Pascagoula native Terrell Buckley and former Ole Miss star linebacker Patrick Willis were among 13 players and two coaches to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation announced on Monday.
Buckley, who is the cornerbacks coach for Mississippi State, was a two-year starter and three-year letterman as a cornerback and return specialist at Florida State from 1989-91. In 2003, he was inducted into the FSU’s sports hall of fame and his jersey No. 27 retired in 2011.
Buckley earned consensus All-America honors as a junior in 1991 and won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back. That same season, he finished seventh in the voting for the Heisman Trophy.
Buckley left FSU as the program’s all-time leader in interceptions (21) and interception return yards (501). He tied school records for touchdowns off interceptions (4) and punt returns (3). His interception return yardage still stands as an NCAA FBS record.
Following his FSU career, he was taken fifth overall in the 1992 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers to start a 14-year NFL career that included 50 interceptions and a win in Super Bowl XXXVI with the New England Patriots.
Buckley was born in Columbia and spent most of his childhood in Gautier.
In 2016, Buckley returned to his home state as an assistant coach at MSU.
Willis becomes the 10th former player or coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as an Ole Miss Rebel.
Willis, a four-year letterwinner for the Rebels from 2003 to 2006, is one of the most decorated defensive players in Ole Miss football history. As a senior, he was a consensus All-American in 2006 when he won the Butkus Award and Lambert Trophy as the nation’s best linebacker.
The full class that will be inducted on Dec. 10, 2019, in New York City includes:
Terrell Buckley — DB, Florida State (1989-91)
Rickey Dixon — DB, Oklahoma (1984-87)
London Fletcher — LB, John Carroll [OH] (1995-97)
Jacob Green — DL, Texas A&M (1977-79)
Torry Holt — WR, North Carolina State (1995-98)
Raghib Ismail — KR/WR, Notre Dame (1988-90)
Darren McFadden — RB, Arkansas (2005-07)
Jake Plummer — QB, Arizona State (1993-96)
Troy Polamalu — DB, Southern California (1999-2002)
Joe Thomas — OL, Wisconsin (2003-06)
Lorenzo White — RB, Michigan State (1984-87)
Patrick Willis — LB, Mississippi (2003-06)
Vince Young — QB, Texas (2003-05)
Dennis Erickson — 179-96-1; Idaho (1982-85, 2006), Wyoming (1986), Washington State (1987-88), Miami [FL] (1989-94), Oregon State (1999-2002), Arizona State (2007-11)
Joe Taylor — 233-96-4; Howard (1983), Virginia Union (1984-91), Hampton (1992-2007), Florida A&M (2008-12)