Win For Will … Morning Cup O’Chiefs

That’s one down for Will Shields. There’s another big one to come for the former Chiefs guard.

Shields was named on Tuesday as part of the Class of 2011 that will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Indiana. The induction ceremonies will happen in December at the annual National Football Foundation dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.

He is the 22nd player or coach who worked for the Texans/Chiefs over the last 51 seasons that gained induction into the College Hall. (See list at end of the story.)

There is no question that Shields deserved the college honor and what he accomplished over four seasons where he played for Hall of Fame coach Tom Osborne’s Huskers. He was All-Big Eight three times, a unanimous All-America as a senior and the winner of the Outland Trophy in 1992 as the nation’s best interior lineman. Shields was part of two conference winning teams, four bowl teams and Nebraska had a 37-10-1 record in his four seasons playing for Osborne.

But his qualifications for the next step are every greater – the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

There is no doubt that Shields will also find his way to Canton, Ohio. He becomes eligible with the class of 2012 and voting by the Hall’s Board of Selectors will begin in September with an initial ballot for that class. The inductees will be announced on the Saturday before the Super Bowl – if there is a Super Bowl, in early February.

In his first season of eligibility, will Shields find his ticket punched for enshrinement? Probably not, based on what’s gone down in most seasons with the voting for spots in Canton. A reminder – your favorite Internet hack holds one of the 44 votes on the Hall of Fame committee and believe me, I look forward to presenting the case for Shields. He had a rich career with important numbers like 12 Pro Bowls, 223 consecutive starts, no games missed due to injury, excellence in both blocking for the run and protecting for the pass.

The lack of a championship and post-season success will have the same overall effect on Shields that it had on Derrick Thomas and last year with Willie Roaf. It’s not a mark against them, but rather a chip they don’t have in their pile. That’s why it’s going to probably take more than one vote to get him in.

There are 68 players-coaches who gained admittance to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in their first season of eligibility. There were 12 of those 68 or 18 percent that did not appear in an NFL championship game or Super Bowl. Generally, these were players like Barry Sanders, Eric Dickerson, Gale Sayers, O.J. Simpson, Deacon Jones, Dick Butkus and others.

Here’s a comparison – Randall McDaniel played guard in the NFL for 14 years, just as Shields did. McDaniel made 12 Pro Bowls; so did Shields. McDaniels started 202 consecutive starts, while Shields had 223 consecutive starts. Neither one appeared in a Super Bowl during their careers. McDaniel had one edge, being named All-Pro nine times, while Shields earned two All-Pro mentions.

McDaniel was part of the Hall’s class of 2009, but he had to wait through three years and three votes before the ballots came out in his favor.

But make no mistake Will Shields will be a Hall of Famer, in South Bend and in Canton.

Chiefs Personnel in College Football Hall of Fame

 

Induct

 

Pos.

 Player

 

College

Dal-KC

Games

Dal-KC

Seasons

1980

RB

Jim Swink

TCU

5

1960

1985

RB

Mike Garrett

USC

58

1966-70

1986

LB

E.J. Holub

Tex. Tech

127

1961-70

1991

LB

Bobby Bell

Minnesota

168

1963-74

1992

LB

Jim Lynch

Notre Dame

151

1967-77

1995

WR

Chris Burford

Stanford

103

1960-67

1996

DT

Buck Buchanan

Grambling

182

1963-75

1996

RB

James Saxton

Texas

13

1962

1997

RB

Joe Delaney

NW Louisiana

23

1982-82

1997

QB

Randy Duncan

Iowa

14

1961

1998

G

Brad Budde

USC

92

1980-86

2000

LB

Willie Lanier

Morgan State

149

1967-77

2000

RB

Marcus Allen

USC

77

1993-97

2002

RB

Kenny Gamble

Colgate

19

1988-90

2002

LB

Gary Spani

Kansas State

124

1978-86

2005

QB

John Huarte

Notre Dame

2

1969-71

2005

H.C.

Paul Wiggin

Stanford

35

1975-77

2008

RB

Billy Cannon

LSU

6

1970

2009

AC

Woodrow Lowe

Alabama

64

1995-98

2010

LB

Ron Caveness

Arkansas

7

1965

2011

G

Will Shields

Nebraska

224

1993-06

2011

DT

Rob Waldrop

Arizona

3

1994

Players in red were selected by the Texans/Chiefs in the AFL Draft and the combined AFL-NFL Draft (starting in 1967). Those picks broke down this way:

  • Round 1 – Holub, Buchanan, Budde.
  • Round 2 – Caveness, Lanier, Lynch, Delaney.
  • Round 3 – Shields, Spani.
  • Round 5 – Waldrop.
  • Round 7 – Bell.
  • Round 10 – Saxton, Gamble.
  • Round 20 – Garrett.
  • No round – Burford.

One Response to “Win For Will … Morning Cup O’Chiefs”

  • May 18, 2011  - Mike in MO says:

    Does the fact that Shields was named the NFL Man of the Year factor into the selection equation, or is the vote solely based on on-field performance?




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