Kenneth Sims elected to College Football Hall of Fame

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AUSTIN, Texas — Former Texas defensive tackle Kenneth Sims is among 11 players and two coaches in the 2021 class of inductees in to the College Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation announced Monday

Former Texas defensive tackle Kenneth Sims will become the 24th former Longhorn to earn induction in the College Football Hall of Fame when he is enshrined as a member of the 2021 class (photos courtesy of texas / graphic by Horns Illustrated).

In addition to Sims, the class includes North Carolina tackle Harris Barton, Arizona State defensive back David Fulcher, Miami linebacker Dan Morgan, USC quarterback Carson Palmer, Eastern Illinois quarterback Tony Romo, Clemson running back/kick returner C.J. Spiller, Kansas State running back Darren Sproles, Notre Dame tackle Aaron Taylor, Iowa defensive end Andre Tippett and Tennessee linebacker Al Wilson, as well as former Florida A&M coach Rudy Hubbard and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops.

The first overall pick in the 1982 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots and the winner of the Lombardi Award, Sims becomes the 24th Longhorn elected for induction into the Hall of Fame, and the fourth in the five most recent classes.

Sims made a significant impact on the interior of the UT defensive line for four seasons, collecting 322 tackles, 29 sacks, 50 tackles for loss, 15 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and three blocked kicks. His 15 career forced fumbles remain the most in program history, and his 29 sacks (fourth) and seven fumble recoveries (fifth) both rank among the top five in the history of Texas football. His 50 career tackles for loss are ninth-best in school history.

Sims earned consensus All-America and first-team All-Southwest Conference honors in each of his final two seasons at Texas, including unanimous first-team recognition among the five recognized All-America teams as a senior. During the 1981 season, Sims’ senior campaign, he was so dominant in an injury-shortened season that he became Texas’ first Lombardi Trophy winner, which was awarded annually to the nation’s top lineman at the time, and was also voted the UPI Lineman of the Year. 

Sims finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting and received three first-place votes in 1981. In addition, he joined Rowdy Gaines, Oliver Luck, Lynette Woodward and Par J Arvidsson in receiving the prestigious all sports NCAA Today’s Top V Award in 1982. That honor, now the NCAA Today’s Top 10 Award, recognizes the nation’s premier student-athletes for their efforts on the field, in the community and in the classroom. He is still one of only six Longhorns to earn Team MVP honors in consecutive seasons.

Sims raises to 21 the number of Longhorns who have earned enshrinement in the College Football Hall of Fame. The others are: Hub Bechtol (1944-46), Earl Campbell (1974-77), Doug English (1972-74), Chris Gilbert (1966-68), Jerry Gray (1981-84), Johnnie Johnson (1976-79), Malcolm Kutner (1939-41), Bobby Layne (1944-47), Roosevelt Leaks (1972-74), Bud McFadin (1948-50), Bob McKay (1968-69), Steve McMichael (1976-79), Tommy Nobis (1963-65), James Saxton (1959-61), Harley Sewell (1950-52), Jerry Sisemore (1970-72), Mortimer “Bud” Sprague (1923-24), Harrison Stafford (1930-32), Ricky Williams (1995-98) and Vince Young (2003-05). Three Longhorn coaches — Dana Bible (1937-46), Mack Brown (1998-2013) and Darrell Royal (1957-76) — also have been inducted.

The 2021 College Football Hall of Fame class will be inducted during 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner Dec. 7 alongside the 2020 Hall of Fame class, after the 2020 event was canceled due to COVID-19. They also will be honored at their respective schools with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute during the 2021 season.

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