Hall of Fame adds three from SEC schools

The College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday announced its 16-member Class of 2014. It included the late, great Alabama linebacker Derrick Thomas (1985-88), Ole Miss tight end Wesley Walls (1985-88) and South Carolina wide receiver Sterling Sharpe (1983-87, although the Gamecocks were not yet part of the SEC when Sharpe played).

Here's a quick look at each inductee:

  • Thomas won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker in 1988 when he set a Crimson Tide record with 27 sacks as a senior. He was the fourth overall draft pick in the 1989 NFL draft. Thomas had an NFL Hall of Fame career that was cut short by a car accident that cost him his life at 33.

  • Walls played defensive end in his first three years for the Rebels. He moved to linebacker as a senior and then shifted to tight end full-time, earning first-team All-America honors after catching 36 passes for 426 yards and three touchdowns. He was drafted in the second round in 1989 and played 13 years in the NFL.

  • Sharpe was the Gamecocks' all-time leading receiver when he left school in 1987 as a first-team All-American, finishing with 169 catches for 2,497 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was picked seventh overall in the 1988 NFL draft and was a five-time All-Pro during a seven-year career that was shortened by a neck injury.

Here's more:

Ivan Maisel: Thomas' election to the college football Hall was long overdue. The reason is simple: Alabama didn't nominate him until 2011.

Podcast: Maisel and Matt Barrie reflect on the careers of the newest members to the College Football HOF.

Photo gallery: Hall of Fame Class of 2014