Penn State Football

Former Penn State QB Kerry Collins named to College Football Hall of Fame

Former Penn State quarterback Kerry Collins is one of 13 members of this year’s College Football Hall of Fame class.
Former Penn State quarterback Kerry Collins is one of 13 members of this year’s College Football Hall of Fame class. Centre Daily Times, file

Kerry Collins — former Penn State quarterback and 1994 consensus All-American — is a Hall of Famer.

Collins is one of 13 members of this year’s College Football Hall of Fame class, ESPN announced live Monday morning.

“I am extremely honored to be included in the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018,” Collins said in a written statement. “I was surrounded by great players and coaches during my time at Penn State, and was fortunate to have been part of an unbelievably talented undefeated 1994 Big Ten Championship team. My years at Penn State were special, and I am eternally grateful for the support and guidance I received there as a student-athlete.”

Collins is the 25th former Nittany Lion (19 players, six coaches) to be elected. Steve Wisniewski — a former All-American lineman for Penn State — was on the ballot but did not make the cut.

Among those whom Collins joins in the Class of 2018 include Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Miami safety Ed Reed, Michigan defensive back Charles Woodson, Texas coach Mack Brown, Temple running back Paul Palmer, Rice running back Trevor Cobb, Georgia lineman Matt Stinchcomb, Montana quarterback Dave Dickenson, Nebraska lineman Aaron Taylor, Illinois linebacker Dana Howard and Northwest Missouri State coach Mel Tjerrdsma.

Although he doesn’t own the all-time passing record, Collins is considered by many to be the best quarterback in Penn State history.

Collins, who compiled a 40-9 record from 1991-94, etched his name in history with that final campaign. The Pennsylvania native drove the country’s most prolific offense (47.8 points per game) to a 12-0 record in 1994, controversially finishing No. 2 in the country behind Nebraska.

Collins — the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien Award winner that year — was fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting after leading the nation in passing efficiency, throwing for 2,679 yards and connecting on 21 touchdowns.

“We couldn’t be happier for Kerry on being elected into the College Football Hall of Fame,” head coach James Franklin said in a news release. “Kerry is a true Penn Stater in every sense of the word.”

Collins, one of five first-team All-Americans on Penn State’s offense in 1994, is the first player from the Nittany Lions’ undefeated squad to make the College Football Hall of Fame.

Collins and the rest of the new members will be officially inducted at the 61st annual National Football Foundation awards dinner on Dec. 4 in New York.

John McGonigal: 814-231-4630, @jmcgonigal9

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