South Bend, Ind. Penn State coach Joe Paterno helped a lot of players make it into the College Football Hall of Fame. He counts former Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie among them.
"We made Flutie. I told him that 10 times," Paterno said Saturday evening at a news conference before the pair and 18 others were enshrined. "He came to our place, and nobody knew who he was, and he ended up throwing for 400 yards.
"But we beat 'em," Paterno added with a smile.
"He kind of liked me so I figured he let me throw for a bunch of yards, but not beat them too often," Flutie said.
The Nittany Lions beat the Eagles three out of four times, although in his junior year Flutie passed for 380 yards in a 27-17 victory. As a sophomore, Flutie threw for 520 yards in a 52-17 loss, and as a senior he threw for 447 yards in a 37-30 loss.
Flutie also saw his first collegiate action as a freshman against the Nittany Lions, getting into the game in the fourth quarter.
"I remember walking out on the field and thinking to myself, 'I'll be able to tell my grandkids someday that I played in front of 85,000 people at Penn State against Joe Paterno,"' he said.
Paterno's 372-125-3 career record places him one victory behind Bobby Bowden, the major-college leader.
Also enshrined were Mount Union quarterback Jim Ballard; Oklahoma center Tom Brahaney; Michigan defensive back Dave Brown; Clemson linebacker Jeff Davis; Texas defensive back Johnnie Johnson; Ohio State quarterback Rex Kern; North Alabama linebacker Ronald McKinnon; Texas A&I; defensive end John Randle; Oregon running back Ahmad Rashad; McMurry halfback Brad Rowland; Indiana running back Anthony Thompson; Houston defensive tackle Wilson Whitley; Dartmouth linebacker Reggie Williams; Southern California linebacker Richard Wood and Notre Dame nose tackle Chris Zorich.
Coaches being enshrined along with Paterno are Central Michigan coach Herb Deromedi, Jackson State coach W.C. Gorden, and Doug Porter, who coached at Mississippi Valley State, Howard and Fort Valley State.