Egg Bowl" rivalry 31-17 over No. 4 Mississippi State in front of another sold-out crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday afternoon.- The Rebels finish the... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 30

      Sunday, November 30, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss collected a lot of hardware over the weekend, as the football team reclaimed the Egg Bowl trophy and the men's and women's basketball returned home with regular-season tournament championship. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week... read more