ASHLAND — Northmor High School’s Bill Royce will become Ashland University’s second member of the College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
Royce, the former AU All-America defensive lineman, will be inducted at the National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. He joins his former head coach, Dr. Fred Martinelli (Class of 2002), in the Hall.
ESPN3 will livestream the two main events associated with the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner: the morning press conference from 9 a.m. to noon, and the dinner itself from 8-10 p.m.
Royce’s 71 career sacks not only are an NCAA Division II record, but they are an NCAA record for any level. He has the top three single-season sack marks in Ashland football history (20½ in 1993, 20 in 1992 and 18½ in 1991), and the program’s single-game sack record (3½ at Wayne State on Oct. 2, 1993).
One of the best players in the early days of the Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference, Royce was a two-time All-American, the 1993 MIFC Player of the Year, a two-time MIFC Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time MIFC Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Royce, a two-time Harlon Hill Trophy (Division II Player of the Year) candidate in 1992 and 1993, ranks in a tie for ninth on AU’s all-time rolls in career tackles with 366.
In Royce’s four years as an Eagle, the program had a record of 33-10-1 (.761).
In addition to Royce, the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame class features Marlin Briscoe (Nebraska Omaha), Derrick Brooks (Florida State), Tom Cousineau (Ohio State), Randall Cunningham (UNLV), Troy Davis (Iowa State), William Fuller (North Carolina), Bert Jones (LSU), Tim Krumrie (Wisconsin), Pat McInally (Harvard), Herb Orvis (Colorado), Mike Utley (Washington State), Scott Woerner (Georgia), Rod Woodson (Purdue) and coaches Bill Bowes (New Hampshire) and Frank Girardi (Lycoming, Pa.).