It’s been a long time coming: Georgia will have its own high school football hall of fame. Set to induct its inaugural class on Oct. 22, the HOF will include high school players and coaches from Georgia since the 1894 inception of the organized league, according to ScoreATL and the Georgia High School Football Historians website.
While the entire class is not yet clear, the Georgia High School Football Hall of Fame released the nine players who will be automatic inductions. All nine are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
This group is made up of Calvin Johnson (Sandy Creek), Champ Bailey (Charlton County), Ray Guy (Thomson), Fran Tarkenton (Athens), Mel Blount (Lyons Industrial), Shannon Sharpe (Glennville, Richard Dent (Murphy), Rayfield Wright (Griffin) and Jim Parker (Ballard-Hudson), according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
On Thursday, the Hall announced this group and released the names of 32 of the 100 players who will be part of the first ballot that is voted upon. That group of 32 includes Heisman Trophy winners George Rogers, Herschel Walker and Charlie Ward.
I.J. Rosenberg, the executive director of the Georgia High School Football Hall of Fame, told AJC that these 32 players are not necessarily shoe-ins and the best candidates, but instead that they represent the entirety of the 100 because they are “a good mixture of what to expect when we finalize the nominee list.”
Of the 32, there were four players from each decade going back to 1950 and then four pre-1950. The rest of the 100 will be announced in June.