Red Zone

Former Chiefs Emmitt Thomas, Otis Taylor are finalists for Black College Hall of Fame

Updated: 2013-09-24T15:59:47Z

By RANDY COVITZ

The Kansas City Star

Former Chiefs greats Emmitt Thomas and Otis Taylor are among the 25 finalists on the ballot for induction into the Black College Football Hall of Fame.

Thomas, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Chiefs Hall of Fame, starred at Bishop (Texas) College before he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Chiefs. He spent 1966-78 with the Chiefs and is the club’s all-time leader with 58 interceptions. Thomas, 70, is currently the Chiefs’ defensive backs coach.

Taylor, a member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame, was a fourth-round pick by the Chiefs out of Prairie View A&M, where his No. 17 is retired. Taylor, 71, spent 1965-75 with the Chiefs and was one of the most dazzling receivers of his era. Taylor led the Chiefs in receiving five times, and his 46-yard catch and run for a touchdown sealed the Chiefs’ victory over Minnesota in Super Bowl IV.

Also nominated was former Chiefs defensive tackle Ernie “Big Cat” Ladd of Grambling. Ladd, who starred for the San Diego Chargers, spent 1967-68 with the Chiefs, appearing in 24 games with two starts.

The finalists, who include 20 players and five coaches/contributors, were selected from a field of more than 125 nominees by an 11-member selection committee comprised of journalists, historians and football executives.

The committee will meet again in the coming weeks to select the seven members (six players and one coach/contributor) to be inducted as the Class of 2014. The announcement will be made on Oct. 23 at the Loews Hotel in Atlanta in conjunction with Black College Football weekend .

The Black College Football Hall of Fame was established in 2010 to honor the greatest football players, coaches and contributors from historically black colleges and universities. Each inductee’s school will receive a $5,000 grant.

Players chosen as finalists

• Emerson Boozer (RB, Maryland-Eastern Shore, 1962-65)

• Robert Brazile (LB, Jackson State, 1971-75)

• Roger Brown (OL, Maryland-Eastern Shore, 1956-59)

• Harold Carmichael (WR, Southern, 1967-70)

• Richard Dent (DE, Tennessee State, 1979-82)

• L.C. Greenwood (DE, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 1965-68)

• Harold Jackson (WR, Jackson State, 1965-68)

• Leroy Kelly (RB, Morgan State, 1960-63)

• Ernie “Big Cat” Ladd (DL, Grambling State, 1957-60)

• Jethro Pugh (DE, Elizabeth City State, 1961-64)

• Donnie Shell (DB, South Carolina State, 1970-73)

• John Stallworth (WR, Alabama A&M, 1970-73)

• Michael Strahan (DE, Texas Southern, 1989-92)

• Ken Riley (QB, Florida A&M, 1965-68)

• Willie “Satellite” Totten (QB, Mississippi Valley State, 1982-85)

• Otis Taylor (WR, Prairie View A&M, 1961-64)

• Emmitt Thomas (QB/DB, Bishop College, 1962-65)

• Everson Walls (DB, Grambling State, 1977-80)

• Doug Wilkerson (OL, North Carolina Central, 1966-69)

• Aeneas Williams (CB, Southern, 1987-90)

Coach/contributor finalists

• Marino Casem (head coach, Alcorn State, 1963-92)

• Joe Gilliam, Sr. (Tennessee State defensive coordinator)

• William Joe (head coach, Central State 1981-93, Florida A&M 1994-2004)

• Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones (president, Grambling State, 1936-77)

• Arnett Mumford (head coach, Southern, 1927-61)

To reach Randy Covitz, call 816-234-4796 or send email to rcovitz@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/randycovitz.

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