By Mike Gibson @papreps on April 17, 2014
It’s been a good few months for Temple University people accepting Hall of Fame inductions. Last year, former head coach Wayne Hardin was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. If there is any justice, a former Temple football player, Paul Palmer, will join Hardin in the CFB Hall when those inductees are picked next month. Here are five reasons why he deserves the honor.
Playing for an historically downtrodden program, Palmer led Temple to a pair of six-win seasons in the three years he played on the field. Palmer played for teams that beat a 9-2-1 Virginia Tech (Peach Bowl) squad and a 10-2-1 Toledo (California Bowl) team.
No one can say that Palmer played against weaker competition because in those days under current Arizona Cardinals’ coach Bruce Arians, both the 1984 and 1986 Temple schedules were ranked in the national top 10. Arians sought the toughest opponents for the Owls to face, including Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, Penn State, West Virginia and Pitt.
When Palmer gained 349 yards in a 45-28 win over East Carolina in 1986 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, he fell just six yards short of the NCAA single-game record at the time. To do that puts him in some Hall of Fame company.
Although the Heisman Trophy winner is certainly a lock for the CFB Hall of Fame, runners-up like John Elway (1982), Steve Young (1983), Robbie Bosco (1984) and Chuck Long (1985) also had college careers worthy of induction. Palmer was the runner-up in 1986 behind Vinny Testaverde and ahead of current San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.
By the numbers, Palmer compares favorably with last year’s two running back inductees, Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne and North Carolina State’s Ted Brown. In just his Heisman Trophy runner-up season of 1986, Palmer posted 2,633 all-purpose yards, ahead of Dayne’s best year (2,422, 1999) and Brown’s best year (1,672). Palmer had more career yards than Brown (4,895-4,602).
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