Item: Former SU football standout, and current member of the board of trustees, Art Monk, is the latest ex-Orange member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
We sometimes mention to unaware colleagues and other sports fans around the country what a rich tradition Syracuse football has in its nearly 125 years of playing the sport, especially concerning the program’s Hall of Fame attributes.
More often than not, a lot of folks can’t believe how many with SU affiliation are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, and/or the College Football Hall of Fame currently in South Bend, Ind., with plans to move to Atlanta next year.
For a private school its size in central New York, Syracuse football can be proud of the fact it is one of just six schools with at least seven alums in Canton – Jim Brown, Jim Ringo, Larry Csonka, Al Davis, John Mackey, Art Monk and Floyd Little.
And with the announcement this past week that Monk has become the 18th with SU ties in the College Hall of Fame, Syracuse remains one of only 16 FBS member schools with 18 or more enshrines achieving that honor.
That’s pretty impressive, even more so considering Dwight Freeney and Marvin Harrison should be locks for Canton one day making it nine representing SU, with Donovan McNabb and kicker Gary Anderson probably close, but no cigar.
In McNabb’s case the perception of his last two seasons (2010-11) may overshadow his glorious run of one Super Bowl; five NFC championship game appearances, and six pro bowls from 2000-2008.
For Anderson, who retired as the NFL’s all time scoring leader in 2004 (a mark broken by Morten Andersen in 2006), the thought is that both he and Andersen may go into the Hall together one year down the road. But, with only one pure kicker (Jan Stenerud in 1991) currently enshrined, it may be a long road.
Monk was almost unstoppable during his ‘Cuse career, not only receiving, but running and returning punts wearing jersey number “45,” not the “81” he made famous as a Redskin.
He finished sixth in career all-purpose yardage and he still holds the school record with a 14 catch day for 188 yards in a 45-34 win at Navy in 1977 (nearly equaled by Mike Williams with 13 receptions versus South Florida in the Dome in 2009). He was also named a first team All American in 1979’s Independence Bowl winning season.