Zorich, Paterno, Flutie lead class into College Football Hall of Fame

Chris Zorich, Joe Paterno, Doug Flutie, Anthony Thompson, and Ahmad Rashad led the class of 2008 into enshrinement for the College Football Hall of Fame on Saturday in South Bend.

And the morning and early afternoon rain wouldn't put a damper on the day's activities.

The annual parade, flag football game and kids clinic all went on as scheduled despite downpours throughout the day.

Chris Zorich

The day-long celebration concluded with the Enshrinement Dinner and Show at the Palais Royale.

Zorich, a two-time All-American for Notre Dame and member of the 1988 National Championship team, was so honored to be enshrined, especially with it being here in South Bend.

"I got a chance to have the loudest applause when they announced my name," Zorich said with a smile. "I think that was all my buddies from the area and all the folks here in South Bend, because this is really kind of like my second home."

Zorich also had plenty of family and friends that came in from his first home -- Chicago.

"I've been very fortunate," Zorich explained. "I feel as if I lived the dream of every fan -- having a chance to go to a great high school, having a chance to come 90 miles to Notre Dame. Then after that having a chance to go to the Chicago Bears and then back here for law school."

Joe Paterno

"And now to be enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame right here in South Bend. You cannot get any better than that."

Paterno, the head coach of Penn State for 42 years, was humbled as well.

JoePa said he wished the enshrinement wasn't so close to football season, so that he could enjoy it more.

"But if I had my choice, I'd rather do it now than if I were dead," the 81-year-old Paterno joked.

"I appreciate the fact that people have said, 'Hey, you're an asset to college football, and we want to acknowledge that, and the way we can acknowledge it is to put you in the Hall of Fame.' And, you know, I'm flattered by that."

JoePa has won 372 career games, one behind Florida State's Bobby Bowden, a 2007 enshrinee. Bowden holds the record for the most wins in NCAA history.

Doug Flutie

1984 Heisman winner Doug Flutie, known the world wide for the Hail Mary that beat Miami, showed he's still in great shape.

Flutie was a star in the flag football game, running trick plays and even intercepting a pass with one hand and returning it for a touchdown.

"I'm in awe," he said, after considering that he was being honored as one of the best in college football. "When you look at the whole scope of it, yeah, it's pretty wild to see that is the perception."

Anthony Thompson

IU Hoosier and Indiana native Anthony Thompson was thrilled to have the enshrinement in his home state. Thompson, the 1989 Heisman runner-up, says Friday and Saturday were the perfect culmination of his college career.

"You wear this jacket for your teammates and your coaches and all the academic support staff that you had at Indiana University, so it's a great honor," he said.

Ahmad Rashad is known more for being an NBA basketball commentator than for his college football playing days. But the former Oregon Duck had an outstanding career as both a running back and wide receiver.

"It's a wonderful honor -- the top honor. There is nothing better than that," said an appreciative Rashad.

He says the parade was his favorite part of Saturday, and he appreciated seeing all the fans come out despite the rain. Rashad also enjoyed being an announcer for the flag football game.

Rounding out the enshrinement class were coaches Herb Deromedi (Central Michigan); W.C. Gorden (Jackson State); Doug Porter (Mississippi Valley State, Howard, Fort Valley State); & Players Jim Ballard (Mount Union, OH); Tom Brahaney (Oklahoma); Dave Brown (Michigan); Jeff Davis (Clemson); Johnnie Johnson (Texas); Rex Kern (Ohio State); Ronald McKinnon (North Alabama); John Randle (Texas A&M Kingsville); Brad Rowland (McMurry College, Texas); Wilson Whitley (Houston); Reggie Williams (Dartmouth); Richard Wood(Southern California).

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