The Reese's Senior Bowl welcomed three new members into its Hall of Fame in the spring of 2015 with the addition of former Alabama and San Diego Chargers linebacker Woodrow Lowe, former Auburn and Kansas City Chiefs fullback Tony Richardson, and former LSU and current Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams.
"With a fullback, linebacker and defensive tackle in the 2015 Reese's Senior Bowl Hall of Fame class, this group has a 'throwback' feel to it because of each individual's passion, perseverance and commitment to the game," said Reese's Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage. "We are so pleased to have Woodrow, Tony and Kyle go in together, because each one represents all of the great things about football, both on and off the field."
The trio makes up the 27th class in the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame, presented by Mobile Gas, and pushes the total number of inductees to 108 - an exclusive club when you consider that nearly 5,000 players have donned a Senior Bowl uniform. The three former Senior Bowlers, inducted March 19 at the Battle House Hotel in downtown Mobile, Ala., join a prestigious group that includes the likes of Joe Namath, Walter Payton, Dan Marino, Bo Jackson and Brett Favre.
1976 SENIOR BOWL
The Alabama linebacker played in the 1976 Senior Bowl after helping the Crimson Tide win four SEC Championships and one National Title during his four years at the Capstone.
He was the first Alabama player to be named an All-American three times and to this day is still one of only two Crimson Tide players to earn that honor. Cornelius Bennett is the other.
As a sophomore in 1973, Lowe set the school record for tackles in one season (134) and 42 years later still holds the record. He ranks third all-time in tackles at Alabama, with 315 in his career.
Lowe was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fifth round of the 1976 NFL Draft. In his 11 seasons with the Chargers, he played in 164 games and missed only one, because of a hip injury.
Lowe was particularly adept in pass defense, grabbing 21 interceptions in his career, returning four of those for touchdowns.
"Woody had an unmatched college career at Alabama and went on to be a picture of dependability and durability during his 11 seasons with the San Diego Chargers," Savage said. "Beyond that, he has spent 20-plus years on the sidelines as a trusted coach, staff member and friend to countless players and coaches."
"This was a big surprise," Lowe said. "It is a great honor and very humblling."
Lowe, who coached at the NFL level as well as college and high school after retiring from professional football, is a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the College Sports Hall of Fame. He will be the 14th player from the University of Alabama to be inducted into the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame.
1994 SENIOR BOWL
Richardson was a key figure on Auburn's undefeated team of 1993, but was undrafted out of college. He turned that into motivation, and he took it out on opponents over the next 16 years in the NFL. He played for four teams (Dallas, Kansas City, Minnesota and the NY Jets), earning four Pro Bowl appearances and was twice named All-Pro.
He ran for 1,700 yards and scored 24 touchdowns, but made his name as a punishing lead blocker. At one point in his career, he paved the way for a 1,000-yard rusher in nine straight seasons. He blocked for the likes of Marcus Allen, Priest Holmes, Adrian Peterson and LaDainian Tomlinson.
"Tony forged a 16-year NFL career playing maybe the most thankless position on the field," Savage said. "His tailbacks will tell you otherwise, because he simply became the best fullback of his era."
Richardson is also a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and will be the 10th player from Auburn to be inducted into the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame.
2006 SENIOR BOWL
The former LSU Tiger played for both Nick Saban and Les Miles in Baton Rouge, capturing a national title with the Tigers in 2003.
"Kyle is one of those special players that just understands what it takes to be successful regardless of circumstance," Savage said. "He was highly respected at LSU and everyone in the league recognizes him as one of the top defensive linemen in the NFL."
"I am honored knowing all the great players that have participated in the game," Williams said. "To be elected to its Hall of Fame is a great honor."
Though he was an All-American his senior season, he was thought to be too small and not athletic enough to play at the next level. He was selected in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills and has spent the past nine seasons proving his doubters wrong. He has been selected to four Pro Bowls in his nine seasons, and has been named an All-Pro three times.
He has racked up 34.5 sacks in his career and anchors one of the top defensive lines in the NFL.