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Georgia Tech’s Joe Hamilton, North Carolina Dre’ Bly Among 16 2014 Inductees
Greensboro, N.C.—A pair of former consensus All-Americans from the Atlantic Coast Conference, quarterback Joe Hamilton of Georgia Tech and North Carolina cornerback Dre’ Bly, have been tabbed for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame announced Thursday.
"Joe Hamilton and Dre' Bly join a long list of ACC players and coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame, and we are extremely proud of these members,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “Joe Hamilton was one of the great quarterbacks in this league, and he was a joy to watch play. Dre' Bly was one of the elite defensive backs in the ACC and college football who led the nation in interceptions as a freshman. Both players are woven into the history and tradition of ACC Football, and we are pleased that they are being recognized by the National Football Foundation."
Their induction will bring to 20 the total of former players and coaches from current ACC schools inducted into the College Hall of Fame over the last 10 years. In all, their addition to the College Hall of Fame brings the total to 138 former players and coaches who have been inducted into the Hall from the ACC’s current 14 schools.
Hamilton, a native of Alvin, S.C., who lives in Atlanta, earned consensus All-America honors at Tech as senior in 1999. He was named a first-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Walter Camp, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), CBS Sports, The Football News and Cable News Network. That year, he was named winner of the Davey O’Brien Trophy as the nation’s top quarterback and finished runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.
A four-year starter for the Yellow Jackets from 1996 through 1999, he finished his career as the ACC’s all-time leader in total offense (10,640) and still ranks third and is one of three ACC players to accumulate over 10,000 yards of total offense. His single-season passing efficiency mark of 175.00 in 1999 was an ACC record until this past season. He led Tech to three consecutive bowl games in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and AP Top 25 rankings in each year, including a No. 9 rank after the 1998 season. He was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary team in 2003.
He becomes the 16th player, coach or official inducted into the Hall of Fame from Tech.
Bly, originally from Chesapeake, Va., and now residing in Charlotte, N.C., is regarded as one of the best cover cornerbacks in ACC history. He is still the only ACC player to be named a first team All-American three times, earning consensus All-America honors in 1996 and 1997 and first-team honors in 1998. His 11 pass interceptions as a freshman in 1996 led the nation and is still the second-highest single-season total for a freshman in NCAA FBS history. He finished his career in 1998 as the ACC’s career interception leader with 20 picks and still ranks second on the ACC’s career list. He was a leader for a Tar Heel defense that led the nation in scoring defense in 1997.
Bly still shares the ACC mark for most interceptions per game in a season (1.00). A three-time letterman, he helped lead the Tar Heels to a 28-8 mark during his time in Chapel Hill. He was a three-time first-team All-ACC selection and was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary team in 2003. An early entry into the NFL Draft after his junior year, he enjoyed an 11-year NFL career with St. Louis, Detroit, Denver and San Francisco. While with St. Louis, he helped the Rams to win Super Bowl XXXIV and reach Super Bowl XXXVI. He was twice named to the NFL’s Pro Bowl (2003, 2004) and earned All-Pro honors in 2003. In his 11 years in the NFL, he totaled 419 tackles and 43 career interceptions.
Bly becomes the eighth player or coach inducted into the College Hall of Fame from North Carolina and the first since Don McCauley in 2001.
The two former ACC foes faced each other during the 1996, 1997 and 1998 seasons with Bly’s Tar Heels prevailing in 1996 (16-0) and 1997 (16-13) and Hamilton’s Jackets winning in 1998 (43-21).