HALL OF FAME
Scott Appleton Texas
Classic MemoriesHometown: Brady, Texas Ht. 6-3 Wt. 239 Class: Sophomore/Junior/Senior Position: Tackle 1962 Classic: Texas 12, Mississippi 7 1963 Classic: LSU 13, Texas 0 1964 Classic: Texas 28, Navy 6
Statistics1962 Defensive Statistics: 4 tackles, 2 unassisted, 2 QB sacks for -8 yards 1963 Defensive Statistics: 9 tackles, 4 unassisted 1964 Defensive Statistics: 12 tackles, 3 unassisted, 2 QB sacks for -13 yards
Without Scott Appleton, Texas may never have won its first national championship. A fiery competitor and the winner of the Outland Trophy during his senior season, Appleton surprised everyone, including his coaches, in the way he manhandled Navy in the 1964 Classic. Appleton collected 12 tackles and sacked Navy quarterback Roger Staubach twice for 13 yards in losses. Appleton left the game to a thunderous ovation with eight minutes to play after snuffing a Navy scoring threat on fourth down at the Texas 16. The Horns set two defensive records in the Classic by holding the Midshipmen without a rushing first down and limited Navy to minus-14 yards rushing. With Appleton leading the charge, the Texas defense never looked better
Ernie Davis Syracuse
Classic MemoriesHometown: Elmira, New York Ht. 6-2 Wt. 205 Class: Sophomore Position: Halfback 1960 Classic: Syracuse 23, Texas 14
StatisticsRushing: 8 attempts, 57 yards, 1 TD Receiving: 1 reception, 87 yards, 1 TD Two-Point Conversions: 2 receptions Kickoff Return: 1 return, 19 yards Interceptions: 1 interception, 11-yard return Defensive Statistics: 4 tackles, 1 unassisted
Ernie Davis' sophomore performance in the 1960 Cotton Bowl gave college football fans a glimpse of great things to come for the future Heisman Trophy winner. On the game's second play from scrimmage, the "Elmira Express" hauled in a halfback pass and outran Texas defenders for an 87-yard scoring play. It was the longest touchdown pass in Classic history and set the stage for a tremendous battle between unbeaten and top-ranked Syracuse and No. 4 Texas. Soon, Davis scored again on a one-yard run, and followed with a two-point conversion play. In the second half, he set up the Orangemen's final touchdown with a pass interception and then scored on another two-point conversion play. With Syracuse and Davis, college football had a new national champion and a new superstar to admire.
Russell Maryland Miami
Classic MemoriesHometown: Chicago, Illinois Ht. 6-2 Wt. 273 Class: Senior Position: Defensive Tackle 1991 Classic: Miami 46, Texas 3
StatisticsDefensive Statistics: 9 tackles, 4 unassisted Quarterback Sacks: 3 sacks, minus-28 yards Fumbles: 1 caused
Few defensive players in Cotton Bowl history have dominated a game the way Miami's Russell Maryland ran through and over Texas in the 1991 Classic. The lightning quick Outland Trophy winner made a living out of terrorizing quarterbacks and Maryland wasted little time in adding Peter Gardere of Texas to his list of conquests with three sacks for 28 yards in losses. His intimidating presence up front helped the Canes force five Texas turnovers with each leading to Miami touchdowns. The suspense was over by the end of the first quarter. Aided by his nine-tackle performance, Maryland and the Hurricanes recorded an enormous 43-point victory over the Longhorns, the largest point differential ever at the Cotton Bowl.
Coach Jess Neely Clemson/Rice
Classic MemoriesHometown: Smyrna, Tennessee Classic Coaching Record: 3-1-0 1940 Classic: Clemson 6, Boston College 3 1950 Classic: Rice 27, North Carolina 13 1954 Classic: Rice 28, Alabama 6 1958 Classic: Navy 20, Rice 7
For those who knew him or simply admired his remarkable ability to motivate players, Jess Neely was a true coaching legend. Neely prowled the Rice sideline for 27 seasons where he put together an unparalleled record of achievement. He guided the Owls to three Cotton Bowl appearances in the 1950s and is remembered most for the Owls 28-6 thrashing of Alabama in the 1954 Classic. Neely paid his initial coaching visit to the Cotton Bowl in 1940 when his Clemson Tigers defeated Boston College, 6-3, and was the first coach to guide more than one university to the Cotton Bowl. It's well documented that some of the Classic's greatest moments came under Neely's watch. In four New Year's Day appearances, he built a solid 3-1-0 winning record.
Loyd Phillips Arkansas
Classic MemoriesHometown: Longview, Texas Ht. 6-3 Wt. 225 Class: Sophomore/Junior Position: Defensive Tackle 1965 Classic: Arkansas 10, Nebraska 7 1966 Classic: LSU 14, Arkansas 7
Statistics1965 Defensive Statistics: 9 tackles 1966 Defensive Statistics: 17 tackles
One of the most intense competitors ever to set foot inside the Cotton Bowl was Arkansas tackle Loyd Phillips. Even as an underclassman, Phillips was the undisputed leader of the Razorback defense. He was absolutely sensational in the Classic, racking up 26 tackles in two appearances. As a sophomore, his nine stops against Nebraska helped the Hogs clinch the national championship in the 1965 Cotton Bowl. The following year, Phillips was even more intimidating. Against LSU he turned in an amazing 17-tackle effort. From the start, it was obvious that Arkansas had found something special. As a senior, Phillips put the finishing touches on a stellar Razorback career by winning the Outland Trophy, presented annually to college football's finest interior lineman.
Charles "Cotton" Speyrer Texas
Classic Memories1969 Rushing: 1 attempt, 2 yards 1969 Receiving: 5 receptions, 161 yards, 2 TDs 1969 Two-Point Conversions: 1 reception 1970 Rushing: 1 attempt, 13 yards 1970 Receiving: 4 receptions, 70 yards 1970 Punt Returns: 1 return, 19 yards
StatisticsHt. 5-11 Wt. 169 Class: Sophomore/Junior Hometown: Port Arthur, Texas Position: Split End 1969 Classic: Texas 36, Tennessee 13 1970 Classic: Texas 21, Notre Dame 17
One of the greatest clutch performers ever to play in the Cotton Bowl was Texas receiver Charles "Cotton" Speyrer. The elusive Speyrer burned Tennessee with two long scoring catches in the 1969 Classic. But, it was his celebrated fourth-down reception against Notre Dame in 1970 that is remembered above all others. With 2:26 left to play and the national championship at stake, the Longhorns trailed the Irish, 17-14. Texas had driven 66 yards to the Irish 10, and on fourth and two the Horns gambled with a pass. The call went to Speyrer, but the ball was thrown low and behind him. Speyrer was forced to stop, turn and lunge for the ball at the two. Somehow, he made the catch, scooping up the football just before it hit the ground. Seconds later the Horns scored, and thanks to quick thinking by Cotton Speyrer, the national title went home with Texas.
Coach Bill Yeoman Houston
Classic Memories1977 Classic: Houston 30, Maryland 21 1979 Classic: Notre Dame 35, Houston 34 1980 Classic: Houston 17, Nebraska 14 1985 Classic: Boston College 45, Houston 28
StatisticsHometown: Glendale, Arizona Classic Coaching Record: 2-2-0
Bill Yeoman couldn't have asked for a better introduction to Southwest Conference football. After a 2-8-0 finish in Houston's final year as an independent, few expected the Cougars to do much in their first SWC season. So, all Yeoman did was lead Houston to a share of the conference title and thump undefeated Maryland in the 1977 Classic. Two years later, the Cougars were back in Dallas for the infamous "Ice Bowl" showdown with Notre Dame and one of college football's greatest thrillers. The following season, Houston won the SWC title again and landed in the Cotton Bowl for a third time. Now it was Houston's turn to deliver a knockout blow in the final minute, clipping Nebraska on a touchdown pass in the final 12 seconds. Three Cotton Bowl trips in four years proved to the rest of the SWC that Yeoman's Cougars had come to play.