Nebraska great and 1997 Outland Trophy winner Aaron Taylor is one of 13 individuals to comprise the 2018 College Football Hall of Fame Class. The 13 inductees were announced on Monday morning by the National Football Foundation and the College Hall of Fame and the 2018 class includes 10 first-team All-America players and three outstanding coaches.
Taylor is among the group of players selected from the national ballot that included 75 All-Americans. Taylor becomes the 18th Nebraska player to earn induction into the College Hall of Fame and gives NU 24 overall members of the Hall including six coaches. Taylor is the first Husker player selected since Trev Alberts was inducted in 2015, and will be the sixth Husker inducted into the Hall in the past 12 seasons joining Alberts (2015), Tommie Frazier (2013), Will Shields (2011), Grant Wistrom (2009) and Mike Rozier (2006).
The 2018 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 4, 2018, at the New York Hilton Midtown. The inductees will also be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, presented by Fidelity Investments, during the fall. Their accomplishments will be forever immortalized at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
Taylor won the eighth of Nebraska’s nation-leading nine Outland Trophies in 1997 and is the fourth of those Outland winners to be selected for the College Hall of Fame. The only Nebraska player in history to earn All-America honors at two different positions, Taylor helped the Huskers to three undefeated, national championship seasons.
The two-time first team All-American first earned consensus honors as a junior after making the switch to center at the beginning of the season. Taylor then moved back to his preferred position of left guard during his senior season when he claimed unanimous first team All-America honors and the 1997 Outland Trophy as the most outstanding interior lineman in the nation. In addition to the three national championships, the three-time first team all-conference selection was part of three Nebraska conference title teams (Big Eight – 1994, 1995; Big 12 – 1997), as well as a Big 12 North Division title in 1996. Taylor posted 337 career pancake blocks while leading the Huskers to an impressive 49-2 overall record and a perfect 30-0 conference mark in four years.
As a senior in 1997, Taylor led Nebraska to a perfect 13-0 record and the school’s third national title in four years after defeating Tennessee in the Orange Bowl. That season, he posted a then-single-season school record 137 pancake blocks while anchoring an offensive unit that led the nation in total offense, rushing and scoring. Taylor started every game of his junior season at center with the exception of the Orange Bowl win over Virginia Tech (started at left guard) as the team finished 11-2. He moved into a starting role as a sophomore in 1995, earning third team All-America honors while helping the Huskers to a 12-0 season and a national title after defeating Florida in the Fiesta Bowl. As a redshirt freshman in 1994, Taylor played in every game while helping the Huskers to a perfect 13-0 national championship season after a win over Miami (Fla.) in the Orange Bowl.
Taylor was selected in the seventh round of the 1998 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts, splitting the season between the Colts and Chicago Bears. The Wichita Falls, Texas, native played for College Football Hall of Fame coach Tom Osborne and alongside Hall of Famers Tommie Frazier and Grant Wistrom during his time at Nebraska. Taylor has been named to the Sports Illustrated All-Century Team, Walter Camp All-Century Team, Nebraska All-Century Team and the Big 12 10th Anniversary Team. He had his No. 67 jersey retired by the Huskers in 1998.
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 10 full seasons 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 fellow man. 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 2018 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1968 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 full seasons 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.
* Players that do not comply with the 50-year rule may still be eligible for consideration by the Football Bowl Subdivision and Divisional Honors Review Committees, which examine unique cases.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME QUICK FACTS
· Including the 2018 Hall of Fame class, only 997 players and 217 coaches, have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.26 million who have played or coached the game during the past 149 years. In other words, less than two one-hundredths of a percent (.02%) of the individuals who have played the game have been deemed worthy of this distinction.
· Founded in 1947, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame inducted its first class of inductees in 1951. The first class included 32 players and 22 coaches, including Illinois’ Red Grange, Notre Dame’sKnute Rockne, Amos Alonzo Stagg and Carlisle (Pa.)’s Jim Thorpe.
· 308 schools are represented with at least one College Football Hall of Famer.
· Induction for this class of Hall of Famers will take place Dec. 4, 2018, during the 61st NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown.