July 17, 2012
Rice University and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor Tommy Kramer with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute on October 13 when Rice hosts UTSA at Rice Stadium.
The salute adds additional luster to a historic day for Rice University, which will conclude a year-long celebration of the Rice Centennial with a series of events in the week leading up to the game in addition to hosting its traditional Homecoming activities. Kickoff is set for 2:30 and the game will be televised by Fox College Sports.
"There was no question that Tommy's salute should be a part of the UTSA game," Rice Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan said. "Tommy is one of the greatest in a very long list of student-athletes from the San Antonio area who have written so much of Rice's athletic history. This is a tremendous opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate his legendary career in particular as well as the strong ties between Rice and the city of San Antonio."
Kramer is among 14 former college greats and three legendary coaches who make up the 2012 National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame class. Throughout the season, each Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) College Football Hall of Fame inductee returns to his school for the special on-field event, where a commemorative plaque is presented to the university for permanent display. Beginning with the NFF's inaugural Hall of Fame class in 1951, the On-Campus Salute has served as the first of numerous highlights in the hall of fame experience, giving each inductee one more chance to take the field.
Kramer earned consensus All America honors and finished fifth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in 1976 after leading the nation in passing (3,317) and total offense (3,272), the second-best totals in NCAA history at that time. The leader of the "Rice Air Corps" as they were known, Kramer was the first player in Southwest Conference history to top 3,000 yards in total offense and he set SWC single-season records for attempts (501), completions (269) and touchdown passes (21) and total plays (562) in addition to his passing and total offense marks. He also recorded four of the top eight passing games in conference history in 1976.
Despite Rice's 3-8 record, Kramer was the consensus choice for All America honors as a senior, joining John Elway as the only quarterbacks since 1970 to be honored while playing for teams with a losing record.
He is the sixth Rice player to earn induction into the hall and the first since Buddy Dial was inducted in 1993. Weldon Humble was the first Owl to earn the honor with his induction in 1961 and he was followed by Froggy Williams in 1965, Bill Wallace in 1978 and Dicky Maegle in 1979. Former Rice head coach Jess Neely was inducted in 1971. Legendary coach John Heisman, who concluded his coaching career with a four-year stint at Rice from 1924-27, was inducted in 1954.
After a stellar career at San Antonio's Lee High School, in which he led the Volunteers to the 1971 4A state title in the first high school game to be played at Texas Stadium, Kramer became another in the long list of San Antonio products to play college football at Rice.
Kramer led Rice in passing for four straight years and his career and season marks were the standard at Rice for over 30 years until they were shattered by Chase Clement, another San Antonio signal caller. Kramer left Rice with school records in single-season passing yards, career passing yards (6,197), season total offense (3,272), career total offense (6,336), season touchdown passes (21), career touchdown passes (37), season total touchdowns (25) and career total touchdowns (48. He was the 1976 George Martin Award winner as Rice's MVP in 1976 and was elected to the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984.
Kramer played in the Senior Bowl and the Blue-Gray Game in 1976 and was named MVP of the Senior Bowl. He also received the Fort Worth Kiwanis Sportsmanship Award in 1976.
He was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 27th pick of the first round of the 1977 NFL Draft and went on to play 14 seasons in the NFL, throwing for nearly 25,000 yards. He was selected to the 1986 Pro Bowl.
Kramer is joined as 2012 inductees by the following players: Charles Alexander, LSU tailback (1975-78); Otis Armstrong, Purdue halfback (1970-72); Steve Bartkowski, Cal quarterback (1972-74); Hal Bedsole, USC split end (1961-63); Dave Casper, Notre Dame tight end (1971-73); Ty Detmer, BYU quarterback (1988-91); Art Monk, Syracuse wide receiver (1976-79); Greg Myers, Colorado State defensive back (1992-95); Jonathan Ogden, UCLA offensive tackle (1992-95); Gabe Rivera, Texas Tech defensive tackle (1979-82); Mark Simoneau, Kansas State linebacker (1996-99); Scott Thomas, Air Force safety (1982-85) and John Wooten, Colorado offensive guard (1956-58).
Also selected for induction in 2012 are collegiate coaches Phillip Fulmer of Tennessee (1992-08), Jimmy Johnson who coached both Oklahoma State (1979-83) and Miami (Fla.) (1984-88) and R.C. Slocum of Texas A&M (1989-02). Induction for this class of Hall of Famers will take place December 4, 2012 at the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City's historic Waldorf-Astoria.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION & COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. NFF corporate partners include the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the BCS Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, Liberty Mutual, NCAA Football, and Under Armour. For more information, please visit the above link.