National Football Foundation honors college standouts

Updated: May 16, 2007, 8:23 PM ET
Associated Press

DALLAS -- Former Heisman Trophy winners and service academy stars Pete Dawkins and Roger Staubach are the latest recipients of the National Football Foundation's Gold Medal.

The NFF announced Wednesday its Gold Medal and other award winners to be honored at a banquet in New York in December, when the new College Football Hall Fame class will be inducted. Last week, Doug Flutie was among the 12 players elected to the Hall.

Other NFF award winners include former Notre Dame running back Rocky Bleier, who will receive the Distinguished American Award, and Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley, who won the John L. Toner Award given to outstanding ADs.

The NFF has honored a wide range of prominent Americans, including presidents, Hall of Fame baseball player Jackie Robinson and actor John Wayne, with the Gold Medal since 1958.

Last year, the NFF awarded Gold Medals to Florida State coach Bobby Bowden and Penn State coach Joe Paterno, the winningest coaches in the history of major college football.

Dawkins played halfback for Army and won the Heisman in 1958. Dawkins was a Rhodes Scholar who later rose to general and ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in New Jersey.

Staubach was a quarterback for Navy and won the Heisman in 1963. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1964, but military service kept him from starting his NFL career until 1969. He volunteered for a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam. He went on to a Hall of Fame professional career that included two Super Bowl championships.

The NFF also announced longtime Pittsburgh play-by-play announcer Bill Hargrove will receive its first Chris Schenkel Award. Collegiate Bowl Games won the Outsanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award. Jim Kemmerling of the Big Ten will receive the Outstanding Football Official Award.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press