Bosworth, Tressel, Williams lead college football HOF class for ’15

ATLANTA — The College Football Hall Of Fame will be infused with some modern-day star power in the coming months, with the Friday news of Brian Bosworth, Ricky Williams, Bill Snyder and Jim Tressel headlining the 2015 class of inductees.

The aformentioned quartet will lead the 17-member class of coaches and players into the Atlanta-based Hall of Fame later this year.

The other 13 greats include: Nebraska linebacker Trev Alberts, Arizona State linebacker Bob Breunig, Millsaps College defensive end Sean Brewer, Pittsburgh O-tackle Ruben Brown, Florida receiver Wes Chandler, Notre Dame split end Thom Gatewood, Yale tailback Dick Jauron, Michigan State tailback Clinton Jones, Washington O-tackle Lincoln Kennedy, Michigan tailback Rob Lytle, Marshall QB Michael Payton and Kentucky defensive lineman Art Still — the No. 2 overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft.

Williams, the 1998 Heisman Trophy winner, ranks second in all-time collegiate rushing yards (6,279), trailing only Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne.

For his junior and senior campaigns at Texas, the enigmatic running back absurdly notched 4,429 total yards (4,017 rushing) and 53 touchdowns. As part of that, Williams claimed back-to-back Offensive Player Of The Year honors in the Big 12 Conference.

Bosworth (one-time national champion with Oklahoma in 1985, two-time Butkus Award winner for 1985/86, three straight Big Eight titles) endured a high-profile college career that was famously full of highs and lows. At his best, he was a tackling machine and one of the greatest middle linebackers of the last 40 years.

At his worst, The Boz was a lightning-rod of on- and off-field criticism. In a recent ’30 For 30′ documentary on ESPN, Bosworth admitted to taking steroids early on at Oklahoma, and accepted responsibility for speaking out against the NCAA, in the wake of being suspended from the 1987 Orange Bowl.

Tressel (106-22 in 10 seasons at Ohio State) led the Buckeyes to an improbable national championship in 2002 — just his second year with the program. Eight years later, he would be forced to resign, after cpncealing information from the school and NCAA about possible violations by some of his players, who traded memorabilia and equipment for tattoos.

The NCAA subsequently imposed a five-year show-cause order on Tressel (now the president at Youngstown State University) that would open up a school to possible sanctions if it hired him as a coach — a penalty that remains in effect until September 2016.

Before coming to Ohio State, Tressel led Youngstown State to four Division I-AA national championships. As such, he is the only coach in history to capture national titles at both Division I levels.

Snyder (187 career wins at KSU; nine 10-victory seasons) undoubtedly stands as the most important figure in Kansas State football history. He took over a moribund program in 1989 and transformed the Wildcats into annual threats for the Big 12 and national titles.

He then returned to the program in 2009 — after a four-year "retirement" stint — and brought the Wildcats back to national prominence. In fact, Kansas State maintained a No. 1 ranking for a sizable portion of the 2012 season, thanks to the world of Snyder (seven bowl victories).