The University of Nebraska and the National Football Foundation will jointly honor Shields, a 2011 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, as the Cornhuskers host Ohio State.
The University of Nebraska and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor Will Shields with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments, on Oct. 8 during the game between the Cornhuskers and Ohio State. Coverage of the game will start at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.
“It’s really, cool, it’s shocking – like wow – I was a good player, but then to be considered one of the best…” Shields said to The Kansas City Star when his induction was announced in May. “You didn’t work for that goal, but to be able to put your numbers together with everyone else, and say, ‘You know, I had a pretty good career, and it was fun on the way to do it.”’
The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program is a hallowed tradition that began with the inaugural class in 1951, and to this day the salutes remain the first of numerous activities in each inductee’s Hall of Fame experience. During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each inductee returns to his alma mater to accept a Hall of Fame plaque that will remain on permanent display at the institution. The events take place on the field during a home game, and many inductees cite the experience as the ultimate capstone to their careers, providing them one more chance to take the field and hear the crowd roar their name.
“A giant on the Nebraska offensive line, Will Shields’ talent, size and durability combined to create the ultimate blocking machine,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “He literally paved the way as the Cornhuskers claimed three NCAA rushing titles. It will be a thrill to honor him in front of the Nebraska fans on October 8.”
Shields, who played in Lincoln from 1989-92 and earned unanimous All-American honors in 1992, distinguished himself as a highly decorated offensive guard for College Football Hall of Fame coach Tom Osborne. He won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top interior lineman in 1992, and he was a three time First Team All-Big Eight selection. He also earned recognition as a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award. A major contributor to three NCAA rushing champions, he led Nebraska to back-to-back Big Eight crowns as a junior and a senior. He appeared in four bowl games as the Cornhuskers amassed an impressive 37-10-1 record during his four years in Lincoln.
Selected in the third-round selection of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, Shields played 14 seasons for the Chiefs, never missed a game, and started 223 of his 224 career games. He holds a franchise record with 12 Pro Bowl appearances and was named a First Team All-Pro in 2002 and 2003. He was awarded the 2003 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, and on September 29 of this year, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced him as a first-year candidate for induction in Canton, Ohio.
Shields founded the Will to Succeed Foundation in 1993. He is also a member of several boards in the Kansas City area and serves as the spokesperson for multiple local charities. He was a member of the NFL-USO tour to the Persian Gulf in 2007 and was the 2005 Kansas City Philanthropic Award winner. Shields lives in Overland Park, Kan., with his wife, Senia, and their three children.
Shields becomes the 15th Cornhusker player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Recent Nebraska inductees (with year of induction) include Grant Wistrom (2009), Mike Rozier (2006), Johnny Rodgers (2000), Dave Rimington (1997), and Rich Glover (1995). Hall of Fame coaches with stops in Lincoln include Tom Osborne (1999), Bob Devaney (1981), Eddie “Robbie” Robinson (1955), Lawrence “Biff” Jones (1954), Dana Bible (1951), and Fielding Yost (1951). Including the 2011 FBS class, only 900 players and 194 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly five million who have played or coached the game over the past 143 years. In other words, less than .0002 percent have been deemed worthy of this distinction. For a complete list of players and coaches in the hall, please visit www.collegefootball.org.
This year’s class includes: Carlos Alvarez (Florida), Doug English (Texas), Bill Enyart (Oregon State), Eddie George (Ohio State), Marty Lyons (Alabama), Russell Maryland (Miami, Fla.), Deion Sanders (Florida State), Jake Scott (Georgia), Will Shields (Nebraska), Sandy Stephens (Minnesota), Darryl Talley (West Virginia), Clendon Thomas (Oklahoma), Rob Waldrop (Arizona), Gene Washington (Michigan State), coach Lloyd Carr (Michigan), and coach Fisher DeBerry (Air Force).
The 2011 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 54th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, held at New York City’s historic Waldorf=Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, December 6. For tickets, please contact Will Rudd at [email protected] or by calling 972-556-1000.
Currently Scheduled 2011 NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes (Chronological Order)
|Date||Inductee||School (Years Played/Coached)||Opposing Team|
|Oct. 8||Will Shields||Nebraska (1989-92)||vs. Ohio State|
|Oct. 22||Gene Washington||Michigan State (1964-66)||vs. Wisconsin|
|Oct. 29||Doug English||Texas (1972-74)||vs. Kansas|
|Oct. 29||Eddie George||Ohio State (1992-95)||vs. Wisconsin|
|Nov. 12||Coach Fisher DeBerry||Air Force (1984-2006)||vs. Wyoming|
|Nov. 12||Jake Scott||Georgia (1967-68)||vs. Auburn|
|Nov. 12||Sandy Stephens*||Minnesota (1959-61)||vs. Wisconsin|
|Nov. 19||Coach Lloyd Carr||Michigan (1995-2007)||vs. Nebraska|
|TBD||Deion Sanders||Florida State (1985-88)||TBD|
Deceased and represented by a family member and/or teammates.
The 2011 season marks the second season that Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans in higher education1, is serving as the national presenting sponsor of the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes. In August, the NFF and Fidelity announced an expanded multi-year initiative between the two organizations to celebrate the scholar-athlete ideal and a joint commitment to higher education. The salutes are one component the sponsorship, which also includes Fidelity being named the first presenting sponsor of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards in the 53-year history of the program.
Will Shields, who earned unanimous All-American honors in 1992, will be honored Oct. 8 with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute during the Cornhuskers’ game against Ohio State.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION & COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. For more information, please visit www.footballfoundation.org.