Collins elected to College Football Hall of Fame

January 08, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State national award winner and first-team All-America quarterback Kerry Collins has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame as part of the 2018 class. Collins will be inducted to the Hall of Fame on Dec. 4 at the 61st National Football Foundation (NFF) Annual Awards Dinner in New York City.

Collins and the 13 inductees, consisting of 10 players and three coaches, also will 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.

Collins is the 25th member (19 players, six coaches) of the Penn State football family to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Linebacker Shane Conlan was the most recent player inductee in 2014, while former Nittany Lion player Bill Bowes was enshrined into the Hall of Fame as the University of New Hampshire head coach in 2016.

“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. I would like to congratulate the other members of this year's class, and to also thank the National Football Foundation for the privilege of joining the long list of Nittany Lions previously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.”

“We couldn’t be happier for Kerry on being elected into the College Football Hall of Fame,” said head coach James Franklin. “It is a well-deserved honor for a guy whose contributions to Penn State will never be forgotten, including the memorable undefeated season and Rose Bowl win in 1994. He furthered his Penn State legacy with an outstanding NFL career and a history of giving back. Kerry is a true Penn Stater in every sense of the word.”

"We are ecstatic that Kerry Collins and his outstanding career will be recognized with his induction in the College Football Hall of Fame," said Penn State Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour. "Kerry was a great representative of the University. He was instrumental as we transitioned to the Big Ten Conference, directing one of the most prolific offenses in college football history during our undefeated Big Ten and Rose Bowl championship season in 1994. Kerry has earned numerous professional accomplishments in football and has made many contributions to his community. We are thrilled with his well-deserved election to the Hall of Fame, earning the ultimate honor in college football."

Collins helped Penn State post a 40-9 record from 1991 to 1994 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.

A native of West Lawn, Pennsylvania, Collins started every game in leading Penn State to the 1994 Big Ten championship in its second year in the conference. The Nittany 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 at the end of the 1994 season.

A consensus first-team All-American, Collins directed one of most prolific and balanced offenses in NCAA and Big Ten history in 1994. The Nittany Lions led the nation in scoring (47.8 points per game) and total offense (520.2 yards per game) and also led the Big Ten in rushing (250.9 yards per game; sixth nationally) and passing offense (269.3 yards per game; 12th nationally). The 1994 offense broke 14 school season records and seven Big Ten season marks for: points scored (526), touchdowns (71), points per game for all games (47.8), points per game for conference games (48.1), total offense (5,722 yards), total offense per game (520.2 yards per game) and yards gained per play (7.64). All seven also were Penn State season records (bowl game statistics did not count in season stats). Penn State’s 48.1 points per game during its 8-0 conference slate in 1994 remains a Big Ten record.

Also selected the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award recipient, Collins led the Big Ten in passing yardage, passing efficiency and total offense in 1994. His 172.86 pass efficiency rating was No. 4 all-time after the 1994 season and still ranks No. 3 in a season in Big Ten history.

Collins graduated from Penn State with a degree in labor and industrial relations. He finished his career 370 of 657 passing for 5,304 yards, with 39 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions. 

The expansion Carolina Panthers selected Collins with the No. 5 overall pick in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft to launch a prolific 17-year NFL career. Collins played with Carolina (1995-98), New Orleans Saints (1998), New York Giants (1999-2003), Oakland Raiders (2004-05), Tennessee Titans (2006-10) and the Indianapolis Colts (2011) before retiring. A two-time Pro Bowl selection, he led three different NFL teams to division championships, quarterbacked the Giants to Super Bowl XXXV, and defeated 31-of-31 NFL teams at least once in his career.

A three-sport standout at Wilson-West Lawn High School, Collins has donated more than $2 million to a variety of charitable organizations since starting his professional career in 1995, including the NYU Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation, the K.C. For Kids Fund within the Kerry Collins Foundation, the Ladder5/Engine 24 Family Relief Fund and the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. He also endowed the Penn State quarterback position with a gift of $250,000.

Last Updated January 08, 2018