NEW YORK - The little quarterback who made a career of proving doubters wrong is now a Hall of Famer.
Doug Flutie was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame yesterday in his first year of eligibility, joining Ahmad Rashad and 10 other players honored by the National Football Foundation.
Penn State coach Joe Paterno, elected last year, will be inducted and enshrined with this year's class. Paterno's induction was postponed last year because he was still recovering from a broken leg suffered during a game against Wisconsin in November.
Listed at 5-10, Flutie won the Heisman Trophy in 1984 for Boston College and threw one of the most memorable passes in college football history. His 48-yard touchdown pass to Archbishop Carroll product Gerard Phelan as time expired gave the Eagles a 47-45 victory over Miami. The desperation "Hail Flutie" toss and the sight of him leaping in the air as he sprinted down field to celebrate with his teammates has become timeless.
"I guess I did more than just throw one pass," Flutie said during a news conference at a Manhattan hotel to announce the newest Hall of Fame class.
Flutie threw for 10,579 yards in his college career and led BC to a 10-2 record and Cotton Bowl victory during his Heisman season.
"It's my whole life of being the little guy and having a little chip on my shoulder, from year to year trying to prove myself, and at the end of the day to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame is very special honor for me," he said.
Flutie was elected with Rashad, a star receiver and running back at Oregon, and former Dartmouth linebacker Reggie Williams.
Rashad was known as Bobby Moore during his college career. He was a three-time all-Pac-8 selection (1969-71) and played 11 seasons in the NFL, his best years with the Minnesota Vikings
The other new Hall of Famers are: Oklahoma center Tom Brahaney, Michigan defensive back Dave Brown, Clemson linebacker Jeff Davis, Texas defensive back Johnnie Johnson, Ohio State quarterback Rex Kern, Indiana running back Anthony Thompson, Houston defensive tackle Wilson Whitley, Southern California linebacker Richard Wood and Notre Dame defensive tackle Chris Zorich.
Herb Deromedi, who won 110 games as coach at Central Michigan over 13 seasons, also was elected.
The latest class will be inducted at the National Football Foundation's awards banquet in December and enshrined at the Hall in South Bend, Ind., during the summer of 2008. *