A Heisman Trophy winner from South Jersey and a revered coach at Temple will be among the enshrinees at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.
Former Overbrook High standout Ron Dayne and former Owls coach Wayne Hardin were among 12 players and two coaches named Tuesday to this year's Hall of Fame class by the National Football Foundation. They will be inducted Dec. 10 in New York.
Dayne, a native of Berlin, N.J., rushed for 7,125 yards and 71 touchdowns as a running back at Wisconsin from 1996 to 1999. The three-time first-team all-American won the 1999 Heisman Trophy in a landslide.
Hardin, 87, coached at Navy from 1959 to 1964 and at Temple from 1970 to 1982. He is the Owls' all-time wins leader with 80. In 1979, he led Temple to a No. 17 ranking in the final Associated Press poll, a 10-2 record and a victory in the Garden State Bowl. That was the Owls' only 10-win season in program history.
"I have to be thankful for my mother [the late Blanche 'Boo' Hardin] and her side of the family," Hardin said with a laugh from his winter home in Port St. Lucie, Fla. "They've had longevity in their lives. I never thought I'd live long enough to be able to accept it in person.
"My mom [lived to be] 961/2. So I was wondering if I was going to live long enough to have this honor."
Hardin, who also has a home in Oreland, had been on the Hall of Fame ballot for more than 10 years.
"It's a great thing and I'm very, very thankful," said Hardin, who will join former coaches Pop Warner (inducted in 1951) and Ray Morrison (1954) as Owls in the Hall of Fame. "And you have to know that story about anyone that won an award like this - the Heisman Trophy winner on down. They know the award is because of the players."
In his career at Navy and Temple, Hardin went 118-74-5.
He ranks fifth all-time in wins at Navy with 38. He led the Midshipmen to two top-five rankings (No. 4 in 1960 and No. 2 in 1963). But more important to Navy fans, Hardin beat archrival Army in five of the six seasons he coached the Midshipmen. The Arkansas native coached Hall of Famers and Heisman winners Joe Bellino (1960) and Roger Staubach (1963) in his stint at Navy.
At Wisconsin, Dayne became the first running back in Football Bowl Subdivision history to crack 7,000 yards. He rushed for 2,034 yards during his Heisman-winning senior season. Dayne also claimed the Walter Camp, Maxwell, Doak Walker, and other national player-of-the-year awards that season. He is the eighth Badger named to the Hall of Fame.
"Not many schools in the country can say they have a former player in the College Football Hall of Fame," said Overbrook High's athletic director, Gary McGaurn. "It's a great honor for Overbrook. We're very proud of Ron."
"He was the greatest of them. He showed kids at Overbrook and all around here that if you worked hard and if you had talent and you didn't waste that talent, that you could become something. You could become a Heisman Trophy winner and a College Football Hall of Famer.
Former Overbrook coach Harvey Miller said, "Kids always think, 'Oh, that only happens to players from Oklahoma or some place like that.' No, it can happen right here in Pine Hill."
Dayne was selected by the New York Giants in the first round of the 2000 NFL draft. He played seven seasons in the NFL with the Giants, Denver Broncos, and Houston Texans.
The rest of the Hall of Fame class includes: Colorado coach Bill McCartney (1982-94); North Carolina State tailback Ted Brown (1975-78); Arizona defensive end Tedy Bruschi (1992-95); Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier (1992-95); Texas defensive back Jerry Gray (1981-84); Kentucky end Steve Meilinger (1951-53); Ohio State tackle Orlando Pace (1994-96); Oklahoma linebacker Rod Shoate (1972-74); Michigan State linebacker Percy Snow (1986-89); Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde (1982, 1984-86); Baylor quarterback Don Trull (1961-63); and Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel (1993-96).