Eddie Robinson, Walter Payton head Black Hall


The brand new — and, for now, non-concrete — Black College Hall of Fame has elected its inaugural class and, needless to say, it will include quite a few familiar names.

Heading the list, of course, is legendary head coach Eddie Robinson.  The Grambling State icon coached at the school from 1941 through 1997, compiling a 408-165-15 career mark.

NFL Hall of Famers Walter Payton (Jackson State), Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley State) and Deacon Jones (Mississippi Valley State) are also part of the first class that will include eight players, two coaches and one journalist.

The other inductees are:

Buck Buchanan, a defensive end for Grambling State (1959-1963)– Willie Galimore, a running back for Florida A&M (1953-1956)– Willie Lanier, a linebacker for Morgan State (1963-1967)– Ben Stevenson, a running back for Tuskegee (1923-1930)– Paul Younger, a running back-defensive back for Grambling State (1945-1948)– Alonzo Gaither, Florida A&M’s head coach from 1945 to 1969– Bill Nunn Jr., a former NFL scout and journalist for the Pittsburgh Courier.

There is no building for the Black College Hall of Fame — it’s a virtual, online tribute — but co-founders James Harris and Doug Williams are hopeful that the group will get a spot at the new College Football Hal of Fame, which is moving from South Bend to Atlanta.