Summerville alum Jennings headlines SC Football Hall of Fame Class
Greenville, SC: The South Carolina Football Hall of Fame (SCFHOF) has announced their new Class of 2022 members to be enshrined at the 10th Annual Enshrinement Ceremony on April 21, 2023, at the Hilton Greenville off Haywood Road and Orchard Park.
The Class of 2022 will be honored alongside Jalin Hyatt, 2022 Blanchard-Rogers Trophy recipient, and 2022 Humanitarian of the Year Award (TBA) recipient.
Limited seat and table packages are available now through April 7th or as supplies last for purchase at www.scfootballhof.org/shop. Proceeds from the event go to provide support for the Bridge Builder Excellence Program and the #SCTop10N2030 Movement to lead South Carolina students to the Top 10 in college and career readiness by December 31, 2030.
Hotel reservations can be made at the Hilton Greenville, the Official Hotel of the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame.
Coach Mike Ayers:
Mike Ayers was born in Georgetown, KY in 1948. He played linebacker, offensive tackle for football, played on the baseball team, and competed in gymnastics and wrestling at Georgetown College in his hometown. After his playing career and graduating from Georgetown he joined the football coaching staff in 1974 as an assistant for two seasons. He stayed as a college football assistant coach until 1985 with stops at Newberry College, Richmond, Wofford College, and East Tennessee State.
After two seasons as the defensive coordinator at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) he was hired as the head coach. Coach Ayers stayed at ETSU for three seasons before taking the head job at Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. A job he held for 30 years until retirement after the 2017 season.
At Wofford he compiled a 207-139-1 (.596) record with five Southern Conference Championships (2003, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2017), two trips to the DII Playoffs (1990, 1991), and eight trips to the FCS Playoffs (2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017). During Coach Ayers legendary career, he was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year five times and lead his team to 9 wins or more in a season 10 times. In 2003, he won the Eddie Robinson Award, given to the most outstanding FCS Head Coach in the country.
Overall, Coach Ayers was the longest-serving head coach in Wofford College history, recording the most wins (207) in program history. His 30 years with Wofford will always be remembered by Wofford’s faithful for their toughness, competitiveness, and his trademark triple option offense. He is a 2022 inductee of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
Joe Earl Bostic, Jr. was born in Greensboro, NC in 1957, and is a graduate of Ben L. Smith High School. He became a four-year starter as an offensive lineman at Clemson University from 1975-1978. In 1977, he was the recipient of the ACC Jacobs Blocking Trophy. By the end of his collegiate career at Clemson, Joe was a two-time first-team All-American and two-time All-ACC player in 1977 and 1978.
In 1979, Joe was selected in the third-round (64th overall) of the NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He would be named to the NFL All-Rookie team and played 10 seasons with the franchise in St. Louis and Phoenix, which is now the Arizona Cardinals. He started 115 games and played in 132 games during his NFL career.
After his playing days, he was selected to Clemson’s All-Centennial team and Hall of Fame in 1996; to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary 50 Greatest Players Team in 2002 and named a Clemson ACC Football Legend at the 2018 ACC Championship Game. Joe was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000. His younger brother Jeff is also a Clemson alum, and a SCFHOF Class of 2021 inductee.
Bradford Wayne Edwards is a former NFL defensive back who had a distinguished career in the league. Born in Lumberton, North Carolina in 1966, he attended Douglas Bryd High School in Fayetteville, NC. After a successful high school career, Brad went to play football at the University of South Carolina where he had 10 interceptions.
To begin his professional career, the Minnesota Vikings selected Brad in the second round of the 1988 NFL Draft. He played with the Vikings for two seasons, and then went to free agency, where he signed with the Washington Redskins. He played with the Redskins for four season and became a Super Bowl champion (Super Bowl XXVI) in the 1991 season. Brad played a vital role for the Redskins victory during the Super Bowl after intercepting the Buffalo Bills quarterback twice. For the final two seasons of his career, Brad played for the Atlanta Falcons. Over the nine seasons and three teams, Brad intercepted 18 passes and had two touchdowns.
After his successful career in the NFL, Brad stepped into collegiate athletics. He served as an assistant athletic director and senior associate director at the University of South Carolina from 1999 to 2006. In 2009, he was named the athletic director at Newberry College. Currently, Brad is the CEO of the NFL Alumni Association. Brad is a 2011 inductee of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
John Rally Gilliam was born in Greenwood, SC in 1945, and attended Brewer High School. He played college football and ran track in Orangeburg, SC at South Carolina State University. In 1967, he was drafted in the second round (52nd overall) to the then NFL expansion franchise New Orleans Saints. Over 11 NFL seasons he would play for the Saints (2 stints, 1967=1968,1977), St. Louis Cardinals (1969-1971), Minnesota Vikings (1972-1975), Atlanta Falcons (1976), and Chicago Bears (1977).
John has the unique distinction of returning the opening kickoff 94 yards in the Saints’ inaugural game in 1967 against the Rams as a rookie. This would be recorded as the first touchdown scored in franchise history. While with the Vikings, he played in two Super Bowls, earning four straight Pro Bowls (1972-1975), and a Second-Team All-Pro (AP) honor in 1973. The Vikings later named him as one of the 50 Greatest Vikings.
During his NFL career, he caught 382 passes for 7,056 yards (18.5 average) and 48 receiving touchdowns. He also had two return touchdowns in his career. After his playing days, he became a distinguished businessman in Atlanta. Fellow SC State standout and SCFHOF inductee (2017) Charlie Brown attributes credit to Gilliam as the one who opened the door for Bulldogs to be drafted in the NFL. John is a 1992 inductee of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
Stanford Jamison Jennings is a former NFL player who had an impressive and celebrated career. He was born in Summerville, South Carolina in 1962. Stanford had a successful high school career as a tailback and led his team to back-to-back Class 4A state titles at Summerville High School. He then attended Furman University and contributed to the Paladins Southern Conference championships each of his four seasons, with stunning wins over the University of South Carolina and Georgia Tech.
When he left Furman, Jennings 3,868 yards on 650 carries and 39 touchdowns were school leading marks, he added 76 receptions for 865 yards. Stanford would be named an FCS All-American in 1982, and a three-time Southern Conference Player of the Year (1981-1983). After college, Stanford was chosen in the third round of the 1984 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, who was coached by another Furman alum and SCFHOF Inductee Sam Wyche. In 1988, he had a standout year as a kick returner with 32 return attempts for 684 yards, which included a 98-yard touchdown return - the longest from that NFL season. He also returned a 93-yard kickoff in Super Bowl XXIII.
Throughout his nine-season NFL career, Jennings had 1,250 rushing yards, 116 receptions for 1098 yards, 2,965 yards returning kickoffs, and 20 total touchdowns. As a kick returner, his 2,752 yards stood as the Bengals franchise record until it was surpassed in 2000. Stanford is a Furman Athletic Hall of Famer (1990) and a member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame (2006).
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