BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (SEC) — All-Americans, both on the playing field and in the classroom, and All-SEC performers highlight the 2011 Southeastern Conference Football Legends Class, the SEC announced today.
The Legends will be honored at this year's SEC "Weekend of Champions" which culminates with the SEC Football Championship Game on Sat., Dec. 3 at the Georgia Dome.
The SEC Legends Dinner presented by AT&T will feature the legends from the 12 SEC schools on Friday, Dec. 2 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. The legends will also be recognized on the field prior to the kickoff of the championship game.
CBS' Verne Lundquist will serve again as the master of ceremonies for the 2011 SEC Legends Dinner.
For more information on the Legends Dinner, please visit SECDigitalNetwork.com. The 2011 Legends class is listed below:
ALABAMA – Dennis Homan, Wide Receiver, 1965-67
A consensus All-America pick in 1967, Homan was also selected to the Team of the Decade of the 1960s. Homan caught nine Kenny Stabler passes, three for touchdowns and 135 yards in the Tide's 25-3 win over Southern Mississippi in 1967. He finished his Alabama career with 87 catches for 1,495 yards (17.2 yards per catch) and 18 touchdowns. He was an Academic All-American in 1965 and played professionally for the Dallas Cowboys. In 2005, the Muscle Shoals City School System honored Homan by naming the field of James F. Moore Stadium, Dennis Homan Field. He played on the school's first football team and is the first Muscle Shoals High School player to be drafted into the NFL.
ARKANSAS – Leotis Harris, Offensive Guard, 1974-77
Leotis Harris broke through the color barrier becoming the University of Arkansas' first black All-American football player in 1977. A mainstay in the football trenches for the Razorbacks from 1974-77, Harris literally paved the way for one of the most prolific offensive eras in school history. The Little Rock, Ark. Native, earned All-America and All-Southwest Conference honors as a senior in 1977 after helping the Hogs to an 11-1 record. He was named to the Razorback All-Century Team selected in 1994 as part of the UA football centennial celebration. He is also a member of the 1970s All-Decade Team. He was a sixth-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 1977 NFL Draft. He spent six seasons in the NFL as an offensive lineman for the Packers (1978-83), starting in 55 games. In 2005, Harris was named to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor.
AUBURN – JD "Buddy" McClinton, Defensive Safety, 1967-69
Buddy McClinton is Auburn's all-time career interception leader with 18. In 1969, McClinton intercepted nine passes, which remains an Auburn record, and was named to seven All-American teams as a safety. He started every game in his career, and was named to both the CoSIDA Academic All-American team and the Academic All-SEC Team as a senior. He earned All-SEC honors in each of his three varsity seasons for the Tigers. McClinton intercepted three passes, returning one for a touchdown and was selected the Most Valuable player in Auburn's 1968 Sun Bowl win over Arizona. In 2006, the Montgomery, Ala. native, was enshrined in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
FLORIDA – Ike Hilliard, Wide Receiver, 1994-96
Ike Hilliard finished his college career with 126 catches, which is seventh-best in UF history, for 2,214 yards, fourth-best in school history, and 29 TDs, third-best total in SEC history. He tallied a TD/catch ratio of 4.34 (29TDs/126 catches) which ranks second in Gator history. He was named a first-team All-SEC selection and an All-American as a senior in 1996. Hilliard was selected in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, Hilliard went on to play 12 NFL seasons, recording 546 career receptions for 6,397 yards and 35 TDs. The Patterson, La. Native, played his first eight seasons with the Giants and finished his NFL playing career playing four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 2009.
GEORGIA – Boss Bailey, Linebacker, 1998-2002
Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Champ, Boss also earned All-America first team honors as a senior. In 2002, he led the team in tackles with 114 while also recording six QB sacks and 9.5 tackles-for-loss. He was voted the team's overall team captain after leading the Bulldogs to the 2002 SEC Championship, a 13-1 record, and a number three final national ranking. A first-team All-SEC selection as well as a semifinalist for the Butkus and Lombardi Awards as a senior, Bailey was a three-year starter for the Bulldogs. The Folkston, Ga. Native, was a second round draft choice of the Detroit Lions and played six years in the NFL with the Lions and Denver Broncos. He was named to the NFL All-Rookie team in 1993 with the Lions.
KENTUCKY – Rodger Bird, Halfback/Defensive back, 1963-65
Rodger Bird was a first-team All-America in 1965 by Time magazine and NBC and a two-time All-SEC (1964, 1965) by Associated Press and United Press International. Known as the "Corbin Comet," his first play as a collegian was a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Virginia Tech. Bird rushed for 1,699 yards and 21 touchdowns during his career, and, as an excellent pass receiver and kick returner, totaled 3,333 all-purpose yards as a Wildcat.
The Corbin, Ky. native, still holds school records for most touchdowns in a game (4) and career (27). A standout safety on defense, he intercepted five passes in his career, including a 95-yard touchdown return vs. Auburn in 1964. He was a first-round draft choice of the Oakland Raiders, where he played six years in pro football as a defensive back.
LSU – George Bevan, Linebacker, 1966-67, 1969
George Bevan is one of the finest linebackers ever to play at LSU. He earned All-SEC and All-America honors in 1969. In the first game of his junior season, he injured his Achilles tendon and spent 32 months on crutches. He returned in the summer of 1969 and moved into the starting lineup. Bevan had many shining moments, but perhaps is best known for his blocked extra point that gave #9-ranked LSU a 21-20 victory over #14-ranked Auburn in 1969. In 1966, Bevan fell on a blocked punt by Jack Dyer in the end zone for a score versus South Carolina in Paul Dietzel's return to Tiger Stadium as Gamecock coach. He was inducted into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982.
OLE MISS – Deuce McAllister, Running Back, 1997-2000
One of the most dedicated and popular players in Ole Miss history, Deuce McAllister ended his college career with 18 school records and is the only Rebel to record three seasons with at least 1,000 all-purpose yards. McAllister, who earned second team All-America and first team All-SEC honors, accounted for 4,889 career yards and 41 touchdowns. A first-round selection of the New Orleans Saints, McAllister enjoyed a nine-year NFL career as he was twice named to the Pro Bowl and set the all-time Saints record for most career rushing yards and touchdowns. McAllister, who was named to the 1999 American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, also contributes to the community in many ways. He donated $1 million to Ole Miss to help build the indoor practice facility and his Deuce McAllister Catch 22 Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the lives of youth in the Gulf South Region.
MISSISSIPPI STATE – Tom Neville, Tackle, 1961-64
Tom Neville was a first-team All-SEC selection and named AP second-team All-America in 1963 as a defensive tackle. A three-year letterman at Mississippi State, he was a 7th round pick in the 1965 American Football League Draft by the Boston Patriots. He played for the Patriots from 1965 through 1969, and with the National Football League's Patriots, Denver Broncos, and New York Giants. A 14-year veteran in the AFL/NFL, he played in 190 games. He was a 1966 All-AFL selection with the Patriots. The Montgomery, Ala. native, is a member of the Patriots All-1960s Team.
SOUTH CAROLINA – Brandon Bennett, Running Back, 1991-94
Brandon Bennett is South Carolina's second-leading career rusher with 3,055 yards, trailing only Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers. His 278 yard rushing performance against East Tennessee State in 1991 remains as a school record. His 11 games of more than 100 rushing yards is second most in Carolina history. His 111 career pass receptions is the most ever for a Gamecock running back. The Greenville, S.C. native, earned All-SEC honors in 1993. As an undrafted free agent, he latched onto the Cincinnati Bengals in 1998 and played six seasons before finishing his career with the Carolina Panthers. He was inducted into the Carolina Hall of Fame in 2004.
TENNESSEE – Bobby Majors, Defensive Back/Punter, 1968-71
A true do-everything contributor from the early 1970s, Bobby Majors earned All-America honors as a safety in 1971 and also capped his career with All-SEC honors in both 1970 and 1971. At some point in his Vol career Majors punted, kicked off, returned punts and kickoffs, played receiver and was a world-class defensive back. He currently holds school records for career punt returns (117) and career punt return yardage (1,163). His senior kickoff return average of 30.1 remains the fourth-highest in program history. Majors completed his special teams threat by punting for the Vols in 1970 and 1971. But it was at safety where Majors flourished. He set the school record with 10 interceptions in 1970, the same year the Vols had 36 picks. He still ranks seventh on the career pass interceptions list with 13.
VANDERBILT – Corey Harris, Tailback, 1988-91
Corey Harris was one of Vanderbilt's most versatile and gifted football players. He was a consensus all-SEC pick in 1991 after setting a school record for rushing yards in a season with 1,103. He led the Commodores in multiple categories including receiving and kickoff returns in addition to rushing. Two of Harris' rushing performances are in the Vanderbilt Top 10 – his 180 yard effort against Army is fifth and a 169-yard game against Georgia is tenth. The Indianapolis, Ind. native, went on to a 12-year NFL career at safety that was capped by a Super Bowl championship with the Baltimore Ravens. He had 221 total tackles, 11 interceptions and six forced fumbles in his NFL career.