The first-ever Jim Thorpe Award winner, Thomas Everett was one of 13 players selected to the College Football Hall of Fame's 2006 class.
May 16, 2006
From the national ballot of 77 candidates and a pool of hundreds of eligible nominees, Ron Johnson, chairman of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, announced the 2006 College Football Hall of Fame Division I-A Class, which includes the names of 13 All-America players and two legendary coaches. Among the 13 players in the Class of 2006 is former Baylor standout free safety Thomas Everett, who starred for the Bears from 1983-86.
Everett becomes the ninth individual from Baylor to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, following in the footsteps of Barton Koch (1974), James Ray Smith (1987), Lawrence Elkins (1993), Bill Glass (1985), Coach Morley Jennings (1973), Mike Singletary (1995), Coach Grant Teaff (2001) and Hayden Fry (2003).
Playing under the tutelage of College Football Hall of Fame coach Grant Teaff, Everett was a leader during one of the program's most successful eras as the Bears won 30 games and appeared in three bowl games. "Thomas is very representative of the qualities of young men we were able to recruit to Baylor from the state of Texas," said Teaff. "He was a great player, student and person. Thomas came from a small high school but he turned out to be one of the finest players in Baylor history and one of the finest young men to ever play at Baylor."
A two-time First Team All-America selection, Everett earned unanimous honors in 1986, played in the Hula Bowl and received the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back. Twice named Southwest Conference Most Valuable Player and First Team All-Conference, he was voted the conference's Athlete of the Year for the 1986-87 school year.
Named to Baylor's All-Decade of the 1980s Team, Everett ranks among the school's top 10 in career interceptions (12), tackles (325), punt returns (80) and punt return yards (766). A member of the Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame, he led his team in punt return yards three times.
Drafted in the fourth round of the 1987 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Everett enjoyed nine seasons in the NFL with the Steelers, Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Currently, he resides in Dallas, Texas.
In addition to Everett, the 2006 Hall of Fame class includes:
Bobby Anderson - RB, Colorado, 1967-69
Bennie Blades - DB, Miami (Fla.), 1985-87
Carl Eller - T, Minnesota, 1961-63
Steve Emtman - DL, Washington, 1989-91
Thomas Everett - FS, Baylor, 1983-86
Chad Hennings - DT, Air Force, 1984-87
Chip Kell - OG, Tennessee, 1968-70
Mike Phipps - QB, Purdue, 1967-69
Mike Rozier - RB, Nebraska, 1981-83
Jeff Siemon - LB, Stanford, 1968-71
Bruce Smith - DT, Virginia Tech, 1981-84
Emmitt Smith - RB, Florida, 1987-89
Charlie Ward - QB, Florida State, 1989, 1991-93
Bobby Bowden - Samford (1959-62), West Virginia (1970-75), Florida State (1976-present), 359-107-4
Joe Paterno - Penn State (1966-present), 354-117-3
"We are very pleased to announce the induction of yet another exceptional class of college football hall of famers," said Chairman Ron Johnson. "Each year our hard-working Honors Court, chaired by Gene Corrigan, continues to do an outstanding job in ensuring the game's legends are duly recognized."
The 2006 College Football Hall of Fame Division I-A Class will be inducted at the 49th Annual Awards Dinner on December 5, 2006, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. They will be officially enshrined at the Hall in South Bend, Indiana during ceremonies in the summer of 2007.
1. First and Foremost, a player must have received First Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams.
2. A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation's Honors Courts ten years after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
3. While each nominee's football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man with love of his country. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.
4. Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years*. For example, to be eligible for the 2006 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1956 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.
5. A coach becomes eligible three years after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage*.
(*Those players that do not comply with the 50-year rule and coaches that have not won 60% of their games may still be eligible for consideration by the Division I-A and Divisional Honors Review Committees, which examine unique cases.)
With 119 chapters and over 12,000 members nationwide, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in America's young people. NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., Play It Smart, The NFF Center for Youth Development Through Sport at Springfield College (Mass.), the NFL-NFF Coaching Academy, and annual scholarships of nearly $1 million for college and high school scholar-athletes.