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Kansas State’s Mark Simoneau to join College Football Hall of Fame

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, May 15, 2012, at 11:49 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, May 16, 2012, at 9:06 a.m.

— Mark Simoneau, one of Kansas State’s two greatest linebackers, has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

The former two-time All-American (1996-99) joins linebacker Gary Spani as Wildcat players to enter the Hall. He’s the first to have played for Bill Snyder.

“Being the first player under Coach Snyder to be elected to the Hall of Fame is truly humbling,” Simoneau said in a statement released by K-State. “As a small town kid from Smith Center, Kan., I never could have dreamed of such an honor, but it shows that with hard work and a dream, anything is possible.”

Simoneau was a three-time captain and holds the school record with 251 unassisted tackles. He ranks third in total tackles with 400 and third in tackles for loss with 52.

He was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, and earned All-Big 12 honors three times. With Simoneau on the roster, K-State experienced great success. It went 42-7, won two Big 12 North titles and was the No. 1 ranked team in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll for four straight weeks in 1999.

He was drafted in the third round of the 2000 NFL Draft and played 11 seasons for the Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs. He had 370 total tackles in 124 NFL games.

“Mark is a tremendous young man with a wonderful family and I am extremely proud of him,” Snyder said in a statement. “He had a long career in the NFL because he maintained the intrinsic values of commitment, unselfishness, hard work, mental toughness, persistence, responsibility and integrity. He has been the consummate team player throughout his life, and this is truly a well-deserved honor.”

The Hall of Fame class of 2012, to be inducted Dec. 4 in New York, is comprised of 14 players and three coaches. It includes former BYU quarterback Ty Detmer, former Syracuse receiver Art Monk and Jimmy Johnson, who coached Oklahoma State and Miami.

“This is truly an unbelievable honor for me, my family, the town of Smith Center and all of the K-State nation,” Simoneau said. “I want to thank coaches (Roger) Barta and Snyder and all of the coaching staffs over the years for instilling in each of us the resolve to be successful not only as football players but also as young men.”

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