Not even a week after the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced that Richard Seymour advanced to the final round for the third straight season, its college football equivalent included two former New England Patriots in its own 2021 Hall of Fame class: linebacker Andre Tippett and defensive tackle Kenneth Sims will be among the 11 player selected to the College Football Hall of Fame this year.
Both Tippett and Sims spent their entire NFL careers with the Patriots after joining the team in the NFL’s 1982 draft.
Sims spent his college career at the University of Texas between 1978 and 1981, and will now become the school’s 20th overall inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame. The official announcement of him being selected had to say the following about his career with the Longhorns:
A two-time First Team All-American, Sims earned unanimous honors as a senior and consensus laurels as a junior. The 1981 UPI Lineman of the Year finished eighth for the Heisman Trophy, receiving three first-place votes. Sims’ 23 tackles for loss that season were a then-school record. He also led Texas to four wins over top 15 teams during stellar senior campaign, including a 12-tackle performance in a decisive 34-14 win over No. 10 Oklahoma.
The two-time consensus First Team All-Southwest Conference selection led the Longhorns to four consecutive postseason berths, including wins in the 1978 Sun Bowl and the 1982 Cotton Bowl. The 1981 team captain guided Texas to three top 25 finishes: No. 9 in 1978, No. 12 in 1979 and No. 2 in 1981. The two-time team MVP boasts the Longhorn record with 15 career forced fumbles. On the Texas career charts, Sims ranks fourth in sacks (29), fifth in fumble recoveries (seven) and ninth in tackles for loss (50). His other honors include the 1981 Houston Post SWC Defensive MVP Trophy and a 1982 NCAA Today’s Top V Award. Sims was inducted into the University of Texas Athletics Hall of Honor in 1997.
Following his four seasons in Austin, Sims arrived in New England as the number one overall selection in the 1982 draft. While he never quite lived up to the expectations associated with that honor, he still produced a solid career as a Patriot: in eight seasons, he played a combined 75 regular season and playoff games. He finished his career in New England with 17.0 sacks.
Tippett spent his college career at the University of Iowa between 1979 and 1981, and will now become the school’s 10th overall inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame. The official announcement of him being selected had to say the following about his career with the Hawkeyes:
A consensus First Team All-American in 1981, Tippett led Iowa to a share of the Big Ten title and a berth in the 1982 Rose Bowl, the program’s first appearance in the game since 1958. The two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection (1980 and 1981) led the conference with 20 tackles for loss during his junior season.
A senior team captain, Tippett holds the Iowa single-season record for tackles for loss yardage with 153 yards on 20 TFL in 1980. Part of the Hawkeyes’ initial success under College Football Hall of Fame Coach Hayden Fry, he helped the 1981 team finish with a No. 18 ranking and an 8-4 record, ending a streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons. A member of Iowa’s All-Time Team, Tippett was also elected to the National Iowa Varsity Club Hall of Fame.
After his college career, Tippett was selected in the second round of the 1982 draft by the Patriots. Over the 12 seasons that followed, he appeared in 151 regular season games and six playoff contests for the organization. A five-time Pro Bowl selection and the NFL’s 1985 Defensive Player of the Year, Tippett is New England’s all-time leader in sacks and helped the organization reach its first Super Bowl to cap the 1985 campaign.
Tippett, who currently serves as the Patriots’ executive director of community affairs, was later enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and New England’s team Hall of Fame. He also was voted a member of the club’s NFL’s Team of the 1980s.