Eagle Legend Now a Hall of Famer

Tracy Ham talking with kids after a flag football game at the College Football Hall of Fame.
Tracy Ham talking with kids after a flag football game at the College Football Hall of Fame.

Over the weekend, Georgia Southern football legend Tracy Ham, his family and friends traveled to South Bend, Indiana for a big honor. One of those friends carried a video camera to bring WTOC an inside look at the ceremony.

As a college teammate, Tim Durden watched Tracy Ham run through, around and over opponents. This weekend, he watched him walk into history at the College Football Hall of Fame.

"I've never been to a Super Bowl and all that fanfare, but the College Football Hall of Fame is pretty amazing," Durden promised.

Durden carried a camera for WTOC over the weekend, catching a humble Tracy enjoying the moment.

"Statesboro, this is for you!" Tracy mugged to the camera. "Statesboro, Georgia Southern University and the Eagle fans."

Fellow inductees include former Florida Gator Emmitt Smith, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, and Nebraska running back Mike Rozier. Tracy and the rest of the 2007 class played a little flag football for the crowd before they took time with local youngsters. Relatives and former coaches say that was just Tracy being Tracy.

"I'm just so happy for Tracy. An honor well deserved and I couldn't be prouder," noted Navy head coach and former GSU coach Paul Johnson.

"No matter how famous you get, I'm still the Boss, remember that. Congratulations!" joked big sister Annette Ham.

At Georgia Southern, Ham has the distinction of being the only player to ever wear No. 8 for the Eagles. Tim says the highlight of his weekend was watching Tracy's more famous fellow inductees watch Tracy's highlight video. With Georgia Southern's status then as a brand new team, some of them had never seen much of Ham despite his 13 seasons. He says their jaws dropped at the moves of No. 8.

The late coach Erk Russell said Tracy could play tag in a phone booth and never be "it". Durden said he and Tracy agreed the Bald Eagle would be proud.

"I said, 'Tracy, he's looking down on us and saying this is an even better day to be an Eagle. He's smiling, I know,'" Durden noted.

Over the weekend, Tracy and his brother Don, Tim Durden and three others from GSU, won the Hall of Fame's golf scramble.

Reported by Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com