Already enshrined in Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame for his dominant career as a New England linebacker, Patriots legend Andre Tippett was announced as a member of the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame class for his success at the University of Iowa.
Tippett is among the 11 players and two coaches announced by the National Football Foundation on Monday who’ll be officially inducted in a ceremony in December.
Tippett dominated on the defensive edge for Iowa from 1979-81, earning All-Big Ten selections for his final two years and consensus first-team All-American honors in 1981, when he was a captain for the Hawkeyes.
He was then selected by the Patriots in the second-round of the 1982 NFL Draft and would go on to play all 11 seasons of his NFL career in New England, notching 100 sacks and earning first-team All-Pro honors twice on the way to team Hall of Fame status. Tippett currently serves as the Patriots Executive Director of Community Affairs.
“It is an unbelievable honor, not everybody gets that opportunity,” Tippett told Hawkeyesports.com. “The College Football Hall of Fame, like the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is the highest honor you can get, especially after being out of college football for as long as I have. It’s impressive and it is a great honor.”
Tippett isn’t the only former Patriot among the newest College Football Hall of Fame class, in fact he’s not the only member of his 1982 New England draft class represented. The Patriots used the No. 1 overall pick that year on Texas defensive lineman Kenneth Sims, who’ll be inducted alongside his New England teammate.
Sims was a dominant defender for the Longhorns from 1978-81, earning two-time All-American status as well as winning the Lombardi Award as a senior. He finished eighth in the Heisman voting in 1981, including three first-place votes.
As the team’s No. 1 overall pick, Sims played in just 74 games with 64 starts for the Patriots from 1982 to 1989. He played in 16 games just once in his pro career and fewer than 10 games in five of his eight NFL seasons, finishing his career with 17 sacks.
Other notable members of the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame class include former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, Eastern Illinois quarterback Tony Romo, Clemson running back C.J. Spiller, Miami linebacker Dan Morgan and USC quarterback Carson Palmer.