Southeastern Conference announces 2023 football Legends Class trendynewsbro


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SEC Staff

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (October 12, 2023) – The Southeastern Conference on Thursday announced its 2023 SEC Football Legends class presented by T-Mobile, an assemblage of former football standouts who will be honored at events surrounding the SEC Football Championship Game in Atlanta in December.

The class will be honored at the 2023 SEC Football “Weekend of Champions” December 1-2 in Atlanta, Ga, highlighted by the annual SEC Legends Celebration presented by T-Mobile on Friday, December 1 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. The group will also be recognized prior to the SEC Football Championship Game, which will be held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, December 2.

The 2023 Football Legends Class includes 14 former stars who excelled on the gridiron and helped write the rich history of the sport at their respective institutions. This year’s class includes All-Americans, All-SEC selections, Academic All-Americans and NFL standouts. The group represents teams that won SEC Championships, won Super Bowl titles and are represented in state, school and college football halls of fame.

Below is a listing and biographies of the 2023 SEC Football Legends:

  • Alabama: Andre Smith, Offensive Tackle, 2006-08
  • Arkansas: Dick Bumpas, Defensive Tackle, 1968-70
  • Auburn: Ed King, Offensive Lineman, 1988-90
  • Florida: Shane Matthews, Quarterback, 1990-92
  • Georgia: Knowshon Moreno, Running Back, 2007-08
  • Kentucky: Wesley Woodyard, Linebacker, 2004-07
  • LSU: James Britt, Defensive Back, 1979-82
  • Ole Miss: Patrick Willis, Linebacker, 2003-06
  • Mississippi State: Reggie Kelly, Tight End, 1995-98
  • Missouri: Chase Coffman, Tight End, 2005-08
  • South Carolina: Marcus Lattimore, Running Back, 2010-12
  • Tennessee: Joey Kent, Wide Receiver, 1992-96
  • Texas A&M: Ray Childress, Defensive Lineman, 1981-84
  • Vanderbilt: Jamie Winborn, Linebacker, 1998-2000


Andre Smith, Offensive Tackle, 2006-08

Andre Smith was a unanimous All-America selection, starting at left tackle for three years (2006-08) for Alabama and earning All-America honors his final season as a junior in 2008. Smith became just the second Alabama player to win the Outland Trophy, awarded annually to the top interior lineman in the country. Also a finalist for the Lombardi Award in his junior year, Smith surrendered just one quarterback sack the entire 2008 season while recording a team-high 110 key blocks, and he allowed only seven sacks during his entire 38-game career. A two-time first-team All-SEC selection, Smith won the Jacobs Block Trophy in 2007, given annually to the top blocker in the SEC. He earned first-team Freshman All-America honors from the FWAA in 2006. A first round NFL draft choice of the Cincinnati Bengals with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2009 draft, Smith played 13 years in the NFL with the Bengals, Vikings, Cardinals and Ravens.


Dick Bumpas, Defensive Tackle, 1968-70

Dick Bumpas was an AP first-team All-America selection in 1970 and All-Southwest Conference honoree that same year as a three-year letterwinner for Arkansas (1968-70) at defensive tackle. In 1970, he led the defense on a team that went 9-2 and finished second in the SWC. He recorded 53 tackles that season for the league’s top defense and was the MVP of the Blue-Gray Game. After graduating from Arkansas, he played professionally in the Canadian and World Football Leagues. Bumpas served as the Arkansas Defensive Line coach for the 1989 season. In his 38 collective years of coaching, Bumpas won championships in four conferences and he was a three-time Broyles Award finalist (top assistant coach in the nation). Bumpas retired from coaching following the 2014 season. He is a member of the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.


Ed King, Offensive Lineman, 1988-90

Ed King was one of the most dominant offensive linemen in Auburn history as three-year letterwinner for the Tigers (1988-90). A two-time All-America selection and two-time All-SEC pick, he helped lead Auburn to consecutive SEC titles in 1988 and 1989. He was just the third sophomore in school history to earn All-America honors and was a consensus All-American as a junior. He helped the Tigers to Top 10 national finishes his first two seasons, a top 20 finish after his junior year and three consecutive bowl victories. Following his Auburn career, King was a second-round 1991 NFL draft pick of the Cleveland Browns. His professional career included time with the Browns, New Orleans Saints and in the CFL, WLAF and XFL. A member of the NFL All-Rookie Team in 1991, he played in 57 career games with 47 starts in the NFL. In 1992, fans voted King to Auburn’s Team of the Century.


Shane Matthews, Quarterback, 1990-92

Shane Matthews was a two-time SEC Player of the Year in 1990 and 1991, lettering three years as a quarterback at Florida (1990-92). A three-time selection as All-SEC quarterback, he was a Heisman Trophy finalist and second team All-American in 1991. He was also a two-time finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award and finalist for the Unitas Golden Arm Award. Matthews finished his career at Florida at or near the top of numerous categories in the Gators’ record book, completing more than 700 passes for over 9,000 yards and 74 touchdowns. The team captain his senior season, he led the Gators to a three-year record of 28-8. After graduating from Florida in 1992, Matthews played quarterback in the NFL for 14 seasons with six teams, including two stints with the Chicago Bears. He was inducted in the UF Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.


Knowshon Moreno, Running Back, 2007-08

Knowshon Moreno was a two-time first-team All-SEC player in 2007 and 2008, lettering those two years at running back for Georgia. For his career, Moreno finished No. 4 on Georgia’s all-time top rushers list after registering 2,734 yards in two seasons. He was SEC Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-America honoree after rushing for 1,334 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2007, joining Herschel Walker as the only Georgia players at the time to rush for 1,000 yards in their freshman season. Moreno was named first team All-America in 2008 when he rushed for 1,400 yards and 16 TDs. He was one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding running back. Following his redshirt sophomore season, Moreno was selected by the Denver Broncos with the 12th pick of the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played six seasons in the NFL for the Broncos and Miami Dolphins.


Wesley Woodyard, Linebacker, 2004-07

Wesley Woodyard was of the best defensive players in Kentucky history while earning four letters at linebacker. Twice named first-team All-SEC, he led UK in tackles three straight years, with at least 100 stops each season, including an SEC-high 139 as a senior. The unquestioned leader of the defense, he led UK in tackles in Music City Bowl wins over Clemson and Florida State. He was second-team Sophomore All-America and first-team Freshman All-SEC while earning SEC Academic Honor Roll plaudits. He is a member of the UK Athletics Society of Character, which recognizes UK student-athletes who show a profound commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, community service and career preparation. He played 12 years in the NFL with Denver and Tennessee, including a Super Bowl appearance with the Broncos. He now works for the NFL Players Association.


James Britt, Defensive Back, 1979-82

James Britt was a first-team All-America selection and All-SEC honoree as a four-year letterman at cornerback for LSU. A National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and CoSIDA Academic All-America selection, he starred under head coaches Charles McClendon and Jerry Stovall. His finest season was his senior year as he led the Tigers to an 8-3-1 record and an appearance in the Orange Bowl. He is one of only five players in LSU history to be named first-team All-America and earn National Football Scholar-Athlete honors. A two-time permanent team captain, Britt finished his LSU career with 209 tackles and nine interceptions. Britt graduated from LSU with a 3.5 grade point average in accounting before being selected in the second round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons. He played five seasons for the Falcons, appearing in 60 games with 28 starts. He was elected to the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.


Patrick Willis, Linebacker, 2003-06

Patrick Willis was one of the nation’s top linebackers during his four years at Ole Miss, twice earning first team All-American honors. He was named to the most first-team All-America squads (13) ever by a Rebel player. Winner of the Butkus Award and Lambert Award as the nation’s top linebacker in 2006, he was twice named first-team All-SEC and was the 2006 SEC Defensive Player of the Year, ranking among the nation’s leaders in tackles two years in a row. The recipient of the 2006 Chucky Mullins Courage Award from Ole Miss, Willis was selected in the first round (11th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers and was named 2007 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He was named All-Pro seven times in an eight-year career with the 49ers and led the NFL in tackles twice. Willis was inducted into the Ole Miss Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2019.


Reggie Kelly, Tight End, 1995-98

Reggie Kelly was a standout tight end for Mississippi State as a four-year letterwinner, earning first-team All-SEC honors as he led the Bulldogs to the SEC Western Division title his senior season. Kelly caught 29 passes for 474 yards and a pair of touchdowns during his career, starting 22 games and playing in 44 for MSU. A three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, he concluded his career playing in a New Year’s Day Bowl game at the 1999 Cotton Bowl Classic. Kelly was a second-round pick in the 1999 NFL Draft by Atlanta and played 13 seasons for the Falcons and Bengals. In his NFL career he caught 195 passes for 1,767 years and five touchdowns. He won the Ed Block Courage Award in 2007, presented annually to a player from each NFL team who is voted by their teammates as role models of inspiration, sportsmanship and courage. He is the author of a book, Prepared: Body, Mind and Spirit.


Chase Coffman, Tight End, 2005-08

The most prolific pass-catching tight end in Mizzou history, Chase Coffman may also have been the best red-zone scoring threat ever to don a Tiger uniform. A four-year letterman, he won the 2008 John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end and earned consensus first-team All-America honors that season. In his career, Coffman set Mizzou records with 247 catches and 30 touchdowns. At the time of his matriculation, his 247 career receptions stood as the NCAA career record for tight ends. An All-Big 12 selection in 2006 and 2008, he was first-team Freshman All-America in 2005. Coffman was a third-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2009 NFL draft, and also played with Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Atlanta, Seattle and Indianapolis during a seven-year pro career. He was inducted into the Mizzou Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.


Marcus Lattimore, Running Back, 2010-12

Marcus Lattimore is one of the most beloved Gamecocks to don the Garnet and Black. A three-year letterman at running back for South Carolina, he emerged in 2010 when he rushed for 1,197 yards, leading USC to its first SEC Eastern Division title, and earning TheSporting News SEC Freshman of the Year, first-team All-SEC and second-team All-America honors. He was also second team All-SEC his sophomore season. Although his sophomore and junior seasons were abbreviated due to major knee injuries, he set the school record for career rushing touchdowns with 38, while ranking sixth in school history with 2,677 career rushing yards on 555 carries, while catching 74 passes for 767 years and three touchdowns. Despite the knee injuries, Lattimore was a fourth-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by San Francisco, but never played in an NFL game. He later served as USC Football’s Director of Player Development.


Joey Kent, Wide Receiver, 1992-96

Joey Kent was one of the greatest wideouts in SEC history, leading the Vols in receiving for three straight seasons and shattering the Tennessee record books. A four-year letter-winner for the Vols, Kent was a two-time first-team All-SEC selection from 1995-96 and a second-team All-America recipient in 1996. Kent is Tennessee’s career record holder in receptions (183), receiving yards (2,814), receiving touchdowns (25), 100-yard games (15) and average yards per catch (18.8). He was freshman All-SEC in 1993 before leading the Vols in receiving as a redshirt sophomore in 1994, then topped 1,000 yards in receiving in each of his junior and senior campaigns. Kent was selected with the No. 46 overall pick in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft by Tennessee Titans and was a member of the Titans’ Super Bowl XXXIV team. He played four NFL seasons, including his final year with the Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings.


Ray Childress, Defensive Lineman, 1981-84

One of college football’s most feared defensive linemen, Ray Childress earned All-America honors for Texas A&M in 1983 and 1984 and remains A&M’s defensive line tackle leader with 360 career stops. A team captain in 1984, then-head coach Jackie Sherrill credited him with changing the trajectory of Aggie football: After a loss at Arkansas, Childress challenged his teammates, and they responded by posting a winning record, then winning the conference title in ’85. A&M would go on to win six of the next nine conference titles. Childress was the third pick in the 1985 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. He played 12 years in the NFL, 11 with the Oilers and one with the Dallas Cowboys. He made five Pro Bowl appearances, was named to the All-Pro team five times, helping the Oilers make the NFL playoffs seven straight seasons. He is a member of the Texas A&M Athletics, Texas Sports and College Football Halls of Fame.


Jamie Winborn, Linebacker, 1998-2000

Vanderbilt’s career leader in tackles behind the line, Jamie Winborn earned All-America and All-SEC honors as a three-year starter at linebacker for the Commodores. Winborn owns two of the top six seasons for tackles for loss in school history, including a school record 23 in 1999. Named second-team All-America his junior year, he was a three-time All-SEC selection. He led the team in solo tackles from 1998-2000, finishing his career with 141 total stops. Winborn was selected by fans as one of the Top 100 Commodores of the Vanderbilt Stadium Era. He was a second-round choice by San Francisco in the 2001 NFL Draft and played for the 49ers, Jaguars, Buccaneers, Broncos and Titans during a 10-year pro career. He was named the 49ers Ed Block Courage Award recipient in 2004 after he overcame a neck injury sustained in practice during the 2003 season. Winborn is a cancer survivor who won a three-year battle with rectal cancer.

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