Oct. 10, 2012
DALLAS - Purdue University and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor Otis Armstrong with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments®, on Oct. 13 in West Lafayette, Ind., during the game between Purdue and Wisconsin. Coverage of the game will start at 12 p.m. ET on the BTN.
"I am excited and thrilled," said Armstrong when it was announced in May that he would be inducted. "Maybe even a little bit relieved because I know that my name has been on the ballot for several years. I know a lot of guys - friends of mine - who have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, and now I know that I will be one of them. I thank all the good people back in Indiana and the Midwest who have been voting for me and helping to make this happen. This is the greatest honor I have ever received."
The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program is a hallowed tradition that began with the inaugural class in 1951, and to this day the salutes remain the first of numerous activities in each inductee's Hall of Fame experience. During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each inductee returns to his alma mater to accept a Hall of Fame plaque that will remain on permanent display at the institution. The events take place on the field during a home game, and many inductees cite the experience as the ultimate capstone to their careers, providing them one more chance to take the field and hear the crowd roar their name.
One of the top runners of his era and a Consensus All-American in 1972, Armstrong left school owning Big Ten MVP honors, First Team All-Conference accolades and the league's all-time rushing record. He played running back for Purdue from 1970-72.
"Everyone knows about the history of Purdue running backs, and Otis Armstrong stacks up with the best of them in West Lafayette and for that matter the entire nation," said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. "He was an incredibly productive player and very deserving of this honor. It will be a thrill to honor in front of the Purdue faithful at Ross-Ade Stadium."
The eighth-place finisher in 1972 Heisman Trophy voting, Armstrong's 3,315 career rushing yards set school and conference records and placed him sixth in NCAA history at career's end. Armstrong's senior campaign in 1972 remains the best in Purdue history. He earned the Swede Nelson Award for great sportsmanship and team MVP honors by rushing 243 times for 1,361 yards, accumulating 1,868 all-purpose yards (all of which set single-season school records at the time). Armstrong led the Big Ten in rushing that season, and his 276-yard effort versus Indiana remains a school best. His 670 career carries remain a school record.
Armstrong becomes the ninth Purdue player to be inducted, including (in chorological order with year of induction) Elmer Oliphant (1955), Alex Agase (1963), Cecil Isbell (1967), Bob Griese (1984), Bump Elliott (1989), Leroy Keyes (1990), Mike Phipps (2006), Mark Herrmann (2010). Five coaches with stops in West Lafayette are in the hall, including: Andy Smith (1951), Jim Phelan (1973), Jim Young (1999), Jack Mollenkopf (1988), and William "Lone Star" Dietz (2012). Including the 2012 FBS class, only 918 players and 200 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly five million people who have played or coached the game over the past 144 years. In other words, only two ten thousandths of one percent (.0002) of those who have set foot on the gridiron have earned the distinction. For a complete list of players and coaches in the hall, please visit www.collegefootball.org.
The 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, held at New York City's historic Waldorf=Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, December 4. This year's hall of fame class includes: Charles Alexander (LSU), Otis Armstrong (Purdue), Steve Bartkowski (California), Hal Bedsole (Southern California), Dave Casper (Notre Dame), Ty Detmer (BYU), Tommy Kramer (Rice), Art Monk (Syracuse), Greg Myers (Colorado State), Jonathan Ogden (UCLA), Gabe Rivera (Texas Tech), Mark Simoneau (Kansas State), Scott Thomas (Air Force), John Wooten (Colorado), and coaches Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee), Jimmy Johnson (Oklahoma State, Miami [Fla.]) and R.C. Slocum (Texas A&M). For more information, please contact Will Rudd at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 972-556-1000.