McCallum salutes Navy classmates at college hall

Updated: August 8, 2003, 4:59 PM ET

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- On a day meant to honor Napoleon McCallum, the former Navy tailback paid tribute to his classmates still in the military.

"The men and women who I went to school with are the people out there right now fighting the battles so we can go to great things like this and not have to worry about things," McCallum said Friday during enshrinement activities at the College Football Hall of Fame.

McCallum, one of 24 people entering the hall Saturday, recalled a meeting this year in Sicily with one classmate, Cmdr. Kevin Bianchi, a helicopter pilot.

"He was just getting ready to be deployed," he said.

McCallum recently learned that Bianchi, who graduated from the Naval Academy in 1985 and had been captain of the wrestling team, was killed last month with three others when their helicopter crashed in Sicily.

Enshrinement activities began Friday with a breakfast and golf outing. A flag football game, youth clinic and news conference were scheduled for Saturday, followed by a dinner and the enshrinement.

McCallum, who set an NCAA record for career all-purpose yards with 7,172, was one of three enshrinees to speak Friday.

Former Jackson State end Willie Richardson, who led the Southwestern Athletic Conference in receiving from 1959-62, said playing at a black school with a limited budget taught him the value of hard work.

"We did what we had to do to win. I'm talking about the sacrifices," he said. "We were tough. But it makes you better, not only for football, but everyday life."

Former Yale coach Carm Cozza told the crowd that kickers and punters that led him to retire after 32 years.

He mentioned the punter who couldn't catch the ball when it was hiked to him. There was also kicker who zipped himself into a ball bag to stay warm and couldn't get out to make the point-after.

Cozza saw all but seven of his players graduate. He said he probably won't be remembered for the football players he produced.

"I always felt I was the best premed, prelaw coach in the nation because I know I've got more doctors and lawyers than anyone who coached at one school for 32 years," he said.

Also Friday, the U.S. Postal Service introduced four new postage stamps honoring college football greats Walter Camp, Ernie Nevers, Red Grange and Bronko Nagurski. The stamps go on sale nationally Monday.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index