Tackle Winston Hill and defensive end Verlon Biggs, two college football standouts who went on to star with the Jets in the NFL, are among the 25 finalists announced on Thursday for induction into the Black College Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2021.
Hill spent 14 seasons at LT and RT for the Jets, played in a franchise-record eight AFL/NFL all-star games, and was posthumously (he died in 2016) selected for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in January. Setting the stage for his pro career and his recognition by the Black College Football Hall, Hill has been described by Texas Southern University as "one of the most gifted athletes to grace the TSU gridiron."
Hill arrived at the Houston school in 1959 as a 200-pound freshman who was a high-school state tennis champion. He played both offensive and defensive lines at TSU and was a three-time All-Southwestern Athletic Conference selection as the Tigers won seven or more games in three of his four seasons.
Biggs was selected by the Jets in the third round of the 1965 AFL draft and went on to play 10 AFL/NFL seasons, his first six as a member of the Jets. He was selected for three AFL All-Star Games as a Jet and, like Hill, played for the Green & White in their Super Bowl III triumph over the Baltimore Colts. Although sacks weren't official for defensive players until 1982, he unofficially was credited with 49 sacks in his six Jets seasons, seventh-most in franchise history.
Biggs played on the Jackson State College D-line from 1961-64 and was named to two NCAA All-America teams and two All-SWAC teams, in 1963 and '64. He was inducted into the Jackson State Hall of Fame in 1990 and posthumously (he died in 1994) into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
The 25 Black College Football Hall finalists were selected from more than 150 nominees. The Class of '21 will be announced on Nov. 19 and will be honored during the Black College Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Feb. 20, 2021 in Atlanta.