The Black College Football Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2011 finalists Monday, and five of the 35 finalists have ties to Maryland schools.
Former Morgan State offensive lineman Roosevelt Brown, running back Leroy Kelly and coach Earl Banks are joined by offensive lineman Art Shell and running back Emerson Boozer, both of Maryland State College, now known as University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
The Hall of Fame's second annual class will include 11 new members at the ceremony held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta on Feb. 19, 2011. A panel of journalists and football executives will select the inductees later this month and ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden will emcee the event.
Shell was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989 and was a key member of the Oakland Raiders' victories in Super Bowls XI and XV.
As a member of the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, Brown was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1975 after spending 13 seasons with the New York Giants. He died of a heart attack in 2004.
Kelly won NFL rushing titles in 1967 and 1968 with the Cleveland Browns and was a two-time NFL punt return champion. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994.
Banks spent 14 years as Morgan's coach, amassing a .839 win-loss percentage while leading the Bears to three unbeaten regular seasons. In addition to his coaching career, Banks served as Morgan's athletic director from 1970 to 1983. He died in a car accident in Baltimore in 1993.
Boozer rushed for 2,537 yards and 22 touchdowns during his college career and was a member of the New York Jets' 1968 team that defeated the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
Other finalists include former Ravens quarterback Steve McNair and former Baltimore Colts wide receiver Willie Richardson.