Three Sugar Bowl Participants Named to SEC Legends Class of 2011 park
Three former Allstate Sugar Bowl participants are among the 12 members of the 2011 Southeastern Conference Football Legends Class as announced by the league office today. One member from each of the 12 SEC schools is represented in this class each year.
The three Sugar Bowl participants bestowed this honor are Dennis Homan (Alabama, 1967 Sugar Bowl), Ike Hilliard (Florida, Jan., 1995 Sugar Bowl and 1997 Sugar Bowl) and Bobby Majors (Tennessee, 1971 Sugar Bowl).
The Legends will be honored at this year's SEC "Weekend of Champions" which culminates with the SEC Football Championship Game on Sat., Dec. 3 at the Georgia Dome.
A consensus All-America pick in 1967, Homan was also selected to the Team of the Decade of the 1960s. Homan caught nine Kenny Stabler passes for 135 yards and three touchdowns in the Tide's 25-3 win over Southern Mississippi in 1967. He was a part of the 33rd Sugar Bowl Classic as No. 3 Alabama defeated No. 6 Nebraska, 34-7, at Tulane Stadium in front of a crowd of 82,000. Homan had five receptions for 36 yards to help secure the Tide's victory. He finished his Alabama career with 87 catches for 1,495 yards (17.2 yards per catch) and 18 touchdowns. An Academic All-American in 1965, he played professionally for the Dallas Cowboys. In 2005, the Muscle Shoals City School System honored Homan by naming the field of James F. Moore Stadium, Dennis Homan Field. He played on the school's first football team and is the first Muscle Shoals High School player to be drafted into the NFL.
Ike Hilliard finished his college career with 126 catches (seventh-best in UF history) for 2,214 yards (fourth-best in school history) and 29 TDs, the third-best total in SEC history. He tallied a TD/catch ratio of 4.34 (29TDs/126 catches) which ranks second in Gator history. He was named a first-team All-SEC selection and an All-American as a senior in 1996. Hilliard had three catches for 119 yards and one score in the 1996 Sugar Bowl, but his Gators fell short to in-state rival Florida State, 23-17. Despite the loss, Hilliard landed a spot in the record books as his score came on an 82-yard pass from QB Danny Wuerffel, the longest touchdown pass in Sugar Bowl history.
Hilliard and the Gators returned to the 1997 Sugar Bowl, which was being played for the National Championship, and prepared for a rematch against the Seminoles. This time the third-ranked Gators came out on top defeating top-ranked Florida State, 52-20, for the title. Hilliard again excelled, catching seven passes for 150 yards and three touchdowns – his three touchdowns again landed him in the Sugar Bowl record book as it set the bowl-standard.
After being selected in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, Hilliard went on to play 12 NFL seasons, recording 546 career receptions for 6,397 yards and 35 TDs. The Patterson, La., native played his first eight seasons with the Giants and finished his NFL playing career playing four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 2009.
A true do-everything contributor from the early 1970s, Bobby Majors earned All-America honors as a safety in 1971 and also capped his career with All-SEC honors in both 1970 and 1971. At some point in his Vol career Majors punted, kicked off, returned punts and kickoffs, played receiver and was a world-class defensive back. His fourth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers defeated No. 11 Air Force, 34-13, in the 1971 Sugar Bowl Classic played at Tulane Stadium. Majors posted his own personal highlight by returning a punt 57 yards for a touchdown – just the second punt-return touchdown in Sugar Bowl history at the time. He currently holds school records for career punt returns (117) and career punt return yardage (1,163). His senior kickoff return average of 30.1 remains the fourth-highest in program history. He set the school record with 10 interceptions in 1970, the same year the Vols had 36 picks. He still ranks seventh on the career pass interceptions list with 13.