AUSTIN, Texas – The University of Texas and the National Football Foundation (NFF) and the College Hall of Fame jointly honored 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Chosen and Longhorn Legend Kenneth Sims (1978-81) with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute during Friday’s halftime game against Kansas State. The Lombardi Award winner and first choice in the 1982 NFL Draft is the 24th Longhorn selected to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program, which began with the first class of the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951, has become a sacred tradition, and to this day the singular event remains the first of many activities in the Hall of Fame experience. . During salutes on the NFF Hall of Fame campus, each elected official returns to their respective school to accept a Hall of Fame plaque which will remain on permanent display at the facility.
Sims, a native of Groesbeck, TX, came to the Forty Acres as a freshman in 1978 and was an impact player at the heart of the Longhorns’ defensive line for four seasons. Meanwhile, the 6-6, 265-pound tackle recorded 322 tackles, 29 sacks, 50 tackles for a loss, 15 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and three blocked kicks. After playing behind College Football Hall of Fame Steve McMichael in his first two seasons, Sims shone as a starter in the 1980 and 1981 campaigns, registering 241 tackles, 21 sacks, 40 tackles for loss, 11 forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries. at the time. The Sims’ 15 career forced fumbles are still the most significant by a player in school history, while his 29 sacks (fourth) and seven fumble recoveries (fifth) both rank in the top five. first among the Longhorns of all time. His 50 career tackles for a loss are the ninth-best in school history.
He has won the Consensus All-America and All-Southwest Conference First Team in each of his last two seasons in Texas, including unanimous first-team recognition among the five All-America recognized teams as a senior. During the 1981 season, Sims’ senior campaign, he was so dominant in a season cut short by injury that he became the first winner of the Texas Lombardi Trophy, which is awarded annually to the best lineman. of the country at the time, and was also voted a UPI lineman. of the year. UT team captain, Sims finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy vote and received three first place votes in 1981. In addition, he joined Rowdy Gaines, Oliver Luck, Lynette Woodward and Par J Arvidsson to receive the prestigious NCAA Today’s Top V Award. in 1982. This honor, now NCAA Today’s Top 10 award, recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their efforts on the field, in the community, and in the classroom. Sims was also named the team’s MVP in his last two college seasons, making him the first Longhorn since Chris Gilbert (1966-68) to win the honor in consecutive seasons. Today, he is still one of six Longhorns to win Team MVP honors in consecutive seasons.
In his four seasons in Texas, the Longhorns are 35-12-1 (22-9-1, SWC), four bowl games and two top 10 (three top 12). Texas started the year 4-0 in its senior season and was 7-1-1 in nine games before sustaining a season-ending leg injury. In those nine games, Sims led UT to wins over No.14 Miami (14-7), No.10 Oklahoma (34-14) and No.8 SMU (9-7). The Longhorns went on to go 10-1-1, beat Alabama’s No.3 (14-12) in the Cotton Bowl and finished the 1981 season at No.2 nationally by the Associated. Press (n Â° 4 UPI Coaches Poll). He also helped the Horns to a 9-3 record and final No. 9 (both polls) as a true freshman in 1978. In 1979, the Longhorns were 9-3 and finished the year ranked n Â° 12 (AP) and n Â° 13 (UPI coaches survey).
Sims was selected by the New England Patriots with the first overall pick in the 1982 NFL Draft, becoming only the third Longhorn to be selected No.1 overall (Earl Campbell, 1978; Tommy Nobis; 1966 ). He played eight seasons with the Patriots (1982-89), including the 1985 AFC Championship season when New England qualified for Super Bowl XX. The Sims have recorded 65 tackles, 5.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries this Super Bowl season. He recorded a career record 96 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 1984, and three sacks as a rookie in 1982. Sims ended his professional career with 17 sacks in 74 games. Following his career with the Patriots, Sims was entered into the Texas Athletics Hall of Honor as part of the 1997 class.
With the addition of Sims, 21 Longhorn players were inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The others are: Hub Bechtol (1944-46 / Class of 1991), Earl Campbell (1974-77 / Class of 1990), Doug English (1972-74 / Class of 2011), Chris Gilbert (1966-68 / Class of 1999), Jerry Gray (1981-84 / Class of 2013), Johnnie Johnson (1976-79 / Class of 2007), Malcolm Kutner (1939-41 / Class of 1974), Bobby Layne (1944-47 / Class of 1968), Roosevelt Leaks (1972-74 / Class of 2005), Bud McFadin (1948-50 / Class of 1983), Bob McKay (1968-69 / Class of 2017), Steve McMichael (1976-79 / Class of 2009), Tommy Nobis (1963-65 / Class of 1981), James Saxton ( 1959-61 / Class of 1996), Harley Sewell (1950-52 / Class of 2000), Jerry Sisemore (1970-72 / Class of 2002), Mortimer “Bud” Sprague (1923-24 / Class of 1970), Harrison Stafford (1930-32 / Class of 1975), Ricky Williams (1995-98 / Class of 2015) and Vince Young (2003-05 / Class of 2019). Three Longhorn coaches – Dana Bible (1937-46 / class of 1951), Mack Brown (1998-2013 / class of 2018) and Darrell Royal (1957-76 / class of 1983) – were also inducted.
The 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 63rd Annual NFF Awards Dinner on December 7 alongside the 2020 Hall of Fame Class, following the cancellation of the 2020 event due to COVID-19. This year’s induction ceremony will take place in Las Vegas instead of his traditional New York home. Like The Sims, all inductees are also honored at their respective schools with an individual NFF Hall of Fame on-campus tribute, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the 2021 season.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION AND COLLEGE HALL OF FAME
Founded in 1947 under the early leadership of General Douglas MacArthur, legendary army trainer Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a nonprofit educational organization that operates programs designed to use the power of amateur football in the development of scholarship, citizenship and athletic success among young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Future for Football, The William V. Campbell TrophyÂ® presented by Mazda, the national NFF student-athlete class presented by Fidelity Investments and a series of initiatives to honor legends of the past and inspire the leaders of tomorrow. NFF partner companies include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Goodyear, Jostens, Mazda, the New York Athletic Club, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, and the Sports Business Journal. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NFFNetwork and learn more at footballfoundation.org.