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Marty Lyons Enshrined in College Football Hall of Fame

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Marty Lyons during Saturday night's induction in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Marty Lyons during Saturday night's induction in the College Football Hall of Fame.

July 21, 2012

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Legendary Alabama defensive lineman Marty Lyons was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame Saturday evening during a dinner held at the Century Center Convention Center in South Bend, Ind., that served as the culmination of the National Football Foundation's two-day Enshrinement Festival.

Lyons, a native of Pinellas Park, Fla., was one of the Crimson Tide's great defensive linemen who played for legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant from 1976-78. He was a consensus All-American in 1978 and a two-time All-SEC selection in 1977 and 1978.

Lyons becomes the 23rd Alabama player or coach to be selected into the College Football Hall of Fame, joining UA greats such as Bryant, Cornelius Bennett, John Hannah, Frank Howard, Lee Roy Jordan, Woodrow Lowe, Johnny Musso, Ozzie Newsome and Gene Stallings. Lyons, who was part of "The Goal Line Stand" in the 1979 Sugar Bowl, helped the Crimson Tide turn back Penn State 14-7 to capture the 1978 national championship.

He made 59 tackles with five tackles for loss in 1977 to earn first-team All-SEC honors before turning in a dominating senior campaign. Lyons' 1978 season included consensus All-America and All-SEC honors after recording 119 tackles and 15 tackles for loss.

He served as a defensive captain for the 1978 national championship team and was selected to the Tide's Team of the Century and to the all-decade team of the 1970s.

Lyons had perhaps his best game in the 1978 Iron Bowl where he had 16 tackles and three quarterback sacks to help the Crimson Tide to a 34-16 win over Auburn. His teams went 31-5 and won two SEC titles to go along with the 1978 national championship.

Following his senior season, Lyons played in the 1979 Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Bowl. He was selected by the New York Jets with the 14th pick of the first round in the 1979 NFL Draft. Lyons played 11 NFL seasons, amassing 29 sacks as part of the Jets "New York Sack Exchange." He helped lead the Jets to the playoffs in 1982, 1985 and 1986.

Including the 2011 FBS class, only 896 players and 192 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly five million who have played or coached the game over the past 142 years. In other words, less than one percent (.0002) have been deemed worthy of this distinction.

Joining Lyons in the 2011 class of the College Football Hall of Fame is Carlos Alvarez (WR, Florida, 1969-71), Doug English (DT, Texas, 1972-74), Bill Enyart (FB, Oregon State, 1966-68), Eddie George (RB, Ohio State, 1992-95), Russell Maryland (DT, Miami, 1986-90), Deion Sanders (CB, Florida State, 1985-88), Jake Scott (DB, Georgia, 1967-68), Will Shields (OG, Nebraska, 1989-92), Sandy Stephens (QB, Minnesota, 1959-61), Darryl Talley (LB, West Virginia, 1970-82), Clendon Thomas (HB, Oklahoma, 1955-57), Rob Waldrop (DL, Arizona, 1990-93), Gene Washington (WR, Michigan State, 1964-66).

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