Fordham Well Represented at 2012 NFL Hall of Fame Game
Aug. 9, 2012
Bronx, N.Y. - Three graduates of Fordham University have been inducted in the National Football League Hall of Fame (can you name them? - answers below). On Sunday, three more former Rams were in Canton, Ohio, to play in the annual NFL Hall of Fame preseason game.
All three former Rams had a successful game with John Skelton completing four of six passes for 32 yards and his brother, Stephen, catching two passes for 35 yards while on the other side, Abdul-Quddus recorded three solo stops for the Saints in a 17-10 New Orleans win.
John Skelton is in his third season with Arizona, after being selected in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Cardinals. Last year, Skelton took over as the starter, leading the Cardinals to a 6-2 record over their final eight games, completing 151 of 275 passes for 1,913 yards and 13 touchdowns.
A 2009 Second Team All-Patriot League selection, Skelton wrapped up a record-shattering career for the Rams that fall, closing out the year completing 284 of 441 passes (64.4%) for 3,708 yards and 26 touchdowns. He set new school marks for completions and passing yards, breaking Kevin Eakin's former school records of 247 completions for 3,072 yards set in 2003 as well as breaking Steve O'Hare's completion percentage record of 63.1% set in 1997. Skelton led the NCAA FCS in passing yards/game (337.09) and was ranked second in total offense (348.18 yards/game), fourth in completions per game (25.82) and total passing yards and tenth in passing efficiency (149.95).
Skelton threw for over 300 yards eight times in eleven games in 2009, including four 400-yard games. He completed 20 of 27 passes for 420 yards and five touchdowns against Cornell on October 17th, breaking the school record of 413 passing yards set by Joe Moorhead in 1995 and coming up one shy of the school record for scoring passes of six, set by Kevin Eakin in 2003. Skelton then broke his own record two weeks later, completing 43 of 67 passes for 427 yards, all school records, against Holy Cross on October 31st. He finished one passing attempt shy of the NCAA FCS record for most pass attempts in a game without an interception, just missing the national mark of 68 set by Marshall's Tony Petersen against Western Carolina in 1987 (Peterson completed 34). Skelton surpassed his own school record of 420 passing yards in a game while breaking Matt Georgia's 1999 records of 36 completions and 65 attempts.
Skelton emerged as a pass-catching tight end in 2009, hauling in 63 passes from his brother John who played for the Arizona Cardinals this year, for 634 yards and six touchdowns. The 63 receptions were the most all-time for a Fordham tight end and the fifth best total in school history. Skelton had two 100-yard receiving games that fall, a ten-reception, career-high 138-yard game against Old Dominion on October 3rd and a career-high 13-catch, 102 yard contest against Holy Cross on October 31st. Skelton ranked fourth in the Patriot League in receptions per game (5.7), 31st in the NCAA FCS, and ninth in the conference in and 81st in the NCAA receiving yards per game (57.6).
Over his career, Skelton recorded 127 receptions for 1,313 yards and ten touchdowns, all career-highs for a Fordham tight end. He is seventh on the school's all-time receptions list and tied for eighth in career touchdown receptions.
Abdul-Quddus, who was named Second Team Preseason All-Patriot League by Phil Steele's College Football Preview, closed out his Fordham career leading the 2010 squad with 78 tackles, 56 of those solo, and he recorded six pass breakups and forced three fumbles. He tied for the Patriot League lead in forced fumbles/game (0.27) and was eleventh in the League in tackles/game (7.1). He opened season with a career-high 14 total tackles, ten solo, while also forcing a fumble at Bryant.
Over his career, Abdul-Quddus, who was a two-year starter in the defensive backfield, had 193 total tackles, 134 solo, including 12 for loss and three sacks. He also amassed ten pass deflections and three interceptions. Abdul-Quddus tied a school record with three interceptions in a game at Cornell in 2009.
The three NFLers aren't the only former Rams currently playing professional football as Tad Kornegay recently signed as a free agent with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He is in his eighth season in the CFL and has played in four Grey Cup games, winning championships in 2007 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and last year with the British Columbia Lions.
Kornegay, who was inducted into the Fordham Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011, was a standout with the Rams from 2001-04, capping his career by winning the 2005 Vincent T. Lombardi Award as Fordham's Male Athlete of the Year.
The Lombardi award was one of a long list of honors for Kornegay, a consensus First Team All-American in 2004. He was named 2004 First Team Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Walter Camp Division I-AA and Sports Network I-AA All-American as well being named one of 40 players named to the I-AA.org All-Star Team. Kornegay was also a finalist for the 2004 Buck Buchanan Award as the NCAA I-AA Defensive Player of the Year as awarded by the Sports Network, finishing 14th in the voting.
The Saint will have their second preseason game of 2012 on Thursday night as they play in New England while the Cardinals will be in Kansas City on Friday night.
Answer: The three Fordham alums in the NFL Hall of Fame are Vince Lombardi and Alex Wojciechowicz, members of the famed Seven Blocks of Granite, and Wellington Mara, the late New York Giants owner.