NEW YORK -- Former University of Oregon All-America running back and wide receiver Ahmad Rashad has been selected to the College Football Hall of Fame, class of 2007, National Football Foundation (NFF) Chairman Ron Johnson announced at a Wednesday luncheon honoring 12 players and two coaches ticketed for enshrinement.
"My college experience was one of the greatest experiences of my entire life," Rashad said. "Eugene was a wonderful place to try to find yourself as a person and my time there is something I'll always cherish."
On the college gridiron, Rashad was a two-time All-American and established 14 Oregon records. The former Bobby Moore set single-game (249), season (1,211) and career (2,306) rushing marks as well as season (54) and career (131) records for receptions. He was the only player to lead the Pac-8/Pac-10 Conference in scoring (1969-70) from two different positions (RB, WR).
One witness to many of those marks was Oregon Director of Athletics Pat Kilkenny.
“I was on campus at that time and guys like Ahmad Rashad, Bob Newland and Dan Fouts were my heroes,” Kilkenny said. “This is a deserving honor for Ahmad and a great honor for the university.”
Rashad helped the Ducks achieve a winning record in two of his three seasons - an impressive achievement during those days for Oregon football. His game-winning touchdown in the 1970 opener over Cal set the stage for the team's best mark (6-4-1) in six seasons.
"The game was played in Portland and I remember catching a pass to win the game and then falling into the stands," Rashad said. "There are so many memories, but that one stands out along with beating USC at home my junior year."
But Rashad is emphatic that playing football was just one aspect of his overall UO experience.
"For me it was a perfect spot," he said of the university and surrounding community. "It was a socially active place and there was so much going on at that time. I had a football coach in Jerry Frei that allowed us to be more than football players. He encouraged us to be students and to have a social conscious and that's all anyone can ask for.
"When I say 'Go Ducks,' I really mean it."
Rashad will become the seventh Oregon player or coach to enter the College Football Hall of Fame when he is honored at the NFF's 50th Annual Awards Dinner in New York City at the Walfdorf-Astoria on Tuesday, Dec. 4. He joins J.W. Beckett (1913-16), Hugo Bedzek (1913-17), Norm Van Brocklin (1947-48), John Kitzmiller (1928-30), Coach Len Casanova (1951-66) and Mel Renfro (1961-63).
The 1971 first-team all-conference and All-America choice was the fourth pick in the 1972 NFL draft by St. Louis, where he was selected to the NFC all-Rookie team. His 10-year NFL career culminated with a six-year stint in Minnesota that included four Pro Bowls and one Super Bowl appearance (1977).
Rashad is now an Emmy Award-winning sportscaster and currently serves as executive producer and host for NBA Entertainment-produced series and specials. Rashad began his broadcasting career with NBC Sports, joining the network as an NFL commentator and host for NBC's Sports World in 1983.
Rashad was the 1995 recipient of the University of Oregon Pioneer Award, the highest honor given to an alumnus. He also holds an honorary degree of Doctor of Journalism from the University of Puget Sound.
For complete list of the 2007 class visit www.footballfoundation.com