Former NFL first-round draft picks Derrick Thomas, LaDainian Tomlinson, Sterling Sharpe, Willie Roaf, Tony Boselli, Shane Conlan, Darrin Nelson and Dave Butz now have something else in common: They are headed to the College Football Hall of Fame.
On Thursday, they were announced as part of the 16-man College Football Hall of Fame's class of 2014. Rounding out the 14 players inducted: Dre' Bly (North Carolina defensive back 1996-98), Joe Hamilton (Georgia Tech quarterback 1996-99), John Huard (Maine linebacker 1964-66), John Sciarra (UCLA quarterback 1972-75), Leonard Smith (McNeese State cornerback 1979-82) and Wesley Walls (Ole Miss tight end 1985-88).
Also, Mike Bellotti, who was 137-80-2 at Chico State, California (1984-88) and Oregon (1995-2008), and Jerry Moore, 242-135-2 at North Texas (1979-80), Texas Tech (1981-85) and Appalachian State (1989-2012), were the only two coaches inducted. Bellotti is now an ESPN analyst.
Thomas, a linebacker at Alabama from 1985-88, set the school record with 27 sacks as a senior. He won the Butkus Award, signifying the nation's top linebacker. A nine-time Pro Bowl selection with the Kansas City Chiefs, Thomas died at age 33 in 2000 after an automobile accident that left him paralyzed.
Conlan, a linebacker at Penn State from 1983-86, earned All-America honors as a senior. He had eight tackles and two interceptions in Penn State's national title-winning upset of Miami in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl.
Roaf, a Louisiana Tech offensive lineman from 1990-92, was the Bulldogs' first All-American offensive lineman since 1946. A finalist for the 1992 Outland Trophy, Roaf was the eighth player selected overall in the 1993 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints, where he was an 11-time Pro Bowl selection.
Nelson, a Stanford halfback from 1977-81, was the first player in NCAA history with at least 1,000 yards rushing and 50 receptions. He did it three times and is the only Stanford player to earn first-team All-Pac-10 honors four times.
Tomlinson, a TCU running back from 1997-2000, led the nation in rushing as a junior and senior. He won the Doak Walker Award in 2000, recognizing the nation's top running back.
Boselli, an offensive lineman at USC from 1991-94, was a two-time All-American for the Trojans. He was the second player selected in the 1995 NFL draft and the first selection of the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars.
Sharpe, a South Carolina wide receiver from 1983-87, earned All-America honors as a senior. He led the NFL in receiving in three seasons and will be only the second Gamecock inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Butz, who was a Purdue defensive tackle from 1970-72, was the fifth overall selection of the 1973 NFL draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. However, he played 14 of his 16 NFL seasons with the Washington Redskins, winning two Super Bowl titles.
The 2014 College Football Hall of Fame's 16-man class will be inducted during the 57th National Football Foundation annual awards dinner Dec. 9 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.