Former Sun Devils QB Plummer, coach Erickson named to College Football Hall of Fame
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Former Sun Devil quarterback Jake Plummer and former Sun Devil head coach Dennis Erickson have been named to the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019, as announced by the National Football Foundation on Monday morning live on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
Plummer and Erickson become the 11th and 12th members of the College Football Hall of Fame that have been a part of the Arizona State football program. The pair becomes the Sun Devils’ first inductees since former Sun Devil linebacker Bob Breunig received the honor as a part of the Class of 2015. 13 different players and two coaches were selected to this year’s Hall of Fame Class with Plummer and Erickson joining USC’s Troy Polamalu as the selections representing the Pac-12.
The inductees were selected from the national ballot of 76 All-America players and six elite coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and the 100 players and 32 coaches from the divisional ranks.
“We are extremely proud to announce the 2019 College Football Hall of Fame Class,” said Archie Manning, NFF Chairman and a 1989 College Football Hall of Famer from Mississippi. “Each of these men has established himself among the absolute best to have ever played or coached the game, and we look forward to immortalizing their incredible accomplishments. The Class will be part of a momentous year as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of college football this season.”
A 1996 First Team All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year, Plummer was a four-year starter at Arizona State. Plummer was the architect of one of the greatest seasons in school history, as he led the Sun Devils to an undefeated regular season (11-1 finish), the second Pac-10 title in school history, and a berth in the 1997 Rose Bowl. At the end of a spectacular senior campaign, Plummer received the Pop Warner Trophy, which recognized the best player on the West Coast and was also named a finalist for the Walter Camp, Davey O’Brien, and Johnny Unitas Awards.
Plummer produced one of the best statistical careers in school history, finishing third in ASU record books with 8,827 career passing yards and 1,142 career pass attempts. He also sits fourth with 65 touchdown passes while ranking fifth with 632 completions and 8,711 yards of total offense during his career.
Recognized and respected as one of the leaders in the locker room, Plummer was a captain of the 1996 team. He began receiving national attention after an outstanding junior season, which culminated in Honorable Mention All-America honors in 1995. Plummer was just as successful of the field as he was on it during his time in Tempe, earning Academic All-Pac-10 honors during his final three seasons, including First Team distinction as a senior.
Following his time at Arizona State, Plummer was taken in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He played for two teams during his 10-year NFL career, serving as the Arizona Cardinals quarterback for six seasons (1997-2002) before finishing his career with four seasons (2003-06) as the Denver Broncos starting quarterback. Plummer started 136 games and threw 161 touchdowns over the course of his NFL career, ranking first amongst former Arizona State quarterbacks in both categories. The 2005 Pro Bowler led the Broncos to a 13-3 regular season record and an appearance in the AFC Championship game.
Plummer continues to give back to the community and those less fortunate by starting and supporting several charitable endeavors. He established the Jake Plummer Foundation in 2005, which is geared toward Alzheimer’s research, caregivers, and kids. Plummer was teammates with fellow College Football Hall of Fame inductee (2010) Pat Tillman during his time as a Sun Devil. Plummer has been a continuous supporter of the Pat Tillman Foundation since it was founded in 2004. Since retirement, Plummer has not only participated, but has also supported national handball events that support various charitable causes.
After making an impact at several stops across at the professional and collegiate level, Dennis Erickson was hired as the 22ndhead football coach in program history in December of 2006. He enjoyed immediate success in Tempe, taking home Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors for the third time in his career after leading the Sun Devils to a 10-3 regular season record and claiming a share of the 2007 Pac-10 title. The 2007 season produced many highlights, including freshman kicker Thomas Weber becoming the first freshman in history to take home the Lou Groza Award, given annually to the nation’s top placekicker.
The Sun Devils started the season 8-0, capped by a victory over No. 18 California, the first victory for the program over a ranked team since 2004. Arizona State finished 11thin the final BCS standings and 16thin the final AP Poll, the highest finish since 1997. Eleven former Sun Devils were taken in the NFL Draft during Erickson’s tenure, including New England Patriots defensive lineman Lawrence Guy and Washington Redskins guard Shaun Lauvao. During the 2011, Erickson led the Sun Devils to victories over a pair of ranked teams (No. 19 Missouri & No. 23 USC), including the first victory over USC since 1999.
Erickson’s 23-year career as a college head coach is highlighted by a pair national titles while at the University of Miami. In his first season at Oregon State after returning from the NFL, the Beavers enjoyed their first winning season in 29 years and their first bowl appearance in 35 years. The following season, the program snapped its 33-year losing streak to USC and earned a share of the Pac-10 Conference title for the first time since 1964. Oregon State defeated Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl and the finished No. 4 final ranking, the highest finish in school history. He led his teams to 12 bowl games and at least a share of six conference titles. After being selected as the 2007 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, he became the first coach to earn Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors at three different institutions. Over his entire career, Erickson’s teams boasted 10 top 25 finishes, including five in the top five. The two-time Sporting News National College Coach of the Year coached 67 first team all-conference selections and 21 First Team All-Americans.
Induction for this class of Hall of Famers will take place Dec. 10, 2019, during the 62nd NFF Annual Awards Dinner 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. The inductees were selected from the national ballot of 76 All-America players and six elite coaches from the FBS and the 100 players and 32 coaches from the divisional ranks.