Two important contributors to the storied history of the San Francisco 49ers were honored for their collegiate achievements when former 49ers offensive lineman Randy Cross (pictured left) and defensive end Charles Haley were recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011.
Cross, an All-American offensive lineman at UCLA, helped lead his team to a Rose Bowl Championship in 1976. Cross played a key role on one of the best teams in UCLA history and later won three Super Bowls with the 49ers.
“It recognizes a couple of things,” Cross told the Atlanta Journal Constitution recently. “First of all, those of us that had success at pro level had college careers before that.”
Like Cross, Haley played a significant part in his college’s successes. Haley still leads James Madison University with 506 career tackles. After school, Haley went on to play 13 seasons in the NFL, winning a combined five Super Bowl rings with the 49ers and Dallas Cowboys.
“I think that, for me, (the enshrinement) brings recognition to my university that I love, to my college coaches that inspired me and helped shape and mold me, and to my high school coaches that taught me how to put the game not in my head, but in my heart and play with passion,” Haley told the South Bend Tribune. “Those people are the ones that I’m so proud of. I had my ups and downs, and they were with me through it all.”
Haley also did an interview with CSN Bay Area’s Dave Benz to discuss his induction into the Hall of Fame.
Haley (pictured right) shares a laugh with ESPN’s Jon Gruden, host of the Hall of Fame ceremony.
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