Collins picked for college HOF

From Mirror reports

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State national award winner and first-team All-America quarterback Kerry Collins was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame as part of the 2018 class on Monday.

Collins will be inducted to the Hall of Fame Dec. 4, at the 61st National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner in New York City.

Collins and the 13 inductees (10 players, 3 coaches) will also be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes this fall. Their accomplishments will appear at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

“I am extremely honored to be included in the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018,” Collins said. “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 member (19 players, 6 coaches) of the Penn State football family to be elected to the Hall. Linebacker Shane Conlan was the most recent player inductee in 2014, while former Nittany Lion player Bill Bowes was enshrined as the University of New Hampshire head coach in 2016.

“We couldn’t be happier for Kerry on being elected into the College Football Hall of Fame,” Penn State coach James Franklin said. “It is a well-deserved honor for a guy whose contributions to Penn State will never be forgotten.”

Collins helped Penn State post a 40-9 record from 1991-94 and was instrumental in the Nittany Lions earning a 22-2 overall mark (14-2 conference) during their first two years in the Big Ten Conference, posting records of 10-2 in 1993 and 12-0 in 1994. The recipient of the 1994 Maxwell Award as the National Player of the Year, he helped coach Joe Paterno’s squad win three New Year’s Day bowl games: the 1992 Fiesta, 1994 Citrus and 1995 Rose Bowls.

“We are ecstatic that Kerry Collins and his outstanding career will be recognized with his induction in the College Football Hall of Fame,” Penn State athletic direcotor Sandy Barbour said. “Kerry was a great representative of the University. He was instrumental as we transitioned to the Big Ten Conference.”

A native of West Lawn, Collins started every game during the 1994 Big Ten Championship season. The Lions defeated Oregon, 38-20, in the 1995 Rose Bowl to become the first Big Ten team to post a 12-0 record, earning the No. 2 final ranking by AP, UPI and USA Today/CNN. Penn State was ranked No. 1 by the New York Times and in the Sagarin computer rankings that season.

“On what was arguably one of the most dynamic offenses ever assembled, Kerry Collins was the driving force that made it go,” said Fran Ganter, the Nittany Lions’ offensive coordinator from 1984-2003 and a member of the coaching staff for 33 years.

The expansion Carolina Panthers selected Collins with the No. 5 overall pick in the first round of 1995 NFL Draft to launch a prolific 17-year NFL career. Collins played with Carolina (1995-98), New Orleans (1998), the New York Giants (1999-2003), Oakland Raiders (2004-05), Tennessee Titans (2006-10) and the Indianapolis Colts (2011) before retiring.