WEST LAFAYETTE—Former Purdue All-America quarterback Mark Herrmann has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.
The Football Bowl Subdivision Class of 2010 was announced today in New York City and includes 12 players and two coaches. The class was chosen from a national ballot of 77 All-America players and seven coaches selected from a pool of hundreds of eligible nominees.
Herrmann, who played for Hall of Fame head coach Jim Young from 1977 to 1980, is the 12th Boilermaker (eight players and four coaches) to be chosen for college football's ultimate shrine. Herrmann is the second Purdue quarterback to be elected in the last five years, following Mike Phipps in 2006, and the third overall (also Bob Griese in 1984).
"This is wonderful," Herrmann said. "I am very pleased for Purdue University and for my teammates. I could not have accomplished what I did without my teammates and a great coaching staff.
"I had a fantastic college experience. Those four years at Purdue shaped my life, and the ongoing interaction with Purdue continues to be a focal point for me and my family. Without Purdue's offer of a football scholarship, none of this would have happened. I have a degree from a great institution that has continued to support me and my family year after year.
"I especially want to thank the people in the athletics department and the local chapter of the National Football Foundation for all their encouragement and efforts to make this happen. I am thrilled, and I look forward to being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame."
Over the course of his career, Herrmann became the most-prolific passer in NCAA history, establishing nine records, including passing yards and completions.
Herrmann's career numbers - all Big Ten Conference records at the time - included 1,309 passing attempts, 772 completions, .590 completion percentage, 9,946 passing yards, 71 passing touchdowns and 9,134 yards of total offense. The NCAA did not include bowl games in its statistics until 2002, meaning his national record numbers were 1,128 passing attempts, 717 completions, 9,188 passing yards and 8,444 yards of total offense. He became the first quarterback in NCAA history to throw for 8,000 yards and subsequently the first to throw for 9,000 yards.
Senior Joe Metallic started the 1977 season opener at quarterback for the Boilermakers but gave way to Herrmann in the first half. Herrmann went on to start 45 of the next 46 games - missing only the opener of the 1980 season at Notre Dame with an injured right thumb.
As a senior, Herrmann was named the Big Ten Most Valuable Player and a unanimous All-America selection while finishing fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting. He set school season records for passing attempts (368), completions (242), completion percentage (.658), yards (3,212), touchdowns (23) and total offense (3,026). The last three figures also established Big Ten marks.
Over the course of his career, Mark Herrmann became the most-prolific passer in NCAA history, establishing nine records, including passing yards and completions.
In a 36-25 win over Michigan State at Ross-Ade Stadium on Oct. 25, 1980, Herrmann became the NCAA career passing yards leader, topping the record of 7,818 yards thrown by Jack Thompson of Washington State from 1975 to 1978. Herrmann broke the record with a 14-yard completion to senior split end Bart Burrell -- "an act of God," according to center Pete Quinn, because the duo had been playing together since the seventh grade.
"I couldn't be happier for Mark," said Burrell, president of the National Football Foundation's Joe Tiller Chapter of Northwest Indiana. "He absolutely deserves it. It's a tough Hall of Fame to get into, and I'm glad he finally got selected. It's also great for Purdue and puts the football program in the national spotlight."
Herrmann was the MVP of three straight bowl games: 1978 Peach, 1979 Bluebonnet and 1980 Liberty.
The three-year period from 1978 to 1980 arguably stands as the most successful in school annals. Purdue went 9-2-1 in 1978, 10-2 in 1979 and 9-3 in 1980, and won all three bowl games. With 28 overall victories, the Boilermakers won more games than Ohio State (27) and Notre Dame (25) and matched Michigan. In Big Ten games, Purdue was 20-3-1, just behind the Wolverines and Buckeyes at 21-3.
Selected by the Denver Broncos in the fourth round of the 1981 NFL Draft, Herrmann had a 12-year professional career with the Broncos (1981-82), Baltimore Colts (1983), Indianapolis Colts (1984 and 1990-92), San Diego Chargers (1985-87) and Los Angeles Rams (1988-89).
Herrmann, a Cincinnati native who grew up in Carmel, Ind., and now makes his home in Indianapolis, was inducted into the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997. Following his NFL career, he served as a radio color commentator for the Colts from 1994 to 2004 and as the associate director of Education Programs for the NCAA from 2002 to 2009. Herrmann has been involved in his community, as well, spending time on both the Lawrence Township Foundation Board and the National Institute for Fitness and Sport Youth Fitness Board.
The Class of 2010 will be inducted at the 53rd-annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City and will be officially enshrined in 2011.
Herrmann will be honored by the local NFF chapter at its sixth-annual Honors Dinner on June 22, along with Super Bowl champion quarterbacks Drew Brees, Len Dawson and Griese.
Two other former Boilermakers, halfback Otis Armstrong (1970-72) and defensive tackle Dave Butz (1970-72), were on the ballot.