IRVING, Texas – Alabama football legend E.J. Junior has been selected for induction to the College Football Hall of Fame, the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Football Hall of Fame announced Wednesday on ESPN2's SportsCenter.
An imposing threat on the defensive line, E.J. Junior was a unanimous first team All-American in 1980 and was a finalist for the Lombardi Award. He helped guide Alabama to consecutive national championships in 1978 and 1979. Junior and the 1979 Crimson Tide squad went 12-0, winning the program's third straight Sugar Bowl and completing a run of eight SEC championships in nine years.
He was part of only four losses during his Alabama career, helping the Tide post an 44-4 record, which included a 28-game winning streak, while never finishing lower than No. 6 in the national rankings. The three-time first team All-SEC selection capped his career in a dominant 30-2 win over Baylor in the 1981 Cotton Bowl.
Selected as the 1980 SEC Lineman of the Year by both the Atlanta Touchdown Club and the Birmingham Monday Morning Quarterback Club, Junior was the leader of a defense that allowed only 98 points his senior campaign and just 67 in 1979. He racked up 190 tackles and 21 sacks and his 10 career forced fumbles are tied for the school record.
Junior is enshrined in the Senior Bowl, state of Alabama Sports and state of Tennessee halls of fame.
The fifth overall pick in the 1981 NFL Draft, Junior was a two-time Pro Bowl selection with the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals (1981-88). He also played for the Miami Dolphins (1989-91), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1992) and Seattle Seahawks (1992-93).
Junior became an ordained minister after retiring from the NFL while also entering the coaching ranks. He started out as a linebackers coach with the Seahawks and had stints with the Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars and Rhein Fire of NFL Europe.
After time as an assistant at Southwest Baptist (Mo.), Junior served as the head coach at Central State (Ohio) from 2009-13, and later an assistant and interim head coach at Delaware State.
The Nashville, Tenn., native becomes the 19th Crimson Tide to be inducted.
The 2020 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted during the 63rd NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 8 at the New York Hilton Midtown. Their accomplishments will be forever immortalized at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.